Nicole Harper, a nurse from Kansas City, says that she was forced to urinate in a cup because a United Airlines flight crew would not allow her to use the bathroom (video below).
Harper wrote about her experience on Facebook May 6. She noted that her incident happened on the same day that the airline had a passenger removed from an overbooked flight, which would have been April 9:
While allowing other passengers to get up and use the restroom on a seemingly uneventful flight, United Airlines crew wouldn’t allow me to get up and use the restroom until the pilot turned off the seat belt sign.
After explaining that I have an overactive bladder and would either need to use the restroom or pee in a cup, I was handed a cup by flight attendants. Bad enough? No, crew then escorted me to the restroom (now it’s safe to get out of my seat), shaming me down the aisle while other passengers overlooked.
The flight attendants treated me like I had committed a crime, stating they would be filing a report, calling in the hazmat team to clean the entire row (let me mention there was no mess involved) and told me I would need to talk with the pilot after the flight! I guess they would have preferred me to pee in the seat? After all they were the ones that gave me the cups knowing what I was planning to do with it.
Harper said she submitted a complaint with United and called the airline to get an apology, but has been given the "the run around." Harper noted that customer service representatives have to accept calls that go through the United reservations first.
Harper's Facebook post went viral, and she told KCTV how flight attendants were serving drinks, and a first class passenger was allowed to use the bathroom, but she was told to stay in her seat because the pilot was expecting turbulence.
After requesting cups to urinate in, Harper recalled that she squatted over two cups, while wearing a dress, with the help of her husband.
Harper said that a flight attendant ordered her to go pour out her urine in the restroom -- the same restroom that she had been denied in the first place.
"She was basically reprimanding me, and talking down to me through the aisles with other people listening," Harper told the news station.
After over a month of reportedly being silent on the incident, United issued a statement:
Customer safety is always our first priority. Initial reports from the Mesa Airlines flight attendants indicate that Ms. Harper attempted to visit the lavatory on descent and was instructed to remain seated with the seat belt fastened per FAA regulations.
At no point during the flight did flight attendants suggest that Ms. Harper use cups instead of the lavatory. We have reached out to Ms. Harper to better understand what occurred.