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Woman Allegedly Made to Pee in Cup on United Airlines Flight

Chicago, IL, USA - March 17, 2016: A United Airlines 747-400 landing on 28C at the Chicago O'hare Airport.

Nicole Harper says that she was denied the use of the lavatory on recent Kansas City-bound flight and so had to urinate in a cup in front of other passengers.

A passenger on a recent Kansas City-bound flight says that she was forced to urinate in two cups after crew denied her the use of the lavatory due to the plane’s seatbelt sign being illuminated. The incident occurred on April 10th onboard a United Airlines flight from Houston operated by Mesa Airlines.

The passenger in question, Nicole Harper, told CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV that she was left humiliated by the incident, in which she had to relieve herself in front of other passengers. Harper, who has an overactive bladder, explained to crew 30 minutes into the flight that she needed to use the bathroom.

Speaking of the incident to the outlet, she said that she thought she would be able to quickly use the bathroom without any issue. This, however, proved not to be the case, and Harper says that she was told to sit down because the plane’s overhead seatbelt signs were lit.

Other passengers, Harper says, were moving about the cabin at this point and when Harper repeated her request, she was again told to remain in her seat.

“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,” she said in a Facebook post, as reported by the IBTimes.

Harper then relieved herself into two cups provided by a member of the crew, who then, she says “shamed” her into walking through the cabin and emptying them into the lavatory.

Harper has criticized the carrier for its lack of compassion, but United has issued a statement in response to the incident, saying, “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,” it added.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
fairhsa May 16, 2017

I have enough trouble peeing in cups (as a woman) when necessary at the doctors, hovering over a toilet - I cannot imagine the feat necessary to do it seated in a plane! Bizarre. But there was that other article about the guy being thrown off the plane for standing up to go to the toilet when the sign was on - so I'm not sure just saying "ignore the FA" is the right answer.

Chris516 May 13, 2017

I find this hard to believe........unless the cabin crew was really that heartless and stupid. Presuming for a moment that is 100% true. With the seatbelt sign on. She would definitely have been better off in the lavatory. Where, She could 'take care of business', sitting down and bracing her feet at the same time. Instead of being 'out in public', and off-balance due to the turbulence. If she (presuming again) had missed the cup. The airline would have had a major cleaning job.

hammerforever May 13, 2017

#1- the media should have interviewed the person or persons allegedly seated next to her- can you imagine waking up from a snooze and hearing that alleged sound coming from the passenger next to you...and then hearing the sound again, for the second cup? #2- As she was allegedly walking down the aisle towards the lavatory, holding the two cups of golden amber liquid, can you imagine someone further back in the plane, seeing her holding the cups, and thinking she was a FA, and reaching out and grabbing one of the cups and taking a swig?

stanscan May 13, 2017

I have a different take on this. I watched the video of this woman telling her story -- and I believe her. She doesn't strike me as an experienced traveler. She's not like those reading and commenting on FT who would know she is allowed to just ignore the FA's instructions and go ahead to the lav. If the FA says, "Seat belt sign is on, you need to remain in your seat," to anyone who even mildly respects authority, that is taken as an order to remain seated. When a further explanation is offered, and the same phrase, "you must remain in your seat when the light is on," is repeated over and over, again IMHO a person could more than reasonably interpret that as being told they could not proceed to use the lav. (And that's what FAs are supposed to do, that is, keep repeating that same phrase when needed or asked.) What went wrong in this situation was the woman made a sarcastic comment ("I'll need a cup") and the FA inappropriately called her bluff by handing her two cups. At that point it was all over as in the situation had deteriorated beyond the state of ridiculousness. After that, the FA seemed to continue the petty power trip. (As every adult who flies knows, authority figures never back down, apologize,or admit they were wrong or made a mistake.) I relate to this story. Even after having flown three million miles and finally figuring out that I can go to the lav if I really have to, I still obey the seat belt sign for as long as I possibly can until my prayers to turn it off go unanswered! Rather than being accusatory, I think we should give this woman a break. If the FA would have given this woman a break, then we would never have heard about this alleged episode. Think about the first, fifth, or tenth time you flew and had to resist the urge and you might gain some sympathy. After all that, if you can excuse me, I have to use the lav myself!

rudhawk May 11, 2017

I agree, this is less than fake news. If CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV actually did run this story, then shame on them for not investigating further and verifying the incident actually happened. Also, please quit posting stories on the internet about "alleged" incidents unless you, yourself< intend to verify them.