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United Airlines: Woman says she was told to 'pee in a cup' on flight

Nicole Harper, from Missouri, claims the airline then 'lied' about the incident

Julia Buckley
Friday 12 May 2017 09:32 BST
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Woman says she was forced to pee in cup on United flight

In the same week that United Airlines told staff to behave on the assumption that they are on camera at all times, a woman has claimed that she was told to urinate in a cup on board one of their planes.

Nicole Harper, from Missouri, says she was on a flight from Houston to Kansas City when she needed to use the toilet, and was prevented from doing so by flight attendants since the seatbelt sign was on.

In a lengthy Facebook post, she wrote

“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 incident took place on 9 April – the same day Dr David Dao was forcibly dragged off another United flight. Mesa Airlines was operating the flight for United, in the same way that the David Dao incident took place on Republic Airways metal.

Harper, who says made it to the toilet later in the flight, said that the flight attendants told her that they would file a report on her behaviour and summon the “hazmat team to clean the entire row”.

“They were the ones that gave me the cups knowing what I was planning to do with it,” she added.

However, in a statement, United said that Harper tried to go to the toilet while the plane was on its final descent, not during the flight. They told the New York Daily News:

“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 and we continue to review what happened.”

In response, Harper says that the airline refused to take her calls initially, and only contacted her when her story hit the news.

In her initial post, she wrote that during final descent, a passenger in first class was allowed to use the toilet by cabin crew.

“They also lied about the incident happening during the descent,” she wrote in a follow-up post.

“This all happened mid flight, while flight attendants were providing drink service.”

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