Between settling out of court with a passenger who was violently removed from his flight, and allegedly killing a giant rabbit and covering their tracks, United Airlines deserves a break. Right? Wrong, according to Nicole Harper of Kansas City, Missouri, who opened up about a rather demeaning experience in a viral Facebook post a month after the fact. She allegedly suffered at the hands of several United flight attendants who would’t let her use the restroom, and when she joked about having to pee in a cup, they offered her one while still refusing her access to the lavatory.
“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,” Harper wrote of her trip aboard United flight 6056 from Houston to Kansas City one month prior. “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.”
Amazingly, Harper added, her ordeal occurred the same day Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from his United flight in Chicago. “I said ‘I’m going to need to use the restroom or I’m going to need a cup,'” she later told a local NBC affiliate. “They handed me the cup which was about this big and I was like ‘I’m going to need a second cup.'” Harper explained she has been “talking to them throughout this process,” but United “[hasn’t] given me any sort of explanation or answers.”
After her Facebook post went viral over the weekend, attracting local and national media attention, United issued a statement regarding Harper’s claims. According to the airline, Harper’s attempt to use the restroom occurred during the flight’s “final descent” of a Mesa Airlines (which is in a partnership under the United Airlines umbrella):
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 final descent and was instructed to remain seated with the seat belt fastened per FAA regulations. The situation as described by Ms. Harper and our employees is upsetting for all involved. We have reached out to Ms. Harper and our flying partner Mesa Airlines to better understand what occurred.
However, during her interview with CBS affiliate KCTV, she claimed the incident happened 30 minutes into the flight. “They started doing drink service other people getting up at this point,” she added.