United Airlines has responded to a passenger's claims of being forced to urinate in a cup during a flight. Nicole Harper of Kansas City said she was "unable to get through" to United's customer service regarding the incident, KMBC 9 News reported. Over the weekend, Harper detailed the alleged incident in a Facebook post, accusing the crew on her flight home from Houston of providing her with a cup instead of allowing her to use the restroom. United, however, has denied this.
"On the same day United Airlines drags a passenger off an overbooked flight, they forced me to pee in a cup...and then shamed me," Harper said on Facebook on Saturday of the incident, alleged to have occurred in April. "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."
In an interview with KCTV 5 News on Tuesday, Harper said she felt she was "being punked" when she allegedly had to resort to filling "two cups" with her husband's assistance. "[A flight attendant] was basically reprimanding me and talking down to me through the aisle with other people listening," Harper said.
In a statement to Complex on Wednesday, a United representative said they were reviewing the incident:
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 and we continue to review what happened.
2017 has proven to be a difficult public relations year for United. In April, as referenced in Harper's Facebook post, video surfaced of a passenger being violently removed from a flight to make room for United crew members. The passenger, Dr. David Dao, later reached a settlement with United. "[United CEO Oscar Munoz] said he was going to do the right thing, and he has," Thomas Demetrio, one of Dr. Dao's attorneys, told CNN. "In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened...without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago."