United Airlines is denying that its staff told a Missouri woman to urinate in a cup rather than leave her seat to use the restroom on a flight from Houston last month.
Nicole Harper told NBC affiliate KSHB she suddenly had to urinate because of an overactive bladder on the flight to Kansas City, Missouri. But the seatbelt sign was illuminated, and she wasn't allowed to get up and use the restroom.
"I said 'I'm going to need to use the restroom or I'm going to need a cup.' They handed me the cup which was about this big and I was like 'I'm going to need a second cup.'" Harper told the station.
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She told KCTV that a flight attendant told her she wasn't allowed to stand up because the pilot was expecting turbulence, after having waited through drink service.
She told the stations that members of the flight crew publicly reprimanded her after she filled two cups.
Harper said it happened less than 30 minutes into the flight. United contended in a statement that it occurred during the plane's descent.
"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," the United Airlines statement said, according to NBC News.
United added that it has reached out to Harper to "better understand what occurred." She contends United has been unhelpful in her attempts to reach out.
The alleged incident occurred around the same time a passenger was dragged from a United flight in Chicago, sparking uproar over the way United treats people who fly the airline and a review of its customer service practices.