Pee in a cup on a UA flight


Oct 29, 2003

A passenger claims that flight attendants (on a Mesa Airlines) wouldn’t let her get up to use the washroom after the pilot turned on the fasten seatbelt sign. Apparently she has an overactive bladder and either needs to go to use the restroom or pee in a cup. She was handed a cup by the flight attendants. Actually, she filled up 2 cups. Going public with this because UA customer service has not responded to her satisfaction.
FF, I am not sure how to respond to this story. As I am a little confused. A woman drops her panties on a public flight to pee in cup handed to her by F/A. Now, if I or you (assuming your a man also) were to do this we would be in jail for exposure. 2- On a sympathy note, I do know woman can hold themselves longer than men can, and yes I know she had an over active bladder, but, my point here is if she did that right there and then, holy cow she had to go big time is what that tells me. If she is aware of her over active bladder then why not visit the ladies room just prior to getting in line to board? Just like I said after the first biggie with Dr. Dao. This IS going to get worse. The public is trying to regain a little more control from the airlines while flying.
The thought also occurred to me as I have a similar problem as the lady. If I know I'm going to be "captive" for awhile I make sure I make a trip to the loo whether or not I feel an urgency to go. Only someone who never flies would not know that during takeoff and landing there is an extended period where the seat belt sign is on. Go before you get on the plane and again when you're about 20-30 minutes from landing. Passengers these days have the attitude that whatever I want to do and when I want to do it, it is my Constitutional right to do on my schedule.

That being said, I don't think the f/as handled it particularly well. If I see a passenger out of their seat when the sign is on, I am supposed to say to them "The seat belt sign is on." We are there to inform, not enforce. If the passenger says they really have to go (as this woman evidently did), we repeat that the seat belt sign is on, but we never say that you can't use the lav.. One is tiptoeing along the edge of a very deep legal chasm when one makes decisions about someone else medical problems--such as, overactive bladder. Even if we are in sterile cockpit prior to landing, I will still inform the captain that there is a passenger out of his/her seat and why. I've never had one abort a landing over someone being in the lav.

An FAA cabin safety inspector said to me once, 'You can't make them return to their seats, and besides it's not your job. Just make sure you don't even give them even implied permission to be up." He then pointed out that those f/as who say "Just be careful" or "You're up at your own risk' (which they have no legal standing to say) have just given the passenger implied permission to be up. That makes the company and the flight attendant liable for any injuries the passenger may sustain.

The Inspector told me to just keep saying "the seat belt sign is on" and if they get horsey and say "I heard you the first 3 times, can I go to the rest room", the response should be 'Sir or Madam, what I can legally say to you is "The seat belt sign is on." Then if they persist and go on to the lav, any injuries they sustain are not chargeable to the company or the flight attendant.
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I don't know what to say about this story.

I can only shake my head and wonder:
i) what was the passenger thinking? (I don't want to judge, but as jimntx mentioned - if I know that my medical condition forces me to 'go', and often, I'd make sure to 'go' before landing [actually I'd 'go' after boarding and during the flight too, just to be on the safe side])
ii) what was the flight attendant thinking (handing / handling the pee cups)

This allegedly happened on UA the same day as the "re-accomodation" of Dr. Dao and the lady is only coming public because of her displeasure of how UA customer service handled her complaint. Ofcourse, at any other time the media might ignore these types of stories, but unpleasant passenger experiences on airlines are going to be in the news for a little while more.
Well, truth is the 'fasten seat belt' sign is a tool to keep every one 'else' in their seat while fa's prepare for service. How is it that the sign only applies to customers while the fa;s are walking around making coffee, using the bathroom and preparing the beverage cart (which have hundreds of projectiles if CAT is an issue)?
Think about it!

You frequent flyers should have caught on years ago.
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Yes, because common sense says that anything that goes viral is entirely accurate and indicative of what happens to the other 2-3M people who fly on the airline every week..... :rolleyes:
JMHO, I find it telling that no pilot and/or FA has handed my my A$$ in a hat.
Wonder why that is?
I have flown many times and it is miraculous that 'after service', the 'seat belt' sign is extinguished.
Having an FA run back and forth to the galley to get cups so that this person can pee in them is cruel and inhumane.
Hopefully, there will be a class action suit against the collusion between pilots and fa's for abuse of the 'seat belt' sign being used as a tool instead of the intent to protect people from CAT.

This is not just a United issue, they all do it.

B) xUT