KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nicole Harper says she endured one of the most embarrassing moments of her life while on a United Airlines flight in April.
"It wasn't something that I wanted to do, wasn't something that I did to be difficult, it was the situation I was put in and I handled it the best that I could," the mother of two told Fox 4. "I get out of my seat to go to the bathroom, the flight attendant gets on the intercom and says I need to return to my seat."
Harper said she suffers from an overactive bladder and tried several times to go to the restroom, but flight attendants refused to let her up.
"They very rudely told me that I was not allowed to get out of my seat and at that point, I said `well I`m either going to need to go to the bathroom or you`re going to have to give me a cup to pee in or something,'" she said.
To her surprise, Harper said the attendant gave her two cups. Needing to relieve herself, Harper said she went right there in her seat.
"It`s so degrading because there are passengers, strangers, that I have to basically do this in front of," she said.
Harper said she was then escorted to the bathroom to empty the cups, then forced to hold onto the cups until she got off of the plane.
"They weren`t apologetic, they were extremely rude about it, and then they proceeded to basically treat me as if I was a criminal for doing this," Harper said.
Harper said she was told by attendants they would be filing a report and the entire row would need to be cleaned, even though she said no urine was spilled. Harper's hope is her story will help prevent others from being put in uncomfortable situations such as this.
"The more that people speak out about situations that have happened and being mistreated that hopefully there will be a shift in a way that these companies do business," she said.
United Airlines released the following statement:
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.