An all-female crew of Taiwanese airline EVA air was recently traumatised by an encounter with a nightmarish American passenger aboard a flight from Los Angeles to Taipei.
According to Taiwan-based media outlet SETN, the Caucasian passenger, who was obese, had demanded the crew assist him to the lavatory, pull down his pants and underwear for him, and clean his butt when he was finished afterwards.
A flight attendant who had bore the brunt of the ordeal subsequently took to Facebook to recount her experience, adding that she had thrown up and cried after escorting the passenger back to his seat.
The flight attendant also called out the airline's company culture for not doing more to protect its employees against unreasonable customers and added that the crew had acceded to the passenger's request as it was against flight regulations to have passengers in the lavatory during takeoff and landing.
A translated English summary of her post can be found in the following post by Facebook user Jeff Lin:
Demanded help on account of his obesity and surgery
According to the flight attendant, the ordeal had begun when the American had requested to use the lavatory and asked for help getting up from the toilet bowl as his right arm was still recovering from surgery.
The flight attendant added that upon being brought to the economy-class lavatory, the passenger complained it was too small on account of his size.
She then agreed to let him use the business-class lavatory and helped him to close the door.
This kicked off a series of escalating demands from the passenger.
Upon closing the door, the passenger immediately pressed the Call Light button.
When the crew opened the door again to check on him, the passenger replied that he could only remove his underwear halfway and asked for help stripping.
The flight attendant highlighted that by this point, his genitals were already exposed. She passed him a blanket to cover his genitals and told him that she was unable to help him.
This led to the passenger's retort, "How do you expect me to poop?"and his subsequent demand that the flight attendant come in to help him strip his underwear as she had agreed to assist him earlier.
Reluctantly, the flight attendant agreed to do so by putting on a pair of latex gloves and removed his underwear for him.
The passenger then asked that the door of the lavatory be left open so that he could breathe easier while pooping.
On this demand, the flight attendant refused him by closing the door and waited for him to finish.
Moaned while having his butt wiped
The worse was yet to come, however.
When the passenger stated that he was finished, the flight attendant opened the door, only to find the passenger still seated on the toilet bowl, whereupon he promptly said:
"Come over here and wipe my butt."
The flight attendant replied that she couldn't as the cabin crew was an all-female crew.
This drew the passenger's irate response that he could not possibly be left in the toilet for the rest of the flight as he had already pooped and his insistence "You agreed!"
The flight attendant wrote that in the end, as the crew agreed they could not leave a passenger in the lavatory, the Chief Purser decided to take on the unsavoury task of wiping him down herself.
Putting on three layers of gloves, she proceeded to wipe his butt while the first flight attendant helped to hold him up.
Throughout the entire debacle, the passenger moaned:
The flight attendant then had to help the passenger put on his underwear, adding that her brain was a blank by this point.
It was only when she had escorted him back to his seat that she went to the lavatory to cry and throw up.
Did not require assistance to use the toilet after landing
The flight attendant added that upon landing at Taoyuan airport, the passenger requested for a wheelchair, claiming that walking would result in his foot being injured.
She noted that the passenger was assisted by two males.
Upon being asked if he needed assistance to use the toilet, he replied no.
EVA Air responds
In response to the flight attendant's account of the incident and subsequent press conference on the matter, EVA air replied that the airline's flight attendants are not obliged to provide special care to passengers such as toilet assistance, feeding and medical services.
EVA Air also pointed out that other flight attendants have also encountered similar incidents in the past, where they refused the passengers. In such cases, the airline has never blamed the crew and will not do so in the future.
The airline further added that if a passenger makes excessive and unreasonable demands, flight attendants can use the procedures on handling abnormal passengers to respond.
As for the passenger himself, EVA Air added that the passenger had no abnormality in his previous 20 flights in the company and that he had not put forward any special needs request. However, the passenger had made a similar request on a flight last year, whereupon he was refused by the flight attendant and helped by another passenger instead.
In the meantime, the flight attendant has stated that she will be seeking counselling on the matter.
Hopefully she recovers soon.
Top image collage from Jeff Lin Facebook
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