Typically, when an airline passenger is booted off a flight, it’s usually because of bad behavior — like, say, shouting at a woman and her baby.
But in the case of Beth Evans and Josh Moran, a trip to Dubai was waylaid by Evans’s period. The British couple say they were unfairly ordered off their Emirates flight from Birmingham, U.K., after a flight attendant overheard Evans complain about her menstrual cramps and raised concerns that she would be a health risk on the seven-hour journey. Though many women can experience debilitating cramps, Evans described hers as mild.
“To be kicked off for period pains — it was madness,” Moran told The Sun. “Beth was in tears and getting upset when the hostess was asking her questions. It’s embarrassing to have to explain about period pains when it’s being overheard.”
The 26-year-old barber added that the flight crew didn’t offer medical assistance before asking the pair to disembark.
“They didn’t have anyone look her over,” Moran said. “They just contacted a medical team in the U.S., and they said Beth couldn’t fly.”
The couple have also claimed that they had to pay an additional £250 (about $350) to rebook their flights.
A spokesman for Emirates confirmed the incident to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“We can confirm that Ms. Beth Evans was offloaded from flight EK40 on Feb. 17 due to a medical emergency,” a spokesperson for the airline said. “The passenger alerted the crew onboard that she was suffering from discomfort and pain and mentioned that she was feeling unwell. The captain made the decision to request medical support and offload Ms. Evans so she could access medical assistance as needed.
“The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and we would not have wanted to endanger Ms. Evans by delaying medical help had she worsened during the seven-hour flight to Dubai. We hope Ms. Evans felt better soon and look forward to welcoming her onboard again soon.”
While Evans’s experience sounds extreme, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that airlines “have the right to to refuse to carry passengers with conditions that may worsen, or have serious consequences, during the flight.” This includes conditions that may “be aggravated” during air travel.
According to WHO, “if cabin crew suspect before departure that a passenger may be ill, the aircraft’s captain will be informed and a decision taken as to whether the passenger is fit to travel, needs medical attention, or presents a danger to other passengers and crew or to the safety of the aircraft.”
It’s advised to check with a doctor before flying, particularly if you’re pregnant, have an underlying health condition, or have had a recent medical or dental procedure. And if your only concern is manageable period cramps, stock up on supplies and hope that the flight crew leaves you to it.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Fitness model Jen Selter kicked off Miami flight by police
- United Airlines cancels ticket of woman trying to see her dying mother
- ‘I flew to Paris for $480 and was shocked when I saw my seat’