Passenger sits in her urine for 7 hours after airline denied access to toilet

by Anshul
a plane flying in the sky

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Allegedly, Air Canada denied a passenger access to the onboard toilet when the flight was delayed by two hours, waiting to be taxied to the runway. The passenger unable to wait any longer had an accident in her seat and sat through the 7 hour journey from Bogota to Toronto.

Here is the sequence of events as narrated by the passenger;

  • She was traveling from Bogota to Dublin via Toronto on Air Canada.
  • The flight from Bogota to Toronto was delayed by two hours, waiting to be taxied to the runway. During the two hours, the passenger approached the staff several times to use the bathroom.
  • Having been denied access to the bathroom multiple times during the delay, the passenger had an accident while at her seat.
  • Humiliated and upset, the passenger sat in her seat for 7 hours of the journey to Toronto.
  • In Toronto,  the passenger decided to pay for a hotel to clean up and shower.
  • Upon reaching Dublin, the passenger shared her complaint with Air Canada and was offered a $500 airline voucher as compensation.

Here are some excerpts of her comments shared with DublinLive;

“I asked four times over a two-hour period if I could use the toilet and told a cabin crew member that it was an emergency and I was going to have an accident if they didn’t let me use the toilet.

“I was aggressively told to go to my seat and denied access to the bathroom eventually I had an accident.”

“On one of the many occasions when I asked to use the bathroom, I got out of my seat while the aircraft was still stationary and walked towards the toilet.

“I was aggressively told by who I assume was the head crew member to get back in my seat.

“I explained I had asked on several occasions to use the toilet and feared I was going to have an accident that I had already waited as long as I could but the plane wasn’t taking off or taxiing.

“That’s when the crew member named John screamed into my face ‘get back into your seat now ma’am’.”

“I was completely humiliated and visibly upset the cabin crew ignored me for the rest of the flight.

“When I was leaving the plane I looked for the different crew members who I had asked to use the toilet to left them know how disgusted I was at how they treated me but they had cowardly hid at the back of the plane.”

No matter how you slice and dice this story, the fact remains that common sense did not prevail and the airline/crew could have done many things differently. For starters, airline policies should accommodate for extenuating circumstances, especially when the same passenger begs multiple times to use a bathroom over two hours of delay. I cannot imagine being in such a position of helplessness and embarrassment, including the plight of fellow passengers.

I am all for giving the airline a benefit of doubt, but that Air Canada offered a compensation voucher shows poorly on their handling of the incident. Throwing money airline vouchers at allegations of human right violations is definitely not very Canadian.


Hat-Tip: @AirPassRightsCA

Title Image Source: Air Canada



BARRY MOSS October 2, 2019 - 6:28 pm

I think that if it had been me, I would have initiated legal proceedings unless AC was willing to settle for a lot more than a measly $500 voucher. Consider this: how much would an airline have to pay you for you to willingly humiliate yourself by publically urinating your own clothing and requiring you to sit in it for 7 hours, not to mention walking through the airport on arrival in soiled clothing that reeks of urine? That’s going to be a very high figure and that is what Air Canada should be forced to pay. In response to the offer of a $500 voucher, I would just let them know my lawyer would be in touch.

Points Miles and Bling October 3, 2019 - 2:14 am

Not sure what the conditions of the voucher are. I wonder if accepting the voucher is considered legal compensation…hope not!

Jake Frum State October 2, 2019 - 5:14 pm

During my last Air Canada flight they shut the front door and this older gentleman got up to get something from the overhead this flight attendant literally dash over and told him “no you cant do that. I need you to sit down now.” A couple people around me let out an audible geez. I just remembered AC crew take their job too seriously. They acted like he just opened the emergency door or something.

Points Miles and Bling October 2, 2019 - 6:06 pm

Its unfortunate, not surprising though. Crew have a difficult task at hand and see some very difficult and awkward situation, often hardens them into robots that must yell and crack down at every given opportunity. Airline regulations/training need to be such that it allows humane reactions to be first nature at all times.

Mike L October 2, 2019 - 12:37 pm

I’m pretty certain they cannot block access to the bathroom or flat out deny you access. They usually say something firm or something pissy (no pun intended), but you can just ignore them and go if it’s really necessary.

Points Miles and Bling October 2, 2019 - 12:45 pm

Easier said than done, I think. Most people would take the word of the crew as an order. If you outright refuse to follow ‘Safety protocols’, it can be grounds for being deplaned (in this case, flight was still on ground). Am sure there is a middle ground somewhere between sitting in urine and forcing yourself into the toilet. A more compassionate application of regulations is warranted in such situations, especially over two hours!!


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