Flight Attendant Demands To Know Why Passenger Needs The Bathroom, Says Her Answer Is Harassment

Right on the heels of that spicy flight attendant telling people they shouldn’t use the lavatory when they first board a plane, a JetBlue flight attendant confronts a passenger demanding to know why they could possibly need to use the lavatory since they’d spent a three hour delay in the terminal. And the crewmember even went so far as to claim airplane toilets don’t flush while the plane is on the ground.

A JetBlue passenger shares their bizarre experience on while flying on Monday.

Upon boarding they “tried to use the restroom” but a “flight attendant told [them] the flush doesn’t work before takeoff, and I said okay and returned to my seat.” Another flight attendant, though, invited them to use the lav.

However they the passenger went to do so, “the first flight attendant stood in front of the bathroom, blocked” them and said:

Explain to me why you need to use the bathroom right now I’m curious, after a three hour delay why could you possibly need to use the bathroom??

He “repeated the question two to three times” so the passenger answered. She said, she was on her period. And the crewmember “looked disgusted” and responded that she “didn’t need to say all that.” Indeed, she shouldn’t have had to! But he forced her to explain herself to access the bathroom.

The passenger confronted the flight attendant later in the flight, letting him know she felt the questioning was inappropriate. She asked his name in order to complain to JetBlue, and he refused saying she was harassing him (“I think he yelled it at least five times”). Another flight attendant backed him up,

When I came out [of the lavatory], a female flight attendant was there and started asking me why I was harassing her flight attendant. Hoping that she would be more sympathetic and help him understand why that line of questioning and his reaction were so inappropriate, I started telling her the entire story. When I got to the period part, she looked disgusted and said, “TMI, you really didn’t need to say that to him. Didn’t you think that would make him uncomfortable?”

This flight attendant “threatened to report [her] to the captain for harassing her flight attendant.” She was given a name for the first flight attendant, though, but it turned out to be a fake name.

To be clear, while you usually have plenty of time in the terminal to use the restroom and it’s also usually a better place to ‘go’ there is nothing wrong with using a plane’s lavatory at the start of boarding. There will be plenty of time to finish your business and get into your seat. And answering a flight attendant’s (in this case, inappropriate) question honestly and accurately is not harassment.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. JetBlue is impressing me less and less these days. As an AA flyer that frequently takes A321T transcon flights, I wouldn’t mind trying Mint some time if I found a reasonable way to book it. But I’m honestly starting not to care whether the partnership gets broken up, even as an NYC-based customer. None of their AA-affiliated connecting/feeder flights serve any of my other frequent destinations, so I’ve literally never booked B6 under the AA partnership umbrella.

  2. Besides the fact this “karen” flight attendant shows a terrible customer service attitude, what if the person needing the bathroom was getting sick or had some other immediate medical or non-medical emergency? Sometimes things come up quick even after a 3 hour wait at the gate. While it may not be “harassment”, it shows poor common courtesy by the FA to a paying customer.

  3. If this account of the events is accurate, then the flight attendants should be fired. Unfortunately, JetBlue’s FA union will probably prevent that from happening. As described, this definitely is harassment, but not of the FA.

  4. All FA should be apprised of the fact that there are many in this world that suffer from ailments requiring attendance in a lavatory at any (unexpected) time., lack of customer service and pure ignorance led to this incident

  5. When i gotta go, no one will prevent me from getting to a bathroom, or I’ll do my business right there, then they’ll have a mess to explain…

  6. Another day, another story about obnoxious, useless flight attendants. Maybe tomorrow there will be another story about the things self loading cargo should avoid doing so as to not annoy them, because they’re so stressed and their jobs are pretty much the hardest in the world,

  7. I never did understand why most others can’t use the facilities before they board and instead disrupt the boarding process.In all my decades I have never used the onboard toilet during the boarding process.Before I board I see hundreds to thousands of people sitting in gate areas doing nothing at the gate.Take care of your business before hand if at all possible..If you have a health problem ok we get it.
    That said I am not defending the behavior of the flight attendant if it happened .

  8. When someone tells me I can’t go I don’t mind. It’s my kidneys that are doing the arguing. I believe we had just landed and a flight attendant told me I couldn’t use the restroom. I didn’t feel I could wait so I went anyway. I got a look but when you got to go you got to go. I’m wearing an adult diaper next time. Hopefully that will hold it all.

  9. Sometimes I confront rudeness with rudeness. I might sweetly say, “Terminal colon cancer related bathroom issues. Is that an issue”?

  10. You have to be very careful as a passenger when you ask for a flight attendant’s name. It’s better to look for the first name on the badge and then document that with the flight number and departure and arrival airports, if you want to file a complaint.

    You would think that this is a standard consumer right, but flight attendants take it personally and some will not hesitate to exaggerate and change the story and report it to the pilot. The pilot doesn’t want any problems on the flight, and can ask you to leave the plane before takeoff, based solely on the flight attendant’s story.

  11. Some little Napoleons working as FAs do harass some passengers over lavatory use — even in the air when the seatbelt sign is off. Sometimes this happens while a passenger is trying to get to or into the lavatory. Sometimes it happens repeatedly while the passenger is inside the “locked” lavatory. And sometimes the harassment happens even after the passenger has left the lavatory.

    Before 9/11, I never would see such instances take place while in the air at cruising altitude with the seatbelt sign off. Since 9/11, seen it happen way too often with US airlines but never with other airlines unless it’s obviously sickness or incapacitation related.

  12. The lavs do flush on the ground as long as electrical power is supplied, which it is when boarding. Long time aircraft technician.

  13. Not necessarily true JG. Airbus aircraft require bleed pressure for flush and sink H2O
    Also I have flown on two JetBlue Airbus recently that had inop lavs on the ground but worked above 16,000 ft per MEL.

  14. “To be clear, while you usually have plenty of time in the terminal to use the restroom and it’s also usually a better place to ‘go’ there is nothing wrong with using a plane’s lavatory at the start of boarding. There will be plenty of time to finish your business and get into your seat. And…”

    To be clear, while victim blaming is alive and well the problem is with the authoritarian FAs who want to show you they’re the new Hitler. Imagine if a real air carrier did this.

    FAs have no business asking pax why they want to use the lav. The FA’s job at the boarding time is to make boarding smooth and quick, not “stand guard at the toilet.” Toilet police is pretty much what Jet Blue staff is, because Jet Blue is one big airborne toilet.

    I’m pretty sure on day one of “Learning how to pretend to care about customers” aka “Jet Blue FA training” they’re told that the goal is to be worse than SouthWest while complaining and bitching about those hateful pax.

    You fly Jet Blue not because you expect to be treated as a human being with rights; you do so to save money. Enjoy. Also, Jet Blue, if you feelz I’ve defamed you by pointing out how incompetent and uncaring you are, come sue me. I stand behind my word like you stand in front of a toilet.

  15. “Explain to me why you need to use the bathroom right now I’m curious, after a three hour delay why could you possibly need to use the bathroom??” He repeated the question two to three times and I finally said I was on my period. He looked disgusted and said I “didn’t need to say all that.”

    Just insane. Probably the worst customer service story I have heard in awhile and almost difficult to believe.

    But hiring shortages in all industries (pre and post pandemic) have made it more difficult to fire people, and employees not doing their, or doing them very poorly explains this to some extent.

  16. I am currently a flight attendant for a US airline . This is absolutely uncalled for and if.. that’s a big if the company does its usual research about this incident , these flight attendants should be terminated . No shielding from the union and the company should terminate all involved .

    I realize each incident has different points of view but for any flight attendant to deter a paying passenger from using the lav along with the attitude is a nonsense . As stated above , this woman could have had a personal health emergency . After all , the flight attendant’s primary role is for passengers comfort and safety when aboard the aircraft .

    Airlines are hiring desperately for the flight attendant position and anyone with a pulse can be hired . When flight attendants exhibit these abhorrent customer service related attitudes ; they should be fired as quickly as they were hired .

  17. Flight attendant: Why do you want to use the aircraft lavatory?
    You: I find it very challenging to poop using an air sickness bag in my assigned middle-row seat.

  18. @ Robb ,

    Been an FA for 37 years and please rest assured a lot of this stuff is BS made up crap. ( No Pun intended )

  19. Now that COVID is over it’s time to reconsider whether advertising flight attendant positions as being superheroes with unlimited power to punish people after 9/11 and then escalating it again during the mask-monitor years was the right call. It seems that many of the wrong people are being attracted to this job. We need to get back to an understanding that you’re being paid to pour drinks and fellate the pilot and if this isn’t what you want to do you can find another career. The idea that speaking out against the all-powerful flight attendants on constant power trips is some kind of blasphemy must be dispelled.

  20. These comments about flight attendants are atrocious. If this story is factual…then the FA is completely in the wrong, but for those of you uppity and “I am better than you” folks who want to demean a profession…shame on you.

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