Woman thrown off flight after being overheard complaining of period pains
When it comes to traveling by aeroplane, there are loads of rules that have to be followed. On top of ensuring your luggage is within the correct weight restrictions, you also have to be careful about what sort of things you take into the cabin with you, bring all the correct documentation and flight information, and try to be on your best behavior once you actually make it on board.
Unfortunately, even if you follow all these regulations to the letter, airlines can still kick you off the flight for various reasons. Sometimes it's because the flight is overbooked, other times it's because a passenger is seriously ill.
In Beth Evans' case, however, it was because she was on her period.
Evans, a 24-year-old teaching assistant from the UK, was ordered off of a £400 ($560) flight to Dubai along with her boyfriend, Josh Moran, after she was overheard talking about her menstrual pain.
As airline staff have a duty to ensure that all their passengers remain safe and well throughout the duration of the flight, they decided it would be best to intervene, and began quizzing Evans on the severity of her pain. They then decided that the young woman would need a medical assessment before permitting her to take the seven-hour flight.
However, because a doctor wasn't available to give the assessment, both Evans and Moran were asked to leave the aircraft.
"They didn't have anyone look her over. They just contacted a medical team in the US and they said Beth couldn't fly," said Moran.
The plane then departed without them, leaving Evans and Moran no other choice but to pay an extra £250 ($350) to re-book their flights.
"To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness. Beth was in tears and getting upset when the hostess was asking her questions," said Evans' boyfriend, a 26-year-old Barber. "It's embarrassing to have to explain about period pains when it's being overheard."
The young woman had even explained quite clearly to staff that the problem was minimal, saying that it was only a "one out of 10" on the pain scale.
What's more, menstrual cramps are very rarely a severe issue - not one that would disrupt a flight, anyway - and so to turn a woman away for something she presumably deals with every month seems absolutely ludicrous. And yet, the airline has defended its decision and said that it is not legally obliged to cover any excess costs accrued by Evans and Moran as a result of her "illness".
In a statement given via a spokesperson, Emirates have denied all culpability for what happened.
"The passenger alerted crew that she was suffering from discomfort and pain and mentioned she was feeling unwell," they said. "The captain made the decision to request medical support and offload Ms Evans so she could access medical assistance. We would not have wanted to endanger Ms Evans by delaying medical help had she worsened during the flight."
Unfortunately, the law supports the airline's actions, and so it seems unlikely that Evans or Moran will be compensated at all for the inconvenience.