A 24-year-old woman in the United Kingdom said she and her boyfriend were removed from an Emirates flight bound for Dubai after an attendant overheard her complaining about menstrual cramps.
Beth Evans and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Joshua Moran, said a flight attendant overheard Evans’s conversation and expressed concerns about her health — even though she said she rated her pain “1 out of 10,” according to the Times of London. Just before the plane was scheduled to depart Birmingham, England, on Saturday afternoon, they said, they were booted from the flight, according to the Sun.
“To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness,” Moran told the Sun after the incident. “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.”
Moran declined to be interviewed by The Washington Post.
Emirates said in a statement that Evans was “offloaded” because of “a medical emergency.”
“The passenger alerted the crew onboard that she was suffering from discomfort and pain and mentioned that she was feeling unwell,” it read. “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.”
But the couple told the Sun the attendant simply heard Evans talking about her discomfort.
Evans told the Sun that she would have been fine to take the six-and-a-half-hour trip, but she and Moran were forced to leave and pay $350 each to reschedule the trip.
The airline states on its website that although circumstances are assessed on a case-by-case basis, passengers with certain medical conditions may not be permitted to fly, such as those suffering from communicable diseases, congestive cardiac failure or severe respiratory diseases, uncontrolled seizures or pregnancies past the 36th week. It does not list period pain.
Reaction to the incident was … not positive.
“WTF is wrong with you people? Removing a pax because of period pains!” one Facebook user wrote on the airline’s page.
“Please be sure not to fly Emirates if you’re having your period,” another person wrote. “You may be thrown off your flight.”
This post has been updated.