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Airline apologizes to passenger who had to urinate in air-sickness bag

Sunday, March 18, 2007

SALT LAKE CITY -- SkyWest Airlines apologized to a passenger who said he wasn't allowed to use the restroom during a one-hour flight and ended up urinating in an air-sickness bag.

James Whipple said he had two "really big beers" at the Boise, Idaho, airport. While on a flight to Salt Lake City on March 7 he wanted to use the cabin restroom.

The captain had declared it off-limits during the short flight because a light wasn't working.

Whipple said he had used the bathroom before the plane departed but had to go again and finally reached for the air-sickness bag.

No other passengers noticed Whipple using the bag, but a flight attendant asked him about it and told the captain, who called airport police.

Whipple was questioned and took a taxi home to Sandy, a Salt Lake City suburb.

The airline sent him a letter of apology and a flight voucher, SkyWest spokeswoman Sabrena Suite-Mangum said Friday.

She said SkyWest decided to go ahead with the flight and get the light fixed in Salt Lake City, rather than delaying it or canceling it for repairs.

"For such a short flight, we really felt we were trying to inconvenience the least number of passengers possible by operating that flight," Suite-Mangum said.


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