The Curious Case Of The Diaper Disposed On A United Airlines Flight

In a bizarre turn of events, reports have emerged that a United passenger has been placed on the airline’s no-fly list for disposing of a diaper in an aircraft’s bathroom. The July 9th incident occurred on a United Express flight operated by Mesa Airlines from Montana to Texas.

United Express Mesa Airlines Embraer 175
The incident took place four days ago. Photo: Russell Sekeet via Flickr

Reports of a biohazard

According to NBC, Dr Farah Khan was traveling from Kalispell to Houston when the incident occurred. Having placed a dirty diaper in the bin in the aircraft’s bathroom, a flight attendant took issue with this, yelling at Dr Khan about it being a ‘biohazard.’ Having had to return to the bathroom and remove it, which ‘shocked and humiliated’ her, another attendant later informed Dr Khan that her initial disposal of the diaper was correct.

However, but the matter wasn’t over. Once in Houston, she was called by United to tell her that, owing to the ‘biohazard incident,’ she was now on the carrier’s no-fly list. What particularly concerned Dr Khan was that she didn’t know how the caller, who she suspects was the flight attendant, got her phone number. She explained that:

Protection and privacy of information is sacred to me and so the fear steams from what else he was able to access, what else he is willing to do, what else he willing to act on.”

United Express Embraer 175
Dr Khan was traveling with her family at the time of the incident. Photo: United Airlines

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Reactions to the incident

The incident has seen demands made by groups like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Washington for a prompt response from the airlines involved. Imraan Siddiqi, the Council’s Executive Director, stated that the incident “violates every level of professionalism, but it’s also a violation of this woman’s privacy and her civil rights.

Regarding the incident, United reportedly told KOMO News that it had “reached out to our customer and our regional partner Mesa Airlines, who operated this flight, to get a better understanding of what occurred.” Mesa Airlines subsequently added that:

The details as described by our customer do not meet the high standards that Mesa sets for our flight attendants and we are reviewing the matter.”

Mesa Airlines Tail Getty
Mesa Airlines is one of several carriers that operates regional flights under the United Express brand. Photo: Getty Images

The flight in question

The flight on which the supposed biohazard incident occurred was numbered as UA6132 / YV6132. According to data from RadarBox.com, This particular service runs six times a week, departing at 08:30 local time every day except Sunday. The flight’s origin is Kalispell’s Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in the state of Montana.

With a scheduled flight time of three hours and 57 minutes, this service’s scheduled arrival at Texas’s Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is 13:27 local time. On the day of the incident (July 9th), it left just over an hour late, at 09:31.

However, it arrived in Houston a mere 33 minutes down, at 14:00. The aircraft that operated this particular iteration of the flight was an Embraer 175 regional jet, registered as N85323. Data from ch-aviation.com shows that this aircraft is 6.27 years old.

What do you make of this incident? Have you ever heard of someone being placed on a no-fly list for such a reason? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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