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B.C. woman says WestJet kicked her off plane for using bathroom too much

Click to play video: 'B.C. woman removed from flight for using washroom too many times'
B.C. woman removed from flight for using washroom too many times
WATCH: A woman travelling home to B.C. from Mexico says she was recently pulled off the plane before takeoff because she had to use the washroom several times. – Feb 14, 2024

A WestJet passenger says she was kicked off a flight for using the airplane’s bathroom too much before takeoff.

Joanna Chiu, a B.C. author, revealed in a series of posts to X (formerly Twitter) that she was forced to leave the aircraft departing Mexico before takeoff after making frequent trips to the washroom, caused by an “upset stomach.”

“Just got kicked off a @WestJet flight from Mexico because I had an upset stomach and was going to the washroom too much before takeoff. No promise of a hotel or rebooked flight. I had meds and was on the mend. Some customer service,” she wrote of the incident, which occurred earlier this month.

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To add insult to injury, Chiu alleged a WestJet supervisor in the airport was less than helpful after she accidentally left her money behind in her rush to deplane, and that the airline “refused” to pay for a taxi to a hotel.

The interaction with the supervisor caused her to “burst into tears,” she wrote, and while another WestJet employee was “much nicer,” the company still refused to give her a booking reference number for a rebooked flight.

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“She told me to just come back to the airport tomorrow and ask at the counter,” Chiu wrote.

It was only after she aired her grievances to social media that WestJet sent her the booking reference number, she claimed.

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“We sincerely apologize to Ms. Chiu for the inconvenience and discomfort she experienced during her recent travel experience, including the communication delay that occurred as she awaited an appropriate reaccommodation option,” a WestJet media relations rep told Global News in a statement.

The company said that “ensuring the wellbeing and safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority” and “we take any health-related concerns very seriously.”

It said removing unwell passengers is a “difficult, but required decision in the name of safety.”

It also said it reached out to Chiu via social media last week to make sure she had her booking reference and to “receive any feedback on her experience.”

Chiu shared that she is now back in Canada, safe and sound, but had some advice for other travellers: “If you go to the washroom before a flight, and the flight attendant asks if you are sick, say you just have a small bladder.”

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She added: “Check whether your destination is known for stomach bugs. Take probiotics etc. If you’re asked to deplane, take the time to gather wallet, passport, medications. Duolingo proved useful and off-line translation apps. If staff is abusive, ask for another to help you.”

Global News reached out to Chiu for further comment, but did not hear back as of press time.

The WestJet incident comes just weeks after an American Airlines flight was forced to turn around due to a passenger’s excessive flatulence. The disgruntled and gassy passenger was removed from the flight for deliberately passing gas and stinking up the aircraft.

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