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A female EVA Air flight attendant said she was forced to undress a passenger and then clean his backside after the man used the lavatory during a flight from Los Angeles to Taipei last week.
The Taiwan union that represents the country’s flight attendants is demanding change following Saturday’s incident, when members of an all-female staff were allegedly forced to strip down a man’s underwear and wipe his backside after he used the washroom.
During a press conference on Monday, the flight attendant and members of her union said the man, who is confined to a wheelchair, asked three flight attendants to assist him in the washroom, Focus Taiwan reported.
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“I felt that as a flight attendant, removing a passenger’s underwear was beyond the scope of my responsibilities,” the unnamed flight attendant said during the press conference.
The airline employee said they tried to cover the man’s genitals with a blanket, but the passenger slapped her hand away. The passenger also demanded the lavatory door be left open because “he couldn’t breathe.” His request was denied.
The passenger then allegedly refused to leave the washroom unless someone helped clean his backside. The flight attendant told reporters she had to lift the man while another colleague cleaned him, demanding her to wipe “deeper.”
The English language news outlet reported the same passenger had defecated in his pants on a previous flight last year, but the man was never blacklisted from the airline.
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Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union said the incident should be constituted as sexual harassment and is demanding EVA launch a lawsuit against the passenger.
On Tuesday, EVA issued a statement saying it values their employees.
“We take their safety and wellbeing very seriously. Our guidelines for passengers with special needs mirror those of the U.S. Department of Transportation and obligate passengers to provide prior notice if they require special assistance during flights,” EVA said in a statement. “Our cabin crews are NOT required to assist passengers in use of lavatories, feed them or administer medications.
“They can refuse the demand, provide a verbal warning and take other steps that may be necessary,” EVA said.