What happens when a passenger absolutely must use the bathroom on board a jet and the flight attendants telll him he can’t? Nothing good can come of that.
What came of it for Joao Correa, a passenger on a Delta flight last month, was a felony assault charge, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Correa, returning to his home in Ohio from a trip to Honduras, was suffering from intestinal distress. With a beverage cart blocking his access to the lavatories in coach, Correa asked if he could use the vacantbusiness class lavatory.The flight attendant refused, citing FAA regulations. He sat down again. The beverage cart didn’t move and Correa, overcome with the urgent need to use the bathroom, got up and headed into business class.
A flight attendant blocked his way. He says he grabbed her arm to keep his balance. She says he deliberately twisted her arm. Ultimately the pilot came out of the cockpit and allowed Correa to use the bathroom.
When the flight landed, the FBI charged Correa with assault.
This is unbelievable. There is no regulation that forbids coach passengers to use first- and business-class lavatories. The TSA requires only that the crew announce that coach passengers are not permitted to relocate into the forward cabin. Most airlines ordinarily won’t let coach passengers use forward lavs, but they are certainly allowed to permit it in an emergency.
So how about this? The flight attendants could ask the passenger, “Is it urgent, sir?” And if he said it was, they could immediately move the cart for access to the coach lavatory or let him use the forward one. “No” is simply not an acceptable answer in these circumstances.
Did Correa assault a flight attendant? Maybe a little. I don’t know. But I wonder who among us would not, in the throes of an intestinal illness, desperately push our way into a bathroom to avoid the humiliation and disgust of not making it in time.
What is wrong with Delta? What is wrong with the FBI?