Awful Passenger Meets EVA Air Hospitality – in the Lavatory – and it Gets Crazier From There

On an EVA Air Los Angeles to Taipei flight on Saturday a passenger’s behavior was so bizarre, and pushed the envelope with flight attendants to such a degree, that the union is demanding changes at the carrier.

  • Let me begin by saying I understand how challenging it can be to travel with a disability, to rely on help from others, and to have to use the bathroom inflight when mobility is limited.

  • Let me also say that it is not the responsibility of flight attendants to assist in the process of going to the bathroom, and if a passenger cannot manage this on their own then they need to travel with a caregiver.

A passenger who boarded the flight in a wheelchair asked to be moved to a row with three empty seats and this was given to him. He told flight attendants that his hand was broken and needed help going to the bathroom. The lavatory in economy was too small so he was allowed to use the business class toilet.

Once inside he pressed the assistance button. His underwear was halfway down and he asked for help getting it down the rest of the way.

The flight attendant at first refused, but the man, sitting on the toilet with his legs open and genitals exposed, insisted, and pleaded that he could not complete his ablutions with his underwear only half-down.

“Come in and help me out … you promised to help me!” he said.

The flight attendant put a blanket over the passenger’s groin, donned a pair of surgical gloves and helped pull down the man’s underwear.

He insisted on leaving the lavatory door open. As he continued doing his business he “asked the flight attendant to wipe his bottom.”

While she initially demurred, he insisted, saying she promised to help him – and that if he couldn’t wipe he’d have to remain in the lavatory for the rest of the flight. So “the flight attendant donned three layers of surgical gloves.”

The passenger though wasn’t satisfied with the job she was doing and “kept saying ‘deeper, deeper!'”

Suggesting he wasn’t just in need of more thorough cleaning, but ‘taking advantage of the situation’ in his own way, when the flight landed male ground crew took him off the plane, asked if he needed help using the restroom, he declined saying he could do it on his own.

The flight attendant “shut herself up in a toilet cubicle, vomited, and cried” after the ordeal.


(Credit:Taiwan English News)

According to reports on Flyertalk that they decided they couldn’t leave the man in the lavatory due to turbulence, he refused blankets to ‘cover up’ and insisted three times that the flight attendant wasn’t wiping him properly. He said “you better have wiped me clean.”

This wasn’t the only time this happened inflight, he had to go to the lavatory a second time and a different group of flight attendants rinsed, repeated.

Here’s Taiwanese news video showing the passenger coming off the flight, and still images from inflight:

This same passenger sought similar flight attendant assistance on a May 2018 Los Angeles – Taipei – Bangkok trip where flight attendants refused, so he did his business “in the seat.” Rumor is that the flight crew received a disciplinary hearing as a result, and were warned. There are also suggestions this isn’t the only time this individual used his seat as a toilet on EVA Air.

Since the story went viral other reports surfaced of him behaving similarly on Thai Airways. He has also “spill[ed] juice into his crotch area and then demands [flight attendants] wipe it for him. They gave him napkins to clean himself, but he wants them to clean it and says ‘you can do better.'”

Already the incident has escalated with the flight attendants union because apparently the airline refused to recognize the traumatizing ordeal for work injury leave.

Here’s the union’s press conference.

The union demands that the passenger get banned, the flight attendants be allowed time off, and male flight attendants should be hired though it’s not clear what they’d have done in this situation — although it seems to me that the passenger’s behavior would have warranted security meeting the aircraft on arrival, and if there was a safety threat from his behavior and turbulence the the plane perhaps should have diverted.

Unfortunately as much of the Taiwanese coverage of this incident that I’ve seen focuses on the man’s age and weight for why the incident was disgusting — rather than the specifics of what happened.

What do you think, what should flight attendants have done here and how should the airline respond?

(HT: @tarheeljason)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Clearly this dude is making sex trips to SE Asia, and one of his “games” (ahem!) is to get the flight attendants to give him a free session.

    Ban him ban him ban him.

  2. This is disgusting! As a Purser on one of the “Big Three”, I would have never allowed one of my flight attendants assist in cleaning a passenger. It is our responsibility to help him to the lavatory safely. On our international aircraft, we have at least one lavatory that will expand and accommodate two people. This passenger should have either had a travel companion or should have been able to clean himself just as any other passenger. Passengers with disabilities are no different. Over the last 20+ years I have been flying, I have to assist in pulling down /up a paraplegic pants twice. It’s embarrassing for all parties. We want to help. But their are limits, and this passenger exceeded mine.

  3. Too bad he didn’t pull this on United. They would have kicked him in the genitals, locked him in the lavatory, and diverted, where he would have been arrested. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been banned by other airlines. He’s probably done this gimmick on quite a few different airlines.

    Last time I checked, being fat wasn’t a handicap. It’s his own damn fault that he is fat–and not just fat, but grossly fat.

  4. Clearly this gentleman is taking full advantage of his disability. Whether or not he really needs help, the FA’s are not there to wipe private places.
    Ban this guy from all airlines!

  5. Ghastly and unspeakably repulsive. Only missing the MAGA T and cap.
    He needs to be locked away in order to prevent further harm to others.

  6. Ugly American at its best. If he lives in China he will be identified in minutes thru the viral clip by fellow citizens and getting proper scolding publicly so he remembers what he did wrong.

  7. Ugly American at its best. If he lives in China he will be identified in minutes thru the viral clip by fellow citizens and getting proper scolding publicly so he remembers what he did wrong.

  8. Just reading about this story makes my stomach turn. Obviously, this guy needs to be banned from flying, unless he pays for his own keepers.

    I cannot be bothered to argue with bozos that think this article is somehow political.

  9. No flight attendant should be responsible for wiping someone’s private parts or help with dressing. If they need that type of assistance, they should fly with a caregiver. Airlines need to ensure this before the ticket is purchased, as well as at the gate. Politics has nothing to do with this, as well as with many other issues.

  10. People like this that ruin our Americans image abroad. Sad. He needs to be banned …but he wont be. This sort of behavior is accepted with thr help of lawyers, of course.

  11. He should be banned by EVA and anyone else he’s pulled this on. However a couple of points…

    1) EVA, as much as I love flying with them, should allow male F/As…not necessarily for this reason but because its the 21st century.

    2) The comment on this guy’s fatness being his fault is not entirely true. For some people obesity is entirely their fault but for others there are mitigating circumstances (medical issues) that mess with ones normal body functions. Let’s try to avoid the broad brush paint strokes unless/until you know exactly the reason for his condition.

  12. This passenger’s conduct is both outrageous and gross! He is an embarrassment to himself and others; exhibits no shame! If truly disabled, he should be traveling with a care giver. It’s obvious he was dishonest and scamming the flight crew with his antics. He definitely should be ban from further travel on EVA and other airlines which have experienced such situations. Airlines should be fully supportive of their flight crews who are involved with similar conditions.

  13. Wipe his butt? Did he expect a “Happy Ending” too? Next time make him ride in the cargo hold!

  14. I would ban him from every airline. I would charge him criminally with fraud and with assault, too. He is yet another example of why #MeToo exists–to rid the world of worthless men like this who try to take advantage of women. What a scumbag.

  15. I think fat unattractive men are perverts and do what they can and when they can to achieve a semblance of a sex life, and I would hope Taiwanese and global media did emphasize it was the man’s weight and appearance which generally did make this 10 times more disgusting. If it had been David Beckham asking I would have gotten up twelve rows over and begged him for the opportunity but you couldn’t pay me 5 million dollars to do it for this gross blob. It’s like, we live in a sanitized world where we have to pretend fat slobs are equal in sexual and labor capital to the rest of us and they just aren’t. If they want to be, they know what they have to do, and yet they choose not to.

  16. Ladies & Gentlemen:
    Please!! Leave Politics out of this and respect each other and their opinions a little better?? This man’s expectation that the Flight Attendants are there for his personal hygiene is unrealistic as well as predatory towards the little Ladies that serve food & drinks to the other passengers. We are travelling EVA this week and are Care Givers for a 20 year old CP patient who will be travelling with us (we even bought 2 seats for his use so we could have him stretch out during the long flight). We don’t expect any of the Flight crew to assist in his care or personal hygiene!!!
    I would hope that in Future EVA does hire male flight crew.
    Until then, please be courteous and respectful to your fellow passengers and crew.

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