Two US travellers are taking legal action against Alaska Airlines over use of a domestic first class toilet, claiming US$11,498 (A$12,375) in damages ranging from medical to emotional.
The young couple flew from Las Vegas to Portland in February this year in Alaska Airlines' first class (aka Australian business class) cabin when one of the two, according to the couple’s attorney, needed to use the restroom.
However, she was unable to do so because "passengers from (economy) kept walking up to use the first-class restroom", reports Oregon Live, making her "more uncomfortable by the minute as she waited for an opportunity to use the toilet."
According to Oregon Live, the female passenger asked a flight attendant if she would make an announcement stating that passengers were only to use the restrooms in their assigned cabins.
The flight attendant not only refusesed to do so but "got real snippy,” claims the attorney, and when the passenger eventually made it into the restroom, "the flight attendant slammed the door shut", injuring the passenger's shoulder.
Then – and again, this is the attorney for the couple telling their side of their story – it was time to add insult to injury.
The flight attendant later claimed the couple "had created an in-flight disturbance by verbally assaulting her", and when the plane arrived at Portland, "passengers were told to remain seated while Port of Portland police boarded and escorted (the couple" off."
“It was embarrassing for them,” attorney Thomas Patton said, although after 30 minutes of questioning they were released because police found no criminal wrongdoing.
So, that US$11,498?
The female passenger claims she suffered "a rotator cuff injury and impingement syndrome" requiring two months of physical therapy, for which she is seeking US$1,498 in medical expenses and US$7,000 in "non-economic damages for pain, suffering and inconvenience."
The couple are also asking for US$1,500 each "for humiliation from being taken into custody."
Alaska Airlines has declined to comment on the story, although it reportedly offered offered to settle the case by paying the US$1,498 in medical expenses – an offer which the travellers rejected in favour of filing a lawsuit for closer to ten times that amount.
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