TAIPEI • Several female flight attendants have been left traumatised after they were allegedly coerced by a male passenger to help him remove his underwear and wipe his backside after he took a dump.
The incident purportedly occurred on a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Taiwan on Taiwanese airline EVA Air on Saturday, and made headlines after the stewardesses went to the media with their ordeal.
One of the flight attendants, known by her family name, Kuo, held a press conference on Monday, accompanied by members of Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, Taiwan media reported.
According to Ms Kuo's recounting of the incident, the passenger, who was obese and wheelchair-bound, informed them that he required assistance going to the toilet as he had injured his right arm.
Not long after they helped him into the toilet, the man demanded that they help him remove his underwear, which was already pulled down halfway.
Despite their attempts to turn down his excessive request, he refused to take no for an answer. The crew gave in to his request.
The passenger called them in again after he had finished relieving himself, and demanded that they wipe his backside.
The all-female crew felt they had no choice but to comply.
The man then reportedly made suggestive sounds when he was being cleaned.
The male passenger is said to be a Caucasian who had flown with the airline 20 times.
Flight attendant Lee Ying said the man had made similar demands of EVA's crew on previous flights but was turned down.
He simply defecated on his seat, Ms Lee said, to the shock and disgust of other passengers.
She criticised EVA for blaming the crew over the earlier incidents.
In response to the complaints, EVA Air said in a statement yesterday that crew members are not obliged to comply with passengers' requests that they deem inappropriate.
The company said it would conduct an investigation into the incident and "appropriate measures", such as banning him from future flights, would be taken against the passenger if he was found to have overstepped boundaries.
Meanwhile the unfortunate stewardess who did the dirty job has had to undergo psychiatric treatment for her ordeal, Taiwan media reported.
She has been given three weeks' medical leave.