Emirates’ representatives say the decision was made in her best interest.
Passenger Beth Evans and her boyfriend, Joshua Moran, are claiming that they were removed from a recent Emirates flight after one of the airline’s flight attendants overheard Evans complaining about having menstrual cramps.
The couple, who were traveling on an Emirates flight from England’s Birmingham Airport to Dubai on Saturday, told The Sun that they were discussing Beth’s stomach pains when a flight attendant thought the situation could be a cause for concern on the seven-hour journey.
Evans said her pain was minimal at a “one out of ten” but that crew members decided it would be best to have the couple leave the plane, which, Moran told The Sun, had no doctors onboard.
“To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness,” he said. “They didn’t have anyone look her over; they just contacted a medical team in the U.S., and they said Beth couldn’t fly,” he added.
“We can confirm that Ms. Beth Evans deplaned flight EK40 on Saturday, February 17th, due to a medical emergency,” a spokesperson for Emirates told Travel + Leisure. “The passenger alerted the crew onboard that she was suffering from discomfort and pain and mentioned she was feeling unwell.”
Representatives further added that they did not want the situation to worsen considering the length of the flight.
“The captain made the decision to request medical assistance as needed; the safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance, and we would not have wanted to endanger Ms. Evans by delaying medical help, had she worsened during the seven-hour flight to Dubai,” she told T+L.
As the World Health Organization points out, airlines do have the authority to refuse to transport passengers if they believe there is a medical condition that could get worse or cause complications mid-flight.
The pair, who paid 400 British pounds (roughly $560) for their original tickets, told The Sun they had to pay a total of 250 British pounds (roughly $350) each to rebook their flights.