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Doctor threatened with ‘no fly list’ for leaving dirty diaper in airplane trash

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 3:39 AM EDT
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SEATTLE (KOMO) - A Seattle doctor is taking action after she says a fight attendant told her she had been placed on United Airlines’ “no fly list” for leaving her daughter’s dirty diaper in the airplane lavatory’s trash.

Dr. Farah Khan says the trouble started July 9 when she changed her daughter’s diaper on a United Airlines flight that was operated and staffed by regional carrier Mesa Airlines. She says a flight attendant yelled at her after she put the dirty diaper in the trash in the airplane lavatory.

“He said, ‘What did you just leave a diaper in the back of the plane? You can’t do that. It’s a biohazard,’” Khan said.

Humiliated, Khan says she fished the diaper, which had been wrapped in a scented disposal bag, out of the trash. She was later told by another flight attendant that throwing the diaper in the trash had been the correct thing to do.

Three hours later, when Khan had checked into her hotel room in Houston, she says she got multiple calls on her cell phone from a person who said they were from United.

“I picked up, and he said, ‘Because of a biohazard incident on the plane, you’ve been placed on the no fly list,’” Khan said.

The third generation South Asian American Muslim says the conversation was laced with hatred and profanity. She believes it was the flight attendant she had an issue with who made the call.

“It violates every level of professionalism, but it’s also a violation of this woman’s privacy and her civil rights,” said Imraan Siddiqi, the executive director for the Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Khan says she’s scared for her family’s safety. She doesn’t know how the caller got her cell phone number.

“I don’t know how to protect my family from somebody who seems clearly unhinged. So, what do I do?” she said through tears.

The doctor has filed formal complaints with United and the Federal Aviation Administration and has also contacted police. She plans to take legal action to get the name of the flight attendant, so she can file a restraining order. She says she doesn’t want something like this to happen to anyone else.

“I just pray that no other family goes through what we went through,” Khan said.

United says Kahn has not been placed on the no fly list, despite the caller’s claim. The airline says they are working with Mesa Airlines to get a better understanding of the incident.

The Mesa team released a statement that read, “The details as described by our customer do not meet the high standards that Mesa sets for our flight attendants and we are reviewing the matter.”

Copyright 2021 KOMO via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.