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Living with Migraine: Shame on United Airlines

United-Airlines-Migraine-ShameAs if it's not difficult enough for people with Migraine disease to travel, United Airlines has stigmatized, inconvenienced, and just plain mistreated a Migraine one of us. 

On Christmas Day, Sunny Intwala reported on Facebook:

"This morning, I was treated horribly on UA flight 1976 from Phoenix to Newark. I was having a terrible migraine and experiencing nausea and got up to use the bathroom, but the flight attendant was extremely rude to me and wouldn’t let me use the First Class bathroom even though it was visibly unoccupied and we were sitting in First Class - Instead, she told me to go use the Economy bathrooms, which were occupied. I had no choice but to use a paper bag. Instead of asking if I was okay, the flight attendant demanded I get off the plane right away..."

Here's the Facebook post:

United uses the slogan you can see in the image above:

"The United difference
Connecting people. Uniting the world."

Seriously? Actions speak louder than words, and the United employee who first insisted that a First Class passenger use the economy restroom, then demanded that he leave the plane because he was ill with a Migraine attack certainly makes that slogan appear to be a total fabrication. 

The question now is whether United will respond and take any action. More than 39 million people live with Migraine disease in the United States alone. Is this how United employees are trained to treat people with potentially debilitating neurological diseases? I've flown United many times, and — until now — they were my preferred airline. If and how they respond to this atrocity will determine whether I continue to fly United.

The actions I'm taking:

  • Write and publish this blog post.
  • Share this post on Facebook, including on United's Facebook page.
  • Send a message to United through their Facebook page.
  • Tweet the URL to this post. (@TRobert)
  • Tag United on Twitter. (@United)

Will you join me?

If those of us living with Migraine disease don't stand up for ourselves and for each other, we really can't expect others to do so. Will you join me in asking United to step up to the plate and address this shameful incident? Please join me by:

Live well,

 because a migraine is NOT "just a headache"



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