Dirty Diaper Cancels Flight

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CLEVELAND – Some Northeast Ohioans made it home just in time to ring in 2014 after a flight delay kept them in Arizona for an extra night.

“I don’t know what they can even do about it, but we paid the price for it,” said Rick Milligan from Bay Village.

He was with his wife and two children in Phoenix for Christmas. On Monday, their return flight was canceled after it was delayed for several hours. According to Milligan, they were told a dirty diaper went down the toilet.

“They didn’t tell us what it was right up front, but the word started slowly leaking out, I shouldn't use that word with what we're deeming ‘diaper gate’,” said Milligan.

“I don’t think anybody should be that ignorant that they would put a diaper down the toilet of an airplane,” said Greta Bonne from Chagrin Falls.

She was returning from a long-awaited vacation with her three children when it was extended an extra day. “Me and three kids - our first ‘major’ trip home - anywhere, anywhere in the U.S.,” said Bonne.

A United Airlines spokesperson won’t confirm how many people were impacted by the delays and cancellation, but they said the ‘blockage’ left the lavatory unusable and the plane couldn’t fly as scheduled.

“[They gave] interesting updates, too,” said Milligan. “It was, well, we think we found the diaper and removed it but there’s still fabric in the plumbing and I couldn’t believe it.”

Most passengers on a layover were rebooked onto other flights. Some, like those trying to go direct to Cleveland, were given hotel rooms and put on a flight Tuesday morning.

“[We’re] real happy to be home, although we looked out the window - we came from 70 degrees and it’s 20 here, but hey it's home and that's what counts,” said Milligan. “Looking forward to the new year.”

The United spokesperson said this kind of problem is not a common occurrence.


  • Mark

    ““I don’t think anybody should be that ignorant that they would put a diaper down the toilet of an airplane,””

    That itself sounds pretty, well, ignorant. I don’t think people should be ignorant or stupid either, but hey, my opinion doesn’t change anything either.

    She goes on to say “me and three kids”…. more proper engwish!

  • Jack Adams

    Our sewer drains have 6″ pipes so anything that fits thru the toilets goes to the sewage plant without a problem. Most new houses have 2″ or 3″ drains. With high sewer rates being charged by NEORSD, it’s my option to flush all household waste down the sewer instead of having it go out with the garbage truck.

  • Marilyn

    Hey, I’m a teacher and was on that flight. If channel 8 had stuck a microphone in my face just then, I wouldn’t have made any sense whatsoever! We were with her and those kids; she did a great job with them and everyone maintained an amazingly positive attitude through this ordeal. Something about walking a mile in another’s moccasins would be in order here. Happy New Year- all’s well that ends well!

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