American couple Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger have been left ‘traumatised and outraged’ after alleging an airline prankster removed a sex toy from their luggage and taped it to the outside of one of their cases.
The pair are seeking damages for severe emotional trauma, invasion of privacy and negligence after the prank, which the airline involved – United Continental – deny the allegations have any foundation.
Bridgeman and Borger have launched a legal campaign against the airline at the District Court of Harris County, Texas.
The airline responded to the action with a statement saying, “United [Airlines] does not tolerate discrimination of any kind” adding “We will vigorously defend ourselves and our employees”
The company concluded that following an internal investigation into the claims there was no evidence to support the allegations surrounding the sex toy’s public display.
The incident apparently happened to the couple as they returned from a holiday in Costa Rica. The gay partners, who have been together for almost nine years, told NBC News:
“I absolutely, fervently believe that this was intentional,” Bridgeman, 34 said, continuing, “it was very sick and it was very wrong and it was just maliciously taped to the top and targeted because we’re gay.”
The sex toy was apparently taped in a prominent position at the top of one of the couple’s bags after being covered in, what they describe as, a foul smelling greasy substance. The prank is alleged to have taken place after the couple boarded a plane at Houston airport on route to Norfolk.
The couple believe that at some point an employee of the airline looked in the zipped, but unlocked bag, discovered the sex aid and decided to humiliate the owner as the luggage was clearly name tagged to a male.
NBC News reported that ‘When they arrived in Norfolk and went to the baggage claim area, the couple discovered a sex toy had been taken from one of their bags… [and was] taped prominently to the top of the bag, according to the lawsuit.’
“I knew exactly what it was when I saw it,” 35 year old Borger told NBC News, adding, “I was absolutely and utterly shocked and embarrassed and humiliated and I didn’t even know what to do at the time.”
The trauma was made worse, the pair state, once fellow passengers at the airport began giggling and laughing at them. Bridgeman and Borger informed the airline of the possible anti-gay stunt but found the company’s response to be unsatisfactory.