A gay American couple have accused airline employees of taking a sex toy out of their luggage and strapping it to the outside of one of their bags.
Christopher Bridgeman (34) and Martin Borger (35) arrived in Norfolk from their holiday in Costa Rica in May 2011 and were mortified when the bag appeared on the luggage carousel in front of other passengers who began to laugh.
They have accused United Continental Airlines employees of removing the dildo from their luggage and smearing it with foul-smelling lubricant before taping it to their bag.
“I knew exactly what it was when I saw it,” Borger told NBC News. “I was absolutely and utterly shocked and embarrassed and humiliated and I didn’t even know what to do at the time.”
The men say that they were specifically targeted because they are gay.
“I absolutely, fervently believe that this was intentional,” Bridgeman told NBC News. “It was very sick and it was very wrong and it was just maliciously taped to the top and targeted because we’re gay.”
They are seeking punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence.
The airline has denied the claims. “United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We will vigorously defend ourselves and our employees,” it said in a statement.