A couple from the United Kingdom was removed from a Dubai-bound Emirates flight after the woman was overheard complaining about her menstrual cramps.
Beth Evans, 24, and her boyfriend Joshua Moran, 26, expressed their shock at being booted off the £400 ($557) international flight just minutes before take-off on February 17.
Meanwhile, the airline contended the couple was offloaded due to a "medical emergency."
"The captain made the decision to request medical support and offload Ms Evans so she could access medical assistance as needed," the airline wrote in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
"To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness," said Moran
According to the couple, a flight attendant inquired about Evans' health after overhearing her discuss her period pains.
Despite rating her pain as "1 out of 10" and assuring she would not mind making the seven-hour flight from Birmingham to Dubai, Evans was asked to get off the flight right before departure.
"To be kicked off for period pains, it was madness," Moran told The Sun, adding that his girlfriend was "in tears" while the hostess was asking her questions.
"It's embarrassing to have to explain about period pains when it's being overheard," Moran added.
Moran also said the airline did not provide medical assistance, but instead contacted a medical team in the United States that decided Beth could not fly.
As per the airline's website, medical conditions are evaluated on a "case-by-case basis," but passengers with specific conditions, such as congestive cardiac failure or severe respiratory disease, are not allowed to fly.
However, as The Washington Post points out, the website makes no reference to menstrual cramps.
The airline stated it did not want to put Evans' health at risk
In response to the couple's complaints, Emirates confirmed that Evans "was offloaded [...] due to a medical emergency."
In a statement, an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News, "The passenger alerted the crew onboard that she was suffering from discomfort and pain, and mentioned that she was feeling unwell."
According to the airline, the captain made the decision to ask Evans to leave the plane and seek medical help.
The spokesperson added, "We would not have wanted to endanger Ms Evans by delaying medical help had she worsened during the seven-hour flight to Dubai. We hope Ms Evans felt better soon and look forward to welcoming her onboard again soon."