A dream vacation turned into a nightmare for a Virginia-based gay couple after airport staff allegedly removed a dildo from their luggage, smeared foul-smelling lubricant on it and taped it to their top of one of their checked bags before placing it back on the baggage carousel.
The Bilerico Project's Michael Hamar reports that the couple -- who were returning from a vacation in Costa Rica to Norfolk at the time of the alleged May 2011 incident -- are now suing United/Continental Airlines for "intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligence."
The couple, identified by Courthouse News as Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger, are reportedly seeking punitive damages.
"Plaintiffs' bags were sent to the baggage carousel where plaintiffs discovered, to their horror, that a private sex toy had been removed from one of their bags, covered in a greasy foul-smelling substance and taped prominently to the top of their bag," the lawsuit states, according to Courthouse News. "Plaintiffs experienced extreme shock and horror when they observed the above-described bag and when observing the surprised and/or laughing faces of numerous onlookers in the baggage claim area."
Borger, who said he was the first to spot the bag, 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.”
Added Bridgeman: "I absolutely, fervently believe that this was intentional. 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 case mirrors that of Jill Filipovic, a writer (who has penned pieces for The Huffington Post among other media outlets) who found a handwritten note on a TSA form encouraging her to "Get [her] freak on girl" in her checked suitcase, which contained a $15 vibrator.
Still, Filipovic told Forbes that although she was "grossed out," she found the situation "hilarious."
"I've had that Missy Elliott song stuck in my head all day," she told Wired.com.