British Airways staff have been criticised for stopping an 87-year-old woman from using the toilet on a flight, leaving her sitting in soaking clothes.

Kocharik Tsamouzian was bound for London from Los Angeles but realised she needed to use the bathroom shortly after boarding the plane.

As the flight was delayed on the runway she was repeatedly told she was not allowed to the use the bathroom, with a cabin crew member even reportedly blocking her access in the aisle at one point.

The flight, on December 22 last year, ended up waiting on the runway for 90 minutes, resulting in Mrs Tsamouzian wetting herself.

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She then spent the rest of the 13-hour flight distressed and in tears as she did not have a change of clothes with her in the cabin.

Mrs Tsamouzian's daughter Aida Behroozi, who lives in West London, told the Mail Online: "I went to pick my mother up from Heathrow Airport and she arrived in tears.

"I was shaking with anger. She asked the air hostess over and over again if she could go to the loo but they kept telling her no because of health and safety reasons.

"My mother was saying, 'I'm an old lady you have to let me go', but the air hostess stood in front of her seat blocking her from getting up."

Mrs Tsamouzian said she will never travel with the national carrier again. "British Airways are seen as the pinnacle of good service but this proves all that wrong," she said.

The incident comes after BA made cuts to its service, such as limiting perks such as "free" food and drinks, and was criticised for running out of food and loo paper, as planes were not stocked properly.

When asked about Mrs Tsamouzian, BA said it had only been adhering to Civil Aviation Authority rules.

"We have been in touch with our customer after what we understand must have been a very distressing experience," a BA spokesman said.

"Our highly trained cabin crew always work to make our customers as comfortable as possible, but Civil Aviation Authority safety rules stipulate everyone must remain seated with their seatbelts on after the aircraft has started moving.

"The safety and security of our customers is always our top priority."