SkyWest Airlines apologized to a passenger who said he wasn't allowed to use the restroom during a one-hour flight and ended up urinating in an air-sickness bag after two "really big beers."

James Whipple was on a flight to Salt Lake City from Boise, Idaho, on March 7 and wanted to use the cabin restroom. The captain, however, had declared it off-limits during the short flight because a light wasn't working.

Whipple said he had two "really big beers" in the Boise airport. He used the cabin restroom before the plane departed but had to go again and finally reached for the air-sickness bag.

"It was like I had no choice," Whipple told The Salt Lake Tribune, which posted the story on its Web site Friday.

No other passengers noticed Whipple using the bag, but a flight attendant asked him about it and told the captain, who called airport police. Whipple was questioned and took a taxi home to Sandy, a Salt Lake City suburb.

The airline sent him a letter of apology and a flight voucher, SkyWest spokeswoman Sabrena Suite-Mangum said Friday.

She said SkyWest decided to go ahead with the flight and get the light fixed in Salt Lake City, rather than delaying it or canceling it for repairs.

"For such a short flight, we really felt we were trying to inconvenience the least number of passengers possible by operating that flight," Suite-Mangum said.