A passenger on a Delta Airlines flight posted video on Friday that showed a fellow traveler being removed after using the airplane restroom while the plane was still on the runway.
Kima Hamilton was on a flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee last week and was asked to leave the plane after what he called an emergency bathroom break.
“I need more information, sir. I haven’t done anything and I paid for this ticket and I actually have — I have to get home,” Hamilton said to the first employee who asked that Hamilton disembark to discuss the situation.
Hamilton asked if the plane was going to leave without him. The attendant replied, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Hamilton had a conversation with another employee who told him that his bathroom break forced the airplane to return to the gate, causing a delay.
“Because we had to come back, that’s why we want to talk to you about that,” the employee said. The employee added that their conversation was “inconveniencing everyone.”
Hamilton said he tried to use the bathroom earlier, but was told he needed to wait so the plane didn’t lose its place in line for takeoff.
Witnesses, who were asking if Hamilton would be allowed to return to the plane, said that the plane did not move while Hamilton was in the bathroom.
“We were stopped for probably about a half-hour,” Hamilton told Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate TMJ4. “The plane wasn’t moving, but you know my bladder was.
“I’ve gotten questions of why I didn’t pee before I got on the plane. I fly a lot. I’ve never had this problem. I would never want to be in the situation I was in. If I didn’t have to really go, I wouldn’t have,” he said.
Hamilton said when he returned to his seat, there was an announcement that someone would have to be removed from the plane.
Hamilton, an art teacher, said he had to get home to attend a field trip with 94 students the next morning.
Passengers told TMJ4 that was when an announcement was made that everyone had to leave the plane.
In order to get home on time, Hamilton had to pay triple the price of his original ticket for a same-day ticket on another airline. Delta refunded part of his ticket, but Hamilton’s luggage remained on the plane and took off with the other passengers who were allowed to reboard.
A fellow passenger said “the whole thing was uncalled for,” and another called it “the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer.”
“Not only did your staff truly harm and humiliate one person who was forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a new same-day flight, but you forced the rest of us passengers to endure a 2-hour saga of watching a man being targeted for having a bathroom emergency,” Krista Rosolin wrote in a blog post. “I am disappointed and horrified at how Delta Airlines staff treated their customers/passengers.”
In a statement to NBC, Delta said its “flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers.”
“It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at critical points of takeoff and landing,” the statement read.