Another airline has booted a passenger — and this time, it was for using the bathroom.
The incident occurred on April 18 aboard Delta Airlines Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee, a flight that was delayed on the tarmac when passenger Kima Hamilton, a 39-year-old DJ and poet, had to use the bathroom.
Hamilton stood from his seat on the delayed flight and walked to the back of the plane, where he asked a flight attendant if he could use the bathroom. The attendant told him no because it would cause the flight to lose their place in line, Hamilton told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Hamilton returned to his seat, but as the delay continued, his need to use the bathroom continued to grow and he feared wetting himself in his seat. To avoid an accident, he rushed to the bathroom, flushed, and returned to his seat in about a minute.
Delta wouldn’t have it. As Hamilton returned to his seat, he says, “The pilot came on and said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry for the inconvenience but we have to return to the gate and remove a passenger.'”
From there, Hamilton says it escalated quickly. Videos that were taken by fellow passenger Krista Rosolino (see below) captured what happened next.
First, Hamilton speaks to what looks to be an airline official, trying to understand what is happening.
“Can you help me understand why? … I need more information, I haven’t done anything.”
When the official then asked Hamilton to leave the plane to discuss the matter, Hamilton pleads, “I’m not really clear… I purchased this ticket, I had an emergency and needed to pee. I tried to hold it the first time and I absolutely couldn’t, and now I’m being kicked off the plane? I haven’t done anything hostile.”
The discussion lasted for about three minutes before the first official left the plane and sent in another. To the second official, Hamilton said he needed to get to Milwaukee to a field trip for “94 sixth graders.”
The second official laughed at the comment and seemed to understand Hamilton’s plight, but then said, “Let me just explain. Basically, any time we are about to take off – for your safety, and for everyone’s safety – we need you seated. That’s the bottom line.”
He went on, “I understand you had an emergency and I’m glad you were able to take care of that. However, there’s always protocol.
“Because you were the person, I’m not saying, who ’caused’ the flight to lose its place in line, that’s why we need to talk to you about it.
“This is not one of those scenarios where we are going to force you off the plane or anything, but because we are inconveniencing everyone right now, that’s why someone came to ask you to leave. And I need you to follow me up to the front desk, that’s all.”
Hamilton replied, “You’re kicking me off the plane. I need you to be direct with that language because this whole ‘Let’s get off and talk’ thing isn’t true.”
Unfortunately, the official wouldn’t back down and eventually forced Hamilton to leave the plane. Hamilton apologized to another passenger who said to him, “You did nothing wrong.”
Rosolino, who took the videos, was outraged and sent an “open letter” to Delta:
“I observed the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer that I have seen in my two decades of flying.”
“I trust that you will investigate this matter and see that similar situations are handled better in the future. 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 two hour saga of watching a man being targeted for having a bathroom emergency.
“I am disappointed and horrified at how Delta Airlines staff treated their customers/passengers.”
According to her letter, eventually, all passengers on the flight were forced to leave the plane and then had to reboard…without Hamilton.
She also gave Delta three options Hamilton had:
1) Urinate in his seat. This would be unpleasant for him, everyone around him, and the airline staff member who has to clean it up.
2) Urinate in a vomit bag or some type of device he could have possibly found. Again, same issue with being uncomfortable for him, those around him, and anyone cleaning up later.
3) Do what he did—wait as long as humanly (remember, we are humans?) possible, and then go to the bathroom as quickly as possible. Yes, he may have broken the rules… however, the situation was resolved in the 1 minute he was out of his seat. I don’t believe the plane moved an inch during that time.
She continued, “Why did Delta have to continue this saga by returning to the gate to remove him? What about him made you want to remove him from the plane?”
Delta responded, without apology, via the following statement:
“Our 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 the critical points of takeoff and landing.”
This incident follows several others that have taken place with airlines when removing passengers from their flights, including United Airlines’ dragging Dr. David Dao from a flight, and American Airlines’ yanking a stroller from a passenger and her baby.
Watch the video below and let us know what you think:
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