After a long ground delay, a Delta Air Lines passenger says he had no choice but to make the emergency restroom trip that caused him to be booted from his flight.
Delta Air Lines passenger Kima Hamilton says it was very much an urgent situation by the time he dashed to the lavatory as his Delta Air Lines plane waited on the tarmac at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) before taking off for Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport (MKE). Hamilton claims airline employees soon ordered him off the flight despite the innocent explanation for his rather necessary act of disobedience.
Hamilton told Milwaukee ABC affiliate WISN that as the delay on the ground grew longer, the urgency of his situation grew more and more pressing. He said that at first, he remained in his seat after a flight attendant denied him permission to use the toilet, but concedes that he was eventually forced to quickly make his way to the restroom.
“Sometime later, we were still taxied, the plane hadn’t moved … and it’s at an emergency stage now,” Hamilton later told the television station.
A YouTube video of the aftermath of the incident shows Hamilton unsuccessfully pleading his case to an airline employee who is ordering him off the flight.
“I haven’t done anything,” he tells the agent. “I paid for this ticket. I have to be home. I tried to hold it the first time, and you said I absolutely couldn’t, and I’m being kicked off the plane?”
At one point, Hamilton can be heard apologizing to a seatmate for all the commotion. The unidentified passenger responds that he has nothing to apologize for because he did nothing wrong.
Although his fellow passengers appeared sympathetic to Hamilton’s plight, Delta officials insisted that the rules were not put in place to inconvenience passengers, but are there for the safety of everyone onboard the plane.
“Our flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers,” the airline said in a statement regarding the incident. “It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing.”
Hamilton admitted to reporters that he did not make a preemptive bathroom trip before the flight, but said that this was something he had never needed to consider until the April 18th flight in question. He explained that although he doesn’t recall drinking an excessive amount of fluids before the flight, he had never experienced this sort of bathroom emergency before this ill-fated trip.
Despite the unpleasant consequences of his decision to make an unauthorized bathroom trip, Hamilton didn’t have a lot of good options available to him. Other passengers in similar situations have, in fact, fared much worse.
In 2011, actor Gerard Depardieu was forced to make a public apology after urinating on the carpet of an Air France plane at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) bound for Dublin Airport (DUB). Prior to taking matters into his own hands, the star of Life of Pi is said to have announced, “”Je veux pisser, je veux pisser.” The entertainer then allegedly tried (and failed) to relieve himself into a wine bottle during the lengthy ground stop.
More recently, an 87-year-old grandmother says she was forced to suffer through a 13-hour British Airways flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in wet pants after being denied access to the lavatory as the plane waited on the taxiway for more than half an hour before takeoff. In her case, the elderly flyer claims a flight attendant physically blocked her from using the toilet.