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Delta Kicks Pax off Flight Following an Urgent Lavatory Visit

Delta Kicks Pax off Flight Following an Urgent Lavatory Visit
Jeff Edwards

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.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. Gatorsf

    April 28, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Having watched both videos of this, I am so torn. On one hand, we have a grown man who failed to plan accordingly and did what he wanted. On the other hand, this was such a non-issue and Delta should have just taken off instead of delaying the flight for that long. Two representatives had an answer that was reasonable. At some point employees should have some discretion to let things go when it’s clear its a non-issue. But then again, if everyone did this, you have mass chaos in the skies.

  2. sal2009

    April 30, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    i would argue that most people don’t do this. But, I’d also argue that most people would go to the bathroom if they really had to go, had been told by pilots and flight attendants that they were going to get into the taxiway at any moment and after 30 minutes realized the pilots no clue and were bs’ing, most people would go. because the passengers had lost the trust of the flight crew. and that in itself is a bigger safety issue. Passengers need to trust what flight crews are telling them is the truth.

    I fly A LOT! Pilots have the ability to let passengers go if they aren’t actually taxiing. I’ve seen pilots and flight attendants lie because they don’t want to potentially miss their chance to get in the taxiway line if someone is in the bathroom. some minority bad apples flight crews would rather not have the rare passenger go to the bathroom so they can end their shift earlier. I’ve seen pilots do both methods. and 99% of the time it is so it suits the flight crews best interests…not the passengers. the whole safety excuse is just that…an excuse to get off work earlier.

  3. sal2009

    April 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    and if that passenger had been in business class, the flight attendant would have said nothing…i see that all the time too. business and economy passengers being treated differently in these situations…if it is really a safety issue, why let the business class passengers go?

  4. aces_high

    June 22, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Been there myself. Boarded my flight to HK after having my morning coffee only to find out that we are getting huge delays because or weather. Even though I’ve done my business right after boarding, after about an hour into waiting on the taxiway, I knew I had no options (this is why I don’t do pre-flight coffee anymore). CA tried to stop me by saying that we will take off any minute, but I pointed to in-flight camera feed to say that there are about five other planes stranded on the taxiway hopelessly waiting for storm to pass in front and so are not going anywhere soon. Silently admitting to their own lies, the CA did a smart choice of deescalating the situation and letting me ago about my business. 30 minutes after that we were still on the ground and seatbelt sign was on for a very long time after take-off, so it would have ended very badly if I hadn’t made my decision early. And yes, by that time I needed to go again. damn coffee lol

    I think there should be an unwritten rule about letting passengers use lavatory in emergency until captain instructs flight crew to be seated (usually happens right before the plane enters runway). There is absolutely no need to deplane anyone for using the bathroom, there is absolutely nothing positive that is going to result in this. Passenger gets nowhere, misses meeting, can’t say goodbye to dying grandmother, or whatever reason they are on the flight, and will most likely take airline to court as a result; you have to return to terminal and start your taxiing from scratch — not a very smart move. If you want to take penal action against the passenger do it after the flight lands (fine, ban, whatever), but for sake of common sense, any kind of safety issue that may be relevant to unseated passenger during a taxi procedure is averted as soon as the passenger returns to his seat. Henceforth, and kind of re-action towards that is an unreasonable, harsh and completely inconvenient to all onboard formality that can easily be avoided.

  5. weero

    weero

    June 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Why is this a topic? If you have to see a restroom, there are no alternatives, rules or not. If anything the airline commits an act of harm by barring passengers from using the facilities.

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