Delta throws a passenger off a plane because he used the bathroom during a 30-minute delay on the tarmac in latest PR nightmare for US airlines
Delta is the latest airline to come under fire after video emerged showing a passenger being told he had to get off a plane because he used the bathroom during a tarmac delay.
Kima Hamilton, a 39-year-old ‘DJ and poet’ was due to travel on Delta Airlines Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee on April 18.
Unfortunately for all aboard the flight, they were delayed while waiting on the tarmac for about 30 minutes.
During that hold-up, Hamilton needed to go to the bathroom. At one point, he stood up from his seat and walked to the back of the plane, then asked a flight attendant if he could duck in and relieve himself, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
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Kima Hamilton was filmed being kicked off a Delta flight last month because he used the bathroom during a delay on the tarmac
The attendant said no, telling the 39-year-old they would ‘lose their place in line’, if he did, according to the newspaper.
Defeated and unrelieved, Hamilton returned to his seat. But as the delay continued and the plane remained stranded on the tarmac, Hamilton’s need to go grew stronger.
Fearing an ‘accident’ in his seat, the 39-year-old got back up and walked to the restroom at plane’s rear.
He went in, flushed, and returned to his seat in about a minute.
But as Hamilton was sitting back down and buckling his seat belt, he claimed the flight crew made an announcement over the intercom.
‘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’,’ he told the Journal-Sentinel.
Hamilton, a 39-year-old ‘DJ and poet’ was due to travel on Delta Airlines Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee on April 18 when the incident took place The video started by showing Hamilton sat in his seat (left), before an official approached his and said he needed to leave
‘It escalated to that point that fast.’
Footage of what happened next was posted online by Krista Rosolino – another passenger who was sat across the aisle from Hamilton with her husband, Mike, and their infant daughter.
In the first of two videos, Hamilton is heard saying to what appears to be an airline official: ‘Can you help me understand why… I need more information, I haven’t done anything.’
The official then says: ‘We’ll discuss this outside, not here. Come with me please. We’re not going to discuss this here.’
Hamilton continues: ‘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 back-and-forth continued for about three minutes, before the official walked down the aisle and exited the plane.
Hamilton continued to press his case for staying on the plane to the official stood in the aisle (left), before the man eventually walked off the plane (right) A second official then came onto the plane and began talking to the 39-year-old in a softer manner (left). Hamilton appeared stunned and confused by the drama (right)
‘I have done nothing,’ Hamilton is heard saying, before another passenger was heard agreeing there was no need to boot him from the aircraft.
But things took a turbulent turn from there.
The second video shows another man on the plane, stood in the aisle talking to Hamilton.
The 39-year-old continued to explain his desperate need to get to the bathroom, and that he needed to get to Milwaukee to help run a fieldtrip with ’94 sixth graders’.
The second official, who had kneeled down to listen to Hamilton, was seen laughing in a good natured manner at the comment, before nodding seemingly in an understanding manner.
The official then is heard saying: ‘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.
‘I don’t understand why I have to get off this plane though, I mean, I had to use the restroom?’ Hamilton was heard asking the official
‘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.’
‘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,’ Hamilton said back, before the official replied.
‘I’m trying to be 100 per cent, I’m saying because we had to move the plane out of rotation and we need to head back to the gate, we need to see what the reason is… more people are involved than just us right now,’ he said.
‘I don’t understand why I have to get off this plane though, I mean, I had to use the restroom?’ Hamilton then asked again.
The incident took place aboard Delta flight 2035 that was traveling from Atlanta to Milwaukee on April 18 The man needed to use the bathroom while the plane was delayed on the tarmac, but would told he could because it was in the process of taking off
‘We’re not kicking you off, we need to remove you because we need to discuss this further,’ the official replied. ‘I’m just trying to help you man, so if you can follow me, get your things and whatever, then we can get you rebooked.’
When he was eventually forced to leave the plane, Hamilton apologized to the man sitting next to him. But the fellow passenger was supportive, and said: ‘You did nothing wrong.’
Krista Rosolino then wrote about the incident in a lengthy ‘open letter’ to the airline that she posted online.
‘I observed the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer that I have seen in my two decades of flying,’ it read.
‘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.’
In the letter, she went on to explain how eventually everyone was forced to get off the plane, and they were then allowed to reboard ‘sans Hamilton’.
The incident comes after an American Airlines flight attendant was caught on camera yanking a stroller away from a passenger and her baby last Friday. The passenger is picture crying Earlier this month, United Airlines was slammed after a passenger, Dr. David Dao (above), was dragged off an April 9 flight in Chicago to make room for crew members
‘Delta, what was the nice gentleman supposed to do?’ she asked to end the letter.
‘Here are the options as I see it: 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.
‘Or 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.
‘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 to the newspaper about the incident with a statement on Wednesday.
‘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,’ it read.
The incident is the latest in a string of dramas for airlines when trying to remove passengers in the last few weeks.
Dr David Dao was filmed being bloodied and dragged from a United flight in Chicago, and then on Friday a flight attendant was caught on camera yanking a stroller away from a passenger and her baby.