A man was removed from his delayed Milwaukee-bound Delta Airlines flight after an emergency run to the bathroom.
While waiting for nearly two hours for flight 2035 to take off the tarmac in Atlanta on Apr. 18, Kima Hamilton of Milwaukee, Wisconsin got out of his seat to quickly use the bathroom.
The plane had taxied to the runway and passengers were told it was third in line to take off. The first time he tried to leave his seat, Hamilton, 39, was told he could not use the lavatory. Then 30 minutes passed, and he said it was urgent. Eventually, Hamilton made a quick run to the restroom.
“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,’” Hamilton explained to Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel. “It escalated to that point that fast.”
When he came back, however, a Delta employee told Hamilton to get off the plane.
Fellow passenger Krista Rosolino, who is also from Milwaukee, recorded the incident on her phone. In one of Rosolino’s videos, Hamilton can be heard apologizing, repeatedly asking why he’s being asked to give up his seat, and explaining to a crew member that he was trying to avoid an “emergency.”
“I’m not really clear on why I’m being asked to leave this plane. I purchased this ticket, I had an emergency. I had to pee,” Hamilton said in the clip. “I tried to hold it the first time and you said I absolutely couldn’t and I’m being kicked off the plane?” he added, before the crew member responded, “I need to talk to you outside.”
A second Delta employee confronted Hamilton and also asked him to leave. Hamilton eventually complied and was removed. He told local ABC affiliate WISN that FBI agents greeted him after stepping off the plane.
“[An agent] said he came to arrest me, but realized after our conversation, realized that some of the language that was associated with my name wasn’t accurate,” Hamilton recalled.
In the end, Delta grounded Hamilton who says he was forced to buy a ticket for a Southwest flight that was three times the price to get back to his family in Milwaukee. Hamilton had told Delta employees that he needed to return home for a field trip with 4th through 6th graders, according to local CBS affiliate WDJT.
Rosolino also told WDJT that Hamilton was refunded part of his Delta ticket. She said she’s not sure if he’s planning to sue, but put him in touch with an attorney.
All passengers on the Milwaukee-bound Delta jet were required to deplane and re-board, ultimately forcing the flight to arrive in Milwaukee more than an hour and a half late.
Delta released a statement regarding the incident 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,” a rep for the company said, according to the Journal Sentinel.