Kima Hamilton was kicked off of his Delta Air Lines flight earlier this month after taking a trip to the bathroom as the plane awaited takeoff.
The incident occurred on April 18 on a plane leaving Atlanta for Milwaukee.
While the confrontation between Kima and Delta staff wasn’t violent, it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us.
Hamilton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had to pee as the plane sat on the tarmac waiting to take off.
He went back to the bathroom, where a flight attendant told him the plane would lose its takeoff spot if he relieved himself.
“I don’t normally pee right before I get on the plane, and I’ve never had a problem like this before,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t remember drinking an abnormal amount of water.”
But the wait became so intense that he couldn’t hold it anymore.
“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 said. “It escalated to that point that fast.”
Two Delta agents boarded the flight and tried to get Hamilton off the flight. He’s seen on the video refusing to give up his seat and discusses the matter at length with one of the agents.
His main concern was getting back to Milwaukee — where he’s an artist in residence at a school and was due to go on a fieldtrip the next morning, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“I’m not going to leave you stranded here in Atlanta,” the agent tells Hamilton at one point.
FBI agents were waiting for him when he got off the flight, he told the Journal-Sentinel.
Delta refunded his flight, and Hamilton said he paid three times the returned amount for a Southwest Airlines trip back to Milwaukee.
The airline said in a statement to the Journal Sentinel that crew members’ instructions have to be taken seriously.
“Our flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers,” the airline said. It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing.”
Hamilton told the newspaper it was a misunderstanding blown out of proportion.
Fellow passenger Krista Rosolino, who was on the flight with her husband, recorded a video of the exchange and posted a lengthy blog post about it.
“My take-away from this experience is that I will not be flying Delta again,” wrote Rosolino, a Milwaukee attorney. “Who treats a person like this? Have you forgotten that the people that pay to fill the seats are actually human beings who sometimes have emergencies (like having to use the bathroom when you have been waiting on the plane for an hour)?”
The incident comes as other airlines come under scrutiny for removing passengers from planes.
Watch cell phone recording of the incident below. You can read fellow passenger Krista Rosolino’s account of what happened here.