Two videos posted to social media depicts a man getting kicked off an Atlanta-to-Milwaukee flight before take-off. The reason: He used the restroom.
Footage shows an airline employee telling the passenger, later identified as Kima Hamilton, to come with him outside to talk about him using the restroom as the airplane was third in line for take-off. Hamilton starts to debate since the plane was getting ready to fly off. He’d get left behind if he stepped off. Two other passengers took his side as well, but the employee didn’t budge.
Another airline staffer appears in the second video, which you can see below.
“I’m not going to leave you stranded in Atlanta,” the second employee said, insisting they’ll re-book Hamilton. “You will make it to Milwaukee.” He said policy was that people couldn’t use the restroom using take-off.
A fellow passenger, later identified as Krista Rosolino, recorded the footage, and argues the airline messed up. In an open letter, she said Delta humiliated Hamilton in the April 18 incident. According to her, he was just a nice guy who got bullied thanks to an unnecessary enforcement of police.
The first time he stood up, he went to the back and told the flight attendant he had to use the bathroom because it was an emergency. The attendant (Katherine S) told him that he needed to sit down or he would make the plane lose its place in line because the plane could not move if he was in the bathroom. He apologized, said he didn’t want that to happen, and quickly sat back down. He waited some more. Finally, he couldn’t wait any longer and returned to the back to use the restroom. He used the restroom very quickly; I would estimate less than a minute. When he came out of the restroom, he was told that he caused the plane to lose its place in line, and the pilot would have to talk to him. He was apologetic for causing any delay, but it was an emergency … because he is a human and these things happen to everyone.
Hamilton recently talked all about it with The Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel‘s Jim Stingl in a report.
“I don’t normally pee right before I get on the plane, and I’ve never had a problem like this before,” he said, explaining why he didn’t use a restroom earlier. “I don’t remember drinking an abnormal amount of water.”
He said he was kicked off the plane, and met with FBI agents and Delta personnel outside. The airline refunded part of his plane ticket, and left him figure out his transportation issues. Also, his checked luggage would be waiting for him over in Milwaukee. He said he ended up buying a ticket from Southwest at three times the cost of his refund, and arrived several hours later than planned.
Both Hamilton, who is black, and Rosolino suggested that race had something to do with how Delta treated him.
On Wednesday, the airline told Stingl that Hamilton broke the rules.
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.
This comes after two high-profile incidents between passengers and airlines. A passenger on a United flight was recently injured as he was forcibly removed from the plane. The airline wanted to seat standby crew. Also, on an American airlines flight, a male attendant allegedly hit a mother with a stroller, and almost struck her baby too. This led to a near-by with another passenger.
[Image via Krista Rosolino]