Just a few short weeks after United Airlines came under fire for its violent removal of a passenger from an overbooked flight, Delta is now being accused of the unfair treatment of a passenger for needing to use the bathroom while the plane was sitting on the runway awaiting takeoff. The incident took place on April 18, aboard Delta Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee. After the plane taxied to the runway, passengers were told that they were third in line for takeoff. And then, they waited.
About 30 minutes went by when Kima Hamilton, a 39-year-old Milwaukee-based artist and poet, felt a sudden and strong urge to use the bathroom. Since the plane had not moved for an extended amount of time, he thought it would be okay to use the restroom. Upon moving to the back of the plane he was told to sit back down by a flight attendant who claimed that they would lose their place in line for takeoff. However after sitting back down and still not moving for several more minutes, he realized he needed to quickly go take care of business.
Fellow passenger Krista Rosolino, a lawyer from Milwaukee traveling with her husband Mike and baby daughter — who were all sitting across the aisle from Hamilton — estimates that he was out of his seat for less than a minute. But soon after Hamilton returned to his seat, the pilot came on the loudspeaker and apologized to passengers for the inconvenience, but that the flight had to return to the gate to remove a passenger.
Rosolino later captured the incident between Hamilton, who she described as a “Nice Gentleman” who played hide and seek with her daughter as they waited to takeoff, in a lengthy blog post titled “Frustrated Passenger” as well as two separate YouTube videos of Delta agents attempting to remove Hamilton from the flight (above and below). She writes that eventually the entire flight was forced to deplane and Hamilton was then taken aside and prohibited from re-boarding.
“It was already understood and decided that I was a problem and I was getting kicked off the plane,” Hamilton later told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “When I exited there were FBI agents waiting for me with Delta personnel.”