Delta removes passenger for using bathroom before takeoff

Delta defends itself by pointing to federal regulations

A man was removed from a Delta Air Lines flight after using the bathroom while the plane was preparing to take off. In Atlanta, Kima Hamilton’s April 18 flight was third in line to take off when Hamilton had the sudden need to use the bathroom. Unfortunately for Hamilton, he was informed by a flight attendant that he was not allowed to use the bathroom, or otherwise the plane would lose its place in line. When Hamilton was unable to hold in his urges any longer, he got back up to use the lavatory. As a result, the aircraft returned to the gate and the crew ordered Hamilton to leave the plane. Hamilton was received by FBI agents and Delta personnel. Other passengers were highly annoyed when they were also ordered to deplane before being able to return to their scheduled flight. Hamilton was given a partial refund and had to pay three times his initial fare with another airline in order to get to a school event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on time.

Delta responded to the backlash coming out of the incident by saying that this rule is enforced by federal regulations and was not solely the airline’s decision. “It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing,” according to a statement released by the airline. Regulations do specify that passengers must be in their seats with belts fastened once the plane leaves the gate.

This comes at a bad time for airline public relations, as several companies have had to deal with unsavory crew-passenger interactions. United Airlines is still recovering from an incident in Chicago where a passenger was bloodied after refusing to accept a rebooked flight. American Airlines last week had to deal with a flight attendant ripping a stroller away from a mother and almost striking the mother’s child.

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