A new viral airplane video is causing outrage after it emerged that a man, Kima Hamilton, was asked to leave a Delta aircraft because he used the bathroom.
Krista Rosolino of Milwaukee recorded a video because she and her husband were “concerned about what was happening beside them,” according to WISN-TV. Here’s the WISN report, in which Hamilton discusses the FBI meeting him after he is removed from the airplane:
There are several videos of the incident.
“I don’t understand why I have to get off this plane,” Hamilton said in the video, and he keeps mentioning that he had to use the restroom as two employees ask him to leave the plane. He is a poet and disc jockey, according to USA Today.
Hamilton spoke to the Milwaukee television station and described how the FBI met him when he got off the airplane, but he was not arrested. Rosolino told WISN that he seemed friendly and nice.
The Hamilton video comes as outrage continues over the treatment a Kentucky doctor, David Dao, received when he was physically dragged off a United flight because the airline needed to get a crew to Louisville. Videos of the bloodied Dao circulated widely on the web, the airline apologized, and he has hired a lawyer.
Rosolino has penned an open letter to Delta. You can read it in full here. It says in part:
On Delta flight # 2035 this week, I observed the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer that I have seen in my two decades of flying. I trust that you will investigate this matter and see that similar situations are handled better in the future. Not only did your staff truly harm and humiliate one person who was forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a new same-day flight, but you forced the rest of us passengers to endure a 2 hour saga of watching a man being targeted for having a bathroom emergency. I am disappointed and horrified at how Delta Airlines staff treated their customers/passengers.
According to the open letter, the problem arose when Hamilton – whom she dubbed “the Nice Gentleman” because of his amiable demeanor – had to go to the bathroom as the plane sat delayed on the airport tarmac.
We were then told that we were third in line to take off; however, we waited and waited and barely moved. Nice Gentleman got up, went to the back, and returned to his seat very quickly. Some more time passed, and my husband commented that we had already been waiting for 30 minutes to take off. Nice Gentleman got up again and went to the back, and very quickly returned to his seat. At that point, the pilot stated that we needed to return to the airport to remove a passenger. Everyone was shocked – what could have happened?
Nice Gentleman quickly spoke up and apologized, saying he thought it was him, and he explained to those of us nearby what had happened. 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.
Our plane returned to a gate (which wasn’t far because we had not moved much this entire time). A Delta employee (Horatio) came on and asked Nice Gentleman to gather his things. Horatio talked to him in a rude and harsh manner, demanding that he leave the plane; Horatio wouldn’t explain why and wouldn’t give any assurance he could still travel to Milwaukee. Nice Gentleman said he wouldn’t get off the plane.
Then Delta employee Bryant R. [full name redacted] then came on and treated Nice Gentleman in a somewhat more appropriate manner and listened to him a little; he would only tell Nice Gentleman that he would get him on a later plane. Nice Gentleman explained that he needed to get back for a school field trip the next day. He explained that he understood what happened, but that he needed to use the restroom and it was an emergency. Bryant R. claimed that Nice Gentleman broke the rules and that this requires that Delta staff talk to him. Nice Gentleman said he would explain his situation to everyone who needs to hear it but does not want to leave the plane to do so. Bryant R. claimed that Delta had never encountered an issue with someone using the bathroom during taxi/waiting takeoff (REALLY DELTA?!?!). Nice Gentleman stated he would not leave the plane because he is afraid he won’t get on another flight out. Bryant R. then left the plane.
Next we heard the plane engines turn off, and the pilot indicated that it would be getting warm in the plane. Apparently Delta was trying to sweat us and Nice Gentleman off the plane.
Delta has defended itself in a statement: “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.”