Kima Hamilton’s urgent need to visit the restroom as a Milwaukee-bound Delta jet awaited takeoff was a move he’ll never forget…
The story begins mid-afternoon of April 18 aboard Delta Flight 2035 from Atlanta to Milwaukee. The plane was pretty full. Hamilton was traveling alone. Krista Rosolino and her husband, Mike, both lawyers in Milwaukee, were sitting with their infant daughter across the aisle from him.
The plane taxied to the runway and the passengers were told it was third in line to take off. This is a time when you’re supposed to remain seated. But the wait extended to about 30 minutes, Krista Rosolino estimates.
Hamilton felt a strong need to urinate and figured it might be OK. “We weren’t taking off. We were still. The plane isn’t moving,” he said.
I asked Hamilton why he hadn’t used a restroom earlier. “I don’t normally pee right before I get on the plane, and I’ve never had a problem like this before. I don’t remember drinking an abnormal amount of water,” he said.
He walked to a restroom at the rear of the plane. A flight attendant there said if he used the restroom they would lose their place in line. So he sat back down, but the urgency grew stronger. Hamilton returned to the restroom and this time went in and quickly did his business. It beats making a mess right there in your seat, right?
“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, first one and then another, approached Hamilton and told him to get his things and exit the plane. He knew they wouldn’t let him back on, so he refused. Hamilton, 39, a DJ and a poet who moved to Milwaukee a year ago, is an artist in residence at an MPS school, and he needed to be home the following morning for a field trip.
The Rosolinos and other passengers whipped out their phones and took video of the encounters (see video below). Soon everyone was escorted off the plane. Hamilton said he felt his attempts to explain himself were futile.
“It was already understood and decided that I was a problem and I was getting kicked off the plane. When I exited there were FBI agents waiting for me with Delta personnel,” he said, adding how thankful he was that Mike Rosolino stood by his side throughout.
Hamilton had remained calm both on the airplane and during questioning at the terminal. He thinks that saved him from getting arrested for causing a disturbance or interfering with the flight. Delta refunded part of his ticket cost and left him to find his own way home.
He ended up buying a ticket on Southwest to get home…What do you think about what happened?
Delta sent the following statement Wednesday: “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.”
Read more: AJC