Delta Boots A Passenger From A Flight For Using Restroom At The Wrong Time

Image courtesy of Andrés Nieto Porras

Anyone who’s flown has heard crew say that everyone needs to be seated, strapped in, and ready for takeoff in order for the plane to taxi on down the runway take its takeoff turn. So it’s a really, really unfortunate time to develop a sudden need to go. Still, emergencies happen — but on one recent flight, Delta took the time to go back to the gate and kick a passenger off the plane after a big bout of bad timing.

One passenger on a Delta flight just really, really couldn’t hold it in anymore and ran for the restroom while his plane was on the tarmac, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports. Instead of admonishing him and carrying on, however, flight crew turned around, made everyone get off the plane, and had him met with law enforcement.

The incident took place on Delta flight 2035, from Atlanta to Milwaukee, on April 18. When the passenger was done with his business, the plane returned to the gate and two Delta agents tried to get him off the plane. He refused to go, so Delta made everyone deplane, and then prevented him from getting back on board with all the other passengers a short while later, another passenger told the Journal Sentinel.

That other passenger recorded the whole thing, and posted the videos to a blog created for them.

Delta’s first attempt:

And the second:

The woman who made the recordings also shared her frustration with how Delta handled the situation in an open letter to the airline, calling it, “the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer that I have seen in my two decades of flying.”

He said it was an emergency, she writes, but agents told him to sit down and then, when he was done, was told that the pilot “would have to talk to him,” and after that is when he got the boot.

The peeing passenger told the Journal Sentinel that he knew he was the reason everyone was being made to get off the plane.

“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,'” right after he got back to his seat, he said. “It escalated to that point that fast.”

“It was already understood and decided that I was a problem and I was getting kicked off the plane,” he told the paper. “When I exited there were FBI agents waiting for me with Delta personnel.”

He received a partial refund of his ticket cost, and booked a flight home on a different airline for three times what his original Delta ticket had cost.

In a statement to the Journal Sentinel, a representative for Delta reminded the paper that federal law requires passengers to comply with instructions from the flight crew.

“Our flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers,” Delta said. “It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing.”