A transcontinental Delta flight was forced to make an emergency landing just a few states away from its destination on Saturday night after its toilets stopped working, leaving passengers who desperately had to relieve themselves on the verge of rioting.
Fliers aboard the Boeing 757 headed to Seattle from New York City were treated to a fairly uneventful flight until the jet’s toilets suddenly gave up the ghost, the Billings Gazette reported.
A Delta incident report revealed that the lavatories “ceased functioning, with passengers queuing up and indicating they needed to visit the toilet… All toilets were full and passengers needed to ‘go really bad.’”
The plane was flying along the Canadian border above North Dakota when the situation reached a fever pitch, prompting the crew to take matters into their own hands. Instead of continuing westward to its destination, the plane diverted hundreds of miles south to Billings Logan International Airport and touched down at around 6:00 pm local time.
The passengers’ ordeal wasn’t over yet, though: ground crews could not immediately make a gate available for the surprise visitor. Instead of forcing passengers “that needed to find a lavatory very urgently” to wait any longer, the pilots taxied the plane to a cargo area where they were met by workers with a rolling stairway.
Passengers were finally able to “disembark to find relief of built-up pressures,” the Delta report confirmed. Meanwhile, the plane’s toilets were fixed and its fuel tank filled up so that it could complete the journey to Seattle.
“I’ve heard of flights getting diverted, not here, because toilets overflowed and that blue water was rolling down the aisle,” Billings director of aviation and transit Kevin Ploehn mused to the newspaper. “That can’t be very pleasant.”