USA airline makes emergency pit-stop for bathroom break

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Airplanes have had to make emergency landings and unplanned stops for a variety of reasons, but for a potty break?

The Boeing 757 made a stop in in Billings, Montana on Saturday after the toilets became full and the passengers could not hold it all the way to the West Coast, according to The Billings-Gazette newspaper.

The flight was moving towards Seattle in the USA, situated on the North-West corner of the country, near Canadian border but had to divert mid-way hundreds of kilometres south in Montana so that passengers could attend to nature's call. While en route from NY, the Boeing 757's toilets stopped working and after a while, passengers just couldn't hold it any longer, forcing the emergency landing.

A Delta spokesman confirmed in a statement that the crew of Delta flight 453, which took off from New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, chose to stop in Billings during its approximately six-hour trip "after receiving an indication of an issue with the aircraft lavatories".

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While enroute, the Boeing 757's toilets "ceased functioning, with passengers queuing up and indicating they needed to visit the toilet", according to a Delta incident report. When the plane landed, a gate wasn't available, so the plane had to taxi to a cargo area.

Ground crews then rolled a stairway to the plane so passengers could disembark and relieve themselves of "built-up pressures". The plane's toilets were fixed in the meantime, and the plane was refueled so that it could take off again.

Kevin Ploehn, the Billings director of aviation and transit, said passengers were escorted into the terminal where they could go to the bathroom and wait while the plane's toilets were serviced. "That can't be very pleasant".