A Delta flight from New York City to Seattle had to be diverted hundreds of miles from its destination after the plane's toilets stopped working and passengers couldn't hold it in any longer.

The scheduled six-hour flight made the bathroom stop in Billings, Montana at around 6pm local time (1am GMT) on Saturday (2 December).

It came after the Boeing 757's toilets had stopped working and passengers were queuing up and indicating they needed the toilet, according to an incident report published on AeroInside.

The pilot then requested the unscheduled stop when passengers had enough and said they needed to "go really bad", the report added.

Upon landing, the aircraft had to taxi to a cargo area because a gate was not available.

Ground crews then rolled a stairway to the plane so passengers could disembark and relieve themselves of "built-up pressures".

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. The plane was also refueled so it could take off again, he said.

"I've heard of flights getting diverted, not here, because toilets overflowed and that blue water was rolling down the aisle," Ploehn told The Billings Gazette. "That can't be very pleasant."

The aircraft continued to Seattle after around three hours on the ground, reaching its destination three-and-a-half hours beyond the scheduled landing time.

It's not the first time a plane has made an unscheduled stop due to faulty toilets.

Last year an OpenSkies transatlantic flight from just outside New York to Paris was diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland after a "serious problem" with the Boeing 767's aircraft rendered them unusable.

Passengers had such an "urgent need" to use the bathroom that the pilot requested the unscheduled landing.

And in 2015, a British Airways flight to Dubai returned to Heathrow after around 30 minutes due to pungent odours from an overflowing toilet.