Many of you will have seen videos where a passenger has been removed, sometimes forcibly, from a plane. Most of the time, you will have seen an extreme circumstance, such as violence on board or passengers trying to sneak onto planes without a ticket.
It’s easy to scoff and sneer at such footage, but you may be surprised to know that you can be removed from a plane for more minor infractions.
The flight and cabin crew do their utmost to ensure a safe, smooth and comfortable flight for everyone on board. And what they say is the law. If you disrupt the happy environment or prevent them, in any way, from doing their jobs, you may find yourself quickly back on the tarmac. Well, in the gate lounge at least.
Here are 11 sure-fire ways to be removed from a plane.
1. Being late
If you miss the boarding time, you may not even get on the plane – even if you think you’re early. Carefully check your ticket for boarding times and arrive at those – the quoted period – not the departure time. You should arrive at the gate lounge at least 30 minutes before departure time. If you arrive at the departure time, or even 10–15 minutes prior, chances are, your seats will be given away.
2. Being rude to the crew
As I stated earlier, the cabin crew are the law onboard. And yet, most passengers treat them as mere servants when they should respect them as they would police. Being rude or aggressive to them will have you quickly escorted from the plane or in trouble when you land.
This also applies for instructions. If you are asked to pull up (or down) your shades, put your seat in the upright position or any other instruction and you disobey, you can be escorted from the plane or, again, in trouble when you land.
3. Sexual (mis)conduct
Sure, it’s the dream of many passengers to join the mile-high club, but get caught and you could land in hot water. This rule applies to sex in the bathroom, messing around on the seats or anywhere in the plane, exposing yourself, watching porn on your laptop, or groping a flight attendant.
4. Threats and aggression
Do we really need to go into this one? Suffice to say, this is the quickest and most effective way to have your hands in cuffs at the end of the day.
5. Dropping the ‘B’ word
Any suggestion of a bomb, explosives, hijacking or terror references can have you in serious trouble – even if you’re only joking.
6. Being too drunk
Airlines can be fined for allowing drunk passengers onboard. So, stick to the one or two drinks before you board and keep your drinking in check while flying.
7. Crying babies
Flying is tough for kids, especially infants. And while most cabin crew will be very patient and allow leeway, if you find yourself flying with a tiny child whom you can’t placate, you may be asked to catch a later flight.
8. Being too smelly
If something smells untoward on a plane, that plane can be grounded – even if that smell emanates from you. So, deodorise up, have a shower before you board and try to keep your scent in check, or you could find yourself grounded before you fly.
9. Going shoeless
There are two good reasons why you need to wear shoes when you fly. The first is that your feet may smell bad (see point 8). The second is that, if there is an emergency, cabin crew will require you to be able to move quickly and safely, and shoes ensure that end.
10. Wearing the wrong clothes
It may sound judgmental, but provocative clothing, such as skimpy shorts, uber-tight leggings and tops that expose cleavage and midriff may be deemed to cause discomfort or offence to other passengers, leaving you on the ground.
11. Being overweight
Some airlines have a rule that if you’re too big to sit in a seat and buckle your seatbelt around you, then you can’t fly.
Have you ever been kicked off a plane? Or do you know someone who has? What was the reason? Was it justified? Do you think there is good cause to have someone removed from a plane?