Every traveller knows that you can’t take scissors in your carry on, and that talking about bombs in an airport is a no-no, but did you know you could be kicked off a flight because of your body odour? Or that frozen liquids are permitted while unfrozen liquids aren’t? There are quite a few strange airline rules of which even experienced flyers aren’t aware, such as …
1. The big four US airlines, American, Delta, Southwest and United, may deny boarding for passengers who don’t fit into a single seat, can’t put the armrests down beside them or who cannot fit the seatbelt around their waist.
2. Hawaiian Airlines deem hairstyles such as top-knots, dreadlocks, cornrows, mohawks and extreme or unnatural colours (e.g. pink, purple) as unacceptable.
3. Some carriers can refuse a passenger (or remove them from the plane) if the individual has an offensive odour.
4. Human remains are allowed onboard so long as they are cremated and are stored in a wood, cardboard or plastic container.
5. Many airlines abide by the unadvertised ‘flat tyre rule’, which means if you’re running late for a flight and, beforehand or upon arrival, inform the check-in agent that you had a flat tyre, you may be reassigned to another flight without extra charges, or at least with just a transfer fee. You don’t even need documentation to support this claim.
6. Most airlines will refuse barefoot passengers, and some ask for high heels to be swapped with flat-soled shoes, both for safety reasons during emergency evacuations.
7. Passengers deemed ‘improperly clothed’ or wearing clothes thought to be offensive to fellow passengers can also be refused passage.
8. Overcoats or jackets, umbrellas, laptops, cameras and small handbags are not counted as carry-on baggage.
9. Thai Airways cabin crew have to wear separate uniforms on land and in the air.
10. On British Airways flights, people who die during a flight are moved to a first-class seat.
11. If you’ve had your tonsils removed, you have to wait three weeks before you can fly with Qantas.
12. Some airlines count the gel inserts in your shoes as part of your carry-on liquid limits.
13. If any of your items are prohibited and intercepted at security, you don’t have to surrender them. Instead, you can post them back home to yourself.
14. You may travel with an animal on board if you need it for emotional support or if it’s a service animal. But don’t try bringing your pet rat, rodent, snake or spider on board, as they are banned. However, small monkeys are fine (so long as they can fit under the seat in front of you), as are birds of prey on Middle Eastern flights.
15. Pilots aren’t allowed to speak within 10,000 feet of ascent and within 10,000 feet on approach. It’s called the ‘Sterile Cockpit Rule’ and it’s enforced so that pilots focus solely on their assigned duties.
How many of these rules were you aware of? Do you know of any other strange airline rules?
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