Outrageous Reasons Why People Have Been Kicked Off Airplanes

Security at airports is tighter than ever before. Passengers are being scrutinized for disorderly conduct, the definition of which is sometimes open to interpretation. Precise data about incidents isn't recorded, but suspicious travelers and victimized passengers have social media and smartphones at their disposal to record and document some odd and bizarre occurrences. "In my experience, most people that manage to set off their personal 'ejection seat' from an aircraft usually do so by starting their vacation full-force on take-off," Lia Volpe, flight attendant and owner of Flight Attendant Prep Academy, says. People can be quite unreasonable while traveling. After all, overcrowded conditions, altitude, waiting for what may seem forever even though the plane is right outside the window, can enrage even the most patient passengers.

Romance in Row 18

A passenger once asked for a pillow and blanket because it was too cold on the flight. "Little did I know that this blanket would be used as a 'tool' to heat up their romance in Row 18," Volpe says. "Awkwardly I asked them to refrain only to return five minutes later to the 'Honeymoon Suite' to find them at it again." With a flight full of children and the scheduled in-flight movie to be PG rated, it was time for them to do the "walk of shame" off the aircraft. 

Booze cruise

A classic mistake passengers make is treating their flight experience as some form of "booze cruise," Volpe says. "Many people think that making it past the gate agent is the magic check-point to start the party," she adds. Flight Attendants have keen eyes and a keener nose to sniff out alcohol. "During a weather delay in Chicago O'Hare Airport, I was passing the local airport bar and happened to notice two young ladies enjoying tequila shots," Volpe says. "Although that is not grounds for dismissal by any means, showing up an hour later at my gate clearly intoxicated and seated in the exit rows doesn't 'fly.'" 


Although an aircraft isn't a library, passengers should understand that raising their voices in disdain is not a smart way to secure their safe travel, Volpe says. Flight attendants wear many hats in the air and refereeing or policing passengers seems to be in the job description. "During a flight to Philadelphia the call button brought me to two grown men moments away from fighting. When I asked what the problem was I came to find out that the disagreement was over who was first in line to use the lavatory," Volpe adds. "As many attempts as I made to diffuse the situation, bravado reigned supreme as they continued to escalate the argument and it became physical." She said she managed to separate them for the remainder of the flight and they got a first class escort off of the aircraft by airport security.

Trying to open an exit in flight

A passenger was once tackled to the floor for attempting to open the main cabin door in flight, Volpe says. [See: Most Outrageous Passenger Requests As Told By Flight Attendants] Many people don't realize that you can't open an exit when the cabin is pressurized.  He was detained by passengers in row one and put in 'Tuff Cuffs' which are plastic hand-cuffs used by flight attendants. "We later came to find out that he was overly medicated," she adds.

Sorry, you’re too tall

An airline admitted that it removed a 6'9" passenger for being too tall to fit into his seat, according to media reports. [See: Airlines Offering Least and Most Leg Room] Allegedly, before his flight, the passenger tried several times to get a seat in an exit row, but a customer service agent told him that his 'long limbs were now the crew's problem. And it really was. A flight attendant walking by tripped over his legs. Another staff member explained that he must remove his legs from the aisle or leave the flight. He had to get off the plane.

Your pants are sagging too low

Liquids and weapons, among other things, and baggy pants sagging too low can't fly on a plane. One man  was told his clothing was revealing too much, as they were below his buttocks and the boxer shorts were showing. Police say the baggy pants led to his arrest. Authorities say the man was asked to pull up his pants but he refused. The airline's dress code forbids "indecent exposure or inappropriate" apparel.

Be nice, even if you are a superstar

Actor Alec Baldwin was playing the popular Scrabble-like game "Words with Friends." He tweeted: "Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt." Other passengers said he was actually also talking on the phone. Technically, Baldwin was left at the gate before takeoff because he refused to turn off his cell phone and was being aggressive and rude towards the crew members.

Don’t tweet the pilot is taking a sobriety test

A frustrated passenger, annoyed after a delay, tweeted she hoped the bar was fully stocked. [See: The Most Annoying Passengers on Your Flight] The pilot thought he was being accused of being intoxicated. It went so far that a sobriety test was performed, causing an even  bigger delay. The pilot was cleared and all passengers were allowed to re-board, except the one who actually tweeted about the alcohol test. The airline said she was denied boarding due to unruly behavior and creating a disturbance by the gate area.

Ma’am, please stop singing

A passenger treated fellow travelers to renditions of the Whitney Houston hit song "I will always love you" during a 6-hour flight from L.A. to New York, according to reports. At one point, passengers and crew had too much. The pilot had to divert flight path to make emergency landing in Kansas City. The woman was still singing, even as she was escorted off the plane by the police. 

Your stench is too much

A man was not allowed to board because he smelled too badly. The airline denies the allegation but there is a video, according to the media, showing how a staff member tells him that the crew and passengers he been complaining about his odor. He was told the captain has the right to refuse him, that he won't be flying today and that he had to take a shower. The police were called to remove the passenger, but they refused because he was not a danger. In the end, he was persuaded to leave.

Don’t wish me “Merry Christmas”

A passenger was tossed off a plane after flipping out because a gate agent wished him a merry Christmas. The man got upset because "not everyone celebrated Christmas." The agent asked what she should say instead and this is when the passenger yelled at her, according to the media. A crew member also wished him a merry Christmas when he boarded the plane and that upset the man even more. He raged on, lecturing the staff, after which he was escorted off the flight.

Saying “bomb” too many times because of Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is a nervous system disorder causing repetitive movements or uncontrolled speech. The passenger was reminding himself not to say "bomb" once he goton the plane, but could not suppress it. He had medical documentation describing his condition, but the pilot refused to let him stay. After Doyle was not allowed on the flight, his friend stayed with him, missing their 18th century battle reenactment in Puerto Rico, for which they had been preparing for two years, according to reports.

The passenger next to you is not comfortable

Errol Narvaez, a 385-pound man said that when the passenger who was supposed to be sitting next to him came up, he stood up so the other guy could sit down but he refused. Then he went to a flight attendant and whispered in her ear. The flight supervisor then asked Narvaez to leave the plane. The other passenger refused to move to another seat, and Narvaez was forced to continue what he called a "walk of shame" from Row 36 to the exit door.


A teenage girl was on a 10-hour flight. She fell asleep and woke up coughing, gasping for air. She was given water and a doctor on the plane said she'd be OK to fly for so long, but the captain did not agree. The airline said in a statement that the girl was coughing "uncontrollably" and that "the captain felt he was acting in the best interest of the passenger and other passengers on the flight."

Sometimes it’s not obvious at all

A woman was in line getting ready to board a plane when a gate agent yelled at her, for seemingly no reason, to stay right there. "I asked you three times," he told her. "You can get off this flight," the attendant said. "I'll kick you off of this plane right now." He started opening the overhead compartments around her seat. "Where's your bag?" he said. "You're getting off this plane. I'm going to kick you off this plane." The incident was captured on video. The woman thought she was randomly chosen to get off the flight to make room for a man who took her seat almost immediately. The airline said it had apologized.