Going to the airport can be a stressful experience, especially if it is the first time you get on a plane. There are a lot of things you have to pack, taking care not to forget any important documents, all while making sure you can fit everything you need in the bag allowance you have. However, there is something about getting to the airport and having to go through security that can be unnerving, even knowing that you have nothing to hide!
Let’s face it, most of us aren’t trying to smuggle anything, but we still get nervous at security checks. The last thing any of us need is to know that we can be banned from the plane after going through all of that! Yes, you read that right. You can be barred from flying with certain airlines due to what you do or how you act. There are tens of stories that either make the news or are shared by bystanders who saw the whole interaction, or they are friends who retell what the original person went through.
Truth be told, it is pretty hard to get yourself banned for life in the United States. But it doesn’t mean it does not happen. Every airline has its own rules and codes of conduct, that each person agrees to when they buy their ticket: if they do not know them and get testy with the crew, they can be banned from flying with them. Generally, it is uncommon that a person gets blacklisted just from one airline, but it can happen.
Talking about getting kicked off a flight, is an entirely different can of worms. You can be kicked off a flight for things that you would think do not matter, but by buying a ticket you are agreeing that the authorized personnel (the flight attendants) gets to have broad latitude to deny any passenger transportation if they find them to be unruly or abusive. This can lead to newsworthy stories or just funny real ones that you find out from friends.
Here we have gathered some of the reasons for which you can be kicked off or barred from flying in the U.S. and the stories behind them! Let us know if you’ve thought of these before or if any of them are news to you!
Throwing a Fit
We all happened to be seated next to someone that we were not so keen on. Having around a small child that cries all the way, a toddler that throws a tantrum because they are tired and bored, or a spoiled child kicking your seat, is not the most pleasant flight experience, and we bet everyone has a horror story about something like this. Yet, people generally take it like champs, enduring the crying from babies (thank God for noise-canceling headphones) or talking to the parents in the case of older children.
However, there are some people who cannot deal with it as we all do, and this may just cost you a seat on the plane. Forever.
It happened on a JetBlue flight back in 2019, where a woman saw that she was about to fly all the way to Las Vegas seated next to a three-year-old. Needless to say, the woman did not grin and bear it, after all the kid could have been very well mannered. That was not the case for the lady who started screaming her head off. According to other passengers, she started verbally abusing the crew members, other passengers that got involved and even spit at some people. Everything ended with the woman being kicked off the flight and facing battery charges because yes, she hit a JetBlue agent, and the whole ordeal delayed the flight for two hours.
So, keep in mind that kids throwing tantrums may not be banned from airlines, but if a grown person does it, they will not hesitate to bar them from ever flying again!
This one is quite nonsensical and the airline that did this got a ton of bad press because of it. The entire internet went up in a frenzy over it. In 2017 United Airlines refused to let two teen girls board a flight because they were wearing leggings. A woman that saw the whole exchange put it up on Twitter, also noting that a man who was wearing shorts that stopped above the knee was allowed to board, asking since when are airlines allowed to police what people wear.
Later on, United said that since the girls were part of the “pass travelers” program, which lets family members of United employees fly for free, they had to adhere to a certain dress code different from other passengers. This did not fly under the radar, as people claimed it was a flimsy excuse and United got a big blow to their reputation. So next time you want to be comfortable and are flying United, maybe change into some sweatpants so you do not run the risk of not being allowed on the flight.
This rule has become quite a big umbrella term for a number of things some passengers may end up doing or shouting on flights, And many of the things here on our list can easily make it on the “being disrespectful” list. But generally, airlines have made it a priority to make sure that people who are not acting in a civilized manner will no longer be allowed to fly with them: whether it happened during or before take-off.
We have all seen those videos with people just suddenly exciting unrest, by yelling and arguing with flight attendants, or those who have drunk too much and end up causing a scene. With the rise of turmoil between Democrats and Republicans, such displays have become more frequent, and airlines are showing an increase of a no-tolerance policy when it comes to this rule.
For example, on January 5th, 2021, Utah Senator Mitt Romney was harassed on a Delta flight by passengers who were supporters of Donald Trump, who called him a “traitor” and then refused to wear masks. Six people were banned from ever flying with Delta over that incident. It just shows that some people, no matter their political affiliation, need to learn that they cannot do or say whatever they want because there are consequences and airlines are ready to enforce their rules to ensure the safety and comfort of their other passengers.
Not Wearing a Mask
With the direction in which our society has gone in the last few years, the fact that airlines started to impose wearing masks on their flights is nothing new or out of the ordinary. If anything, some of us might have been wondering why it was not something required of sick passengers before the rise of the coronavirus! How many times have you been on a flight, only to get a cold the next day after you got home?
Yet, not wearing a mask at this moment in time is bound to get you a full ban: there are numerous airlines that have made a no-fly list for passengers that refuse to wear them on their flights. Delta, one of the biggest airlines, has announced last year that since they announced their mask wearing rule, 880 passengers have been banned from flying with them because they refused to wear a mask!
Of course, if you have a valid medical excuse and a medical professional wrote you an exemption note, you are exempt from the airline’s rules. And it is not so draconian as many may make it sound: you are allowed to take it off to eat or drink. No one expects you to fly for hours without any sips of water or any food.
If anything, there is also a silver lining for the people who have been banned because of this rule: a spokesperson from Delta has said that the bans are in place for as long as the rule is in effect. This means that when it is no longer mandatory to wear masks, those banned could make it off the no-fly list. However, there’s no way to say when that may happen.
Vaping Inside the Plane
After all airlines had banned smoking on planes, everyone got over their displeasure with this rule fairly easily. Yet, as history is repeating itself and people realize that while vaping isn’t as dangerous as actually smoking it can still create a lot of problems and has detrimental effects on your health, other still do not care. Even worse, there are still some people who choose to think that certain rules do not apply to them.
That would not be a problem, if not for the fact that they end up ignoring rules that are so universally known that it is out of the question for someone to forget it. This applies to the no-smoking rule on aircrafts: some people seem to think that smoking may be banned, but vaping isn’t. Here’s some new info for them: it totally is.
A man from Florida (don’t we all love Florida man?) tried to vape while in his seat, only to be told by the flight attendant that it is not allowed. Since he was so adamant to vape despite being reprimanded, he went to the bathroom to vape there, thinking he was slick. It all went against him when the smoke alarm went off: the pilot had to lower the plane for the alarm to stop ringing. Truly, if you cannot follow the crew’s instructions because you think rules do not apply to you, you truly should be banned from flying.
This one goes without saying, but it seems like some people do not care about flying safety, and are truly quite silly. You would think that if you choose to fly instead of driving somewhere you would be aware that the cabin is pressurized and there is no circumstance in which you can open the door after it has been closed, nor the windows for that matter.
Yet, there is an impressive (and sad) number of people that ask flight attendants if they can open the door or lower the windows for some fresh air! Sir, you are tens of thousands of feet in the air, you cannot just ask that!
Thankfully there is no recorded incident where someone tried to open the doors in the U.S., but passengers from a London flight to Turkey got a pretty good scare when a woman started to become aggressive. In her frenzy, she also tried to open the doors mid-air, but the flight attendants managed to prevent that. It still didn’t help as the Royal Air Force was called to escort the plane back to London due to how the woman was acting. Needless to say, she was both fined more than $100,000 and was banned from flying with the airline FOR LIFE! Serves her right!
However, who is to say others with such crazy ideas are not lurking closer to home?
If you liked our list, make sure you are ready for your next flight and read up on how to avoid paying checked baggage fees here!