Things That Can Get You Booted From A Plane (And How to Avoid it)
After the United Airlines scandal, people are beginning to worry that they may be the next to be forcibly removed from their flight. Here's how to keep it from happening to you.
When footage came out of an innocent passenger being dragged out in cuffs from a United Airlines flight, the entire traveling world got into an uproar. The man, who was reportedly calm before he was ejected and beaten, became a symbol of an increasingly worrisome trend in travel.
It seems like more people than ever before are being denied entry into countries or forcibly removed from planes. This trend, which is partially due to the unsettled political climate throughout the world, has got people wondering if it's worth traveling anymore at all.
Sadly, it's easier than ever to be forcibly removed from a plane seat that you paid for. At times, it even happens to innocent people. However, with the right steps, you can avoid getting ejected. Experts say that these are the most common reasons people get kicked off of planes, and how you can avoid being one of the people who no longer can go home.
Not following the crew's instructions.
By and far, this is the most common reason why people are booted off of planes - and it's also the most reasonable reason, too. When stewards tell you that you should buckle your seatbelt, they're doing so because it's a matter of safety. When they tell you to turn off cellphones, it's because it's the law.
When you step onto the plane, the stewards are in charge - not you. If you don't want to follow the rules, they don't have to allow you to fly. Their house, their rules.
So, if you want to avoid being barred from flying, follow their instructions. It's really not so hard to do, and it will cause a lot less drama. If they tell you to buckle up, buckle your seat belt. If they ask you to lower your headphone volume, do that, too.
Getting disruptive or belligerent.
No one wants to be on a plane with a person who is looking to start a fight. A person who is angry in the air is a person who could potentially cause serious problems to other travelers or even hurt someone. People can't walk away from belligerent people once they're in the air, either.
Aggression and profanity are two things you need to avoid at all cost when on a plane. Most airlines will give you a warning or two before they decide that it's time to eject you. However, we're going to be more forward and tell you not to even think about doing this.
Yes, airlines do have a dress code - and depending on the airline, it can be very easy to get denied entry once you show them your boarding pass. Clothing that could offend other patrons has gotten people kicked off of a number of planes in the past.
Your best bet to staying on the plane is to dress conservatively. This means no overly revealing clothing, no skin-tight leggings, and no politically-charged shirts. If you're a man, don't wear boxer-exposing baggy pants.
Aggravatingly enough, the dress code enforcement is totally up to the people who are on duty when the plan takes off. So, while you technically could risk traveling while dressed provocatively, it's still better to err on the side of caution in case some stewardess arbitrarily decides it's a no-go.
Having a crying baby or badly behaved kids.
We all know that parents seem to have it extra hard when they're traveling with kids - and it's totally not fair that they can potentially be ejected from a plane because of something their kids do. It's even worse when you're trying to get your kiddo to settle down but to no avail.
As bad as it is, flight crew members do have the right to ask you to leave the plane if your baby won't stop crying or if your kids become disruptive. Your best bet is to wait until kids are old enough to behave themselves - or to just get a sitter.
Being under the influence.
Though airlines do allow people to get a glass of champagne, they aren't cool with people who are drunk or drugged. Simply put, being under the influence while flying can be a bad life decision that may result in you getting belligerent - and flight crews don't want to deal with that.
So, if you want to avoid getting kicked off for this reason, make a point to stick to a single beer before you get on the plane...and don't drink too much on flight.
Being too heavy.
Comic book geek and filmmaker Kevin Smith made headlines after he was kicked off an airplane for being too heavy to fit into a seat with a seatbelt extender. Most airlines will ask people who are too large for a regular seat to buy two seat tickets instead of one.
Sadly, there's really only two ways to overcome this airline hurdle. Either you play it safe by buying two seats - or you lose weight. (Sorry.)
Having gross hygiene.
If you've gone on a plane before, you already know how cramped they are. Making matters worse is the sickly smell of recycled air. This is basically the worst environment to be stuck with a person who reeks, especially for the poor person who'll be forced to sit next to them.
Needless to say, most airline companies already know this and have policies that allow them to bar people who have bad hygiene from flying with them. People who want to avoid getting flight-banned can always start by taking a shower and keeping as clean as possible.
Obviously, each airline is different.
Before you get to the airport, you can learn more about your airline's policies by reading up on them via their websites. Or, in the case of United, you could maximize your chances by refusing to buy plane tickets from them.