Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

In our safety-conscious world, modern air travel has seen increasing examples of passengers being refused permission to fly for the most frivolous of things. We got together with Expedia to come up with just a few of the wackiest reasons people have been escorted from their flights prior to take-off recently....

Toddler rage

Ejected: The child who cried

Toddlers cry. It's just a fact of life. But that wasn't good enough for the air stewards who booted three-year old David Yanchuk from his Alaska Airlines flight in 2012. When the youngster was told to turn his iPad off during take-off he became upset and refused to keep his seat-belt on. Staff informed the captain, who returned to the gate and requested young David and his family vacate the plane, citing safety issues. Fair enough or a bit harsh? You decide.

woman is disgusted by the stench

Booted out: The man who whiffed a bit

In 2014, a 27-year old passenger from Paris was left baffled when he was kicked off his flight because he smelled. The man, who was flying from Charles de Gaulle airport to Dallas, was confronted by a steward prior to take-off while on his way to the bathroom, and asked to leave the plane and take a shower. American Airlines later claimed there was an issue with the traveller's visa, although the man made an official complaint against the company.

Woman pushing up her breasts for beautiful curvy cleavage.

Bounced off: The woman with a low-cut top

Southwest Airlines hit the headlines in 2012 when they refused to allow a woman to board her flight from Las Vegas to New York because her dress was too revealing. Her attire drew the attention of staff, who declared it inappropriate and insisted it broke the company's rules on clothing which is "lewd, obscene or patently offensive" and requested she remove herself from the plane. The airline – which had previously been criticised for its treatment of female passengers - later apologised for theover-reaction, offering a refund and an apology.

Jaguars Titans Football

Shown the door: The Grinch

It all started with an innocent bit of seasonal goodwill. A flight attendant at LaGuardia airport in New York wished a passenger a merry Christmas, and all hell broke loose. The Scrooge-like flyer berated the attendant, before lambasting an air steward upon boarding the plane for a similar greeting. The man's rage reached fever pitch as he was dragged from the plane to a chorus of mocking Christmas carols from his fellow passengers.

Businessman using a smart phone at an airport

Cast out: The Tweeter

When Duff Watson took to Twitter to complain about his treatment by Southwest Airlines staff after being refused priority boarding at Denver International Airport, he probably sent the message and thought nothing more of it. But eagle-eyed media monitors spotted his message, which read: "Wow, rudest agent in Denver[...]not happy @SWA" - and decided that it constituted a security threat. Watson and his two children were told they had to "exit the flight immediately", and were not allowed to re-board until he had deleted the offending comment. Of course, upon landing he sent an even more critical comment, which sent the story viral – doing no end of harm to the airline's reputation.

A7NBFY Short businessman looking up at tall businessman standing side by side smiling front view

Turned away: The tall bloke

As if having to track down pricey super-sized clothes and shoes wasn't punishment enough, a 6'9" passenger endured the height of embarrassment when he was removed from a domestic flight in the USA. The unfortunate gentleman was kicked off the flight after realising he was unable to fit his legs into the space in front of him, tripping over a steward as he stretched into the aisle – despite having tried to arrange for an aisle seat prior to boarding. Horizon Air apologised to the man and granted him the ticket price off a future flight as a gesture of goodwill.

Turtle Swimming Floatie

Ousted: The tortoise guy

Bored social media star Jerome Jarre decided to keep his fans amused on a flight from Mexico to Miami by changing into his swimming trunks mid-flight, and squeezing himself into a child's inflatable tortoise ring. His silly prank may have entertained over 900,000 followers, but left him in hot water as he was detained by the FBI upon his arrival in the Sunshine State. Jarre was eventually released without charge and revelled in the aftermath with a series of celebratory Tweets as the incident went viral – insisting that "everyone in the airplane loved it".

Singing Girl

Thrown out: The singing woman

An "unruly" passenger was kicked off an American Airlines flight after she repeatedly sang Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You at the top of her voice. The flight from Los Angeles to New York made an emergency landing at Kansas City International Airport after cabin crew and fellow passengers were less than impressed with her "disruptive" vocals.

Twelve things not to do on a plane
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Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

If you want to return a beloved, deceased relation to their homeland, you'll usually have to pay repatriation fees. One way to get round these is to do what two German women allegedly did when Curt Willi Jarant, the women's 91 year old husband/stepfather died and they wanted to fly him home to Germany: bundle him into a wheelchair, stick some sunglasses on him and say he's 'sleeping'. Only trouble is, someone eventually noticed.

Ok, it's slightly annoying and uncomfortable when someone reclines their seat right back during the meal service, but it probably doesn't justify full blown fisticuffs, resulting in an F-16 fighter jet escort back to Washington and $50,000 worth of fuel being dumped, as happened on an American flight to Ghana last year.

It may be tough flying with babies, but if you cause a stink you could be in big trouble. One passenger who cleaned up her baby on a Qantas flight was held responsible for grounding a flight after cabin crew panicked about the 'strange smell'. The flight had to make an emergency landing at Mt Isa, where passengers say they had to be forklifted off the plane because the airport didn't have the facilities to disembark the huge Boeing 767. Not a good look.

Strange as it may sound, one Dutch passenger was caught trying to smuggle hummingbirds in his pants on a flight from French Guiana in September 2011. They were sewn inside his pants, each individually wrapped in cloth and taped up to stop them escape him. Not surprisingly, he was spotted fidgeting and was eventually arrested... lesson learned (we presume).

Tempting as it may be, shutting a toddler in with the hand luggage is a definite no-no. One flight attendant was sacked for doing just that on a Virgin Blue flight in 2011. According to mum Natalie Williamson, he came and put her son Riley into a locker and closed the latch. He claimed it was part of a game of peekaboo, but Natalie - and the airline - saw things differently...

You know how it is - you go on holiday, spot a cute monkey, think how sweet it would be to have as a pet...For most of us, the fantasy ends there. Not so the American woman who spent an entire flight home from Thailand with a drugged rhesus monkey strapped to her to look like a pregnant belly. Incredibly, she got through security back home in LA, and was only caught when she blabbed to a shop assistant, who informed the (slightly embarrassed) authorities.

It's far better to cross your legs - believe us. French actor Gerard Depardieu was thrown off a City Jet flight from Paris to Dublin last August for urinating on the plane. The aircraft was ready to take off when the actor asked to use the toilet - but he was told by staff to stay in his seat. He resorted to peeing into a bottle, much to the chagrin of cabin crew. When some spilled onto the floor, the crew alerted the pilot and the plane had to taxi back to the terminal, where Depardieu was escorted off the plane.

Anyone who has children themselves (or even just a smidgen of common sense) will know that throwing water on a screaming baby is not the best way to quieten it, but this was the approach American passenger Ronald Duffy chose on a flight to Brazil in 2004. He was almost lynched by fellow passengers, his visa was revoked, he was deported...and still the baby kept crying (probably).

It's not actually possible to open a plane's emergency exits when its in the air, but that knowledge would probably have done little to reassure passengers onboard a flight from Palma to Newcastle last year when a 22-year old man tried to pull open the plane doors at 36,000 ft, screaming 'it's ok, we're just on a flight simulator.' It took eight seat belts to restrain him and six police officers were waiting to arrest him when the plane made an emergency landing at Gatwick.

A recent survey found that one in ten Brits claim have joined the 'Mile High Club' by having sex in a plane loo - but it could get you into serious trouble, as one Australian couple discovered on a flight in Queensland in December 2011. The pair were caught in a compromising position in the plane toilet - and the man was promptly charged with offensive and disorderly conduct under the Civil Aviation Safety Act.

Despite the fact that smoking has been banned on aeroplanes for the last 15 years it didn't stop a Canadian family of three from lighting up on a flight to the Dominincan Republic. The plane was forced to divert and make an unscheduled landing in Bermuda and the other passengers had to spend the night in a hotel before continuing their journeys the next day. No prizes for guessing who the most unpopular passengers on that flight were!

It's no secret that most men find air hostesses rather attractive, but one 34-year-old man took his attraction a little bit far when he was caught taking pictures up the skirt of an airline attendant on a Japan Airways flight. He used a small, pen-shaped micro camera to take the photos and admitted that he couldn't help himself as he was "aroused by uniforms." However, he managed to escape criminal charges - because prosecutors couldn't determine exactly which part of Japan the plane was flying over at the time of the incident.


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Airport security gone mad?
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Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

Last March, a toddler in a wheelchair was subjected to an invasive body search and swabbed for explosives on his way to Disneyland. His father, who filmed the incident, which took place at Chicago O'Hare Airport, said: "He was trembling with fear... I was told I could not touch him or come near him during this process." 

A man who is believed to posess "the world's largest penis" sparked a security scare after airport staff at San Francisco International Airport thought he might have been concealing a weapon. Jonah Falcon (pictured) was subjected to a rigorous patdown and had powder sprinkled on his pants to check for explosives...

Last Christmas, an 85-year-old woman in a wheelchair claimed she was strip-searched at JFK Airport, New York. Leonore Zimmerman, who has a defibrillator for heart problems, was worried that the scanners would interfere with her life-saving device, so asked for a pat down. Instead, she says she was taken to a private room and told to remove her clothes in a humiliating search that also left injured. The process took so long that she also missed her flight. Howver, the TSA denied the incident had taken place.

In June, a passenger was left devastaed after a TSA official spilled the ashes of his grandfather over the terminal floor. John Gross was attempting to take the ashes home to Indianapolis when he was stopped at security. He claims she dipped her finger into the jar, spilling its contents onto the floor, despite TSA rules that state that a crematory container are to be opened in no circumstances.

This summer, a report revealed that a disproportionate amount of women were being singled out for strip searches at Gatwick Airport. The government's chief investigator of immigration John Vine, also revealed that Afro-Caribbean women in particular were being targeted. Reasons given for strip searches by Border Force staff at Gatwicks' North Terminal included only buying a ticket one day before travel, they were carrying £200 in cash, and because they were visiting the UK to look for hair and beauty products. New guidance on searches has since been rewritten.

One US passenger Mandi Hamlin hit the press a couple of years ago when she was stopped and wanded by a TSA employee and asked to remove her metal nipple rings. One came out with no problem, but the other got stuck - and eventually had to be removed using pliers. OUCH.

Last year, security officials at Gatwick Airport banned a passenger from carrying a toy soldier on a transatlantic flight. The three-inch plastic toy gun was branded a 'firearm'. Passenger Julie Lloyd, who had bought the figure as a present for her husband, told the Daily Mail:"It is only three inches long and there are no moving parts. There isn't even a trigger." She eventually posted it to herself instead.

When two children tried to take their Christmas gift of Play-Doh past the checkpoint at New Orleans airport, an overzealous agent confiscated it, despite the fact Play-Doh is not on the list of prohibited items. Apparently, aents can use "their own discretion". Never mind that millions have been invested on explosive detection equipment: it wasn't deemed necesary to use it. Running Play-Doh through the explosives detector would have taken under a minute...

In 2011, security officials at Florida airport patted down a 95-year-old cancer sufferer and made her remove her adult 'nappy' during the search. She was then forced to go through airport security without any underwear. CNN reported that Jena Weber was travelling with her mother, who was in the final stages of her battle with leukaemia, last June to see relatives. In response to the incident, the TSA said:"We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

... meanwhile, in August 2012, a boy of 11 managed to slip through security at Manchester Airport and fly to Rome without a passport or barding pass. Liam Corcoran evaded five security checks to join the Jet2.com flight unaccompanied.

2012 was the year of "naked" body scanner in the UK - and it caused massive controversy. Passengers refusing to pass through them have, in the past, been banned from flying. The scanners -0 which gave security officers an eyeful - have now been banned by the EU, (ironically on safety grounds) - but not before millions have been spent on installing them... plane madness? We think so!


Passengers behaving badly
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Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

Mid-air meltdowns
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Eight ridiculous reasons people have been thrown off planes

In 2010, a flight from Omsk to Vladivostok was grounded after one of the passengers started running around the plane naked. "The young man suddenly jumped off his seat, quickly took all his clothes off, and started shouting and darting around the cabin,” Siberian transport police representatives said. The man was taken to a clinic upon landing.

In May 2011, terrified passengers on board an Easyjet plane had to overpower a British man who twice tried to open a cabin door mid-flight at 35,000ft between Krakow, Poland and Edinburgh. Witnesses said the the man lunged for the door handle but was quickly tackled by staff and fellow passengers as the aircraft's pilots were forced to land at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. 

In August 2012, two passengers threw a wobbly because their airline didn't have any X-L sized pjyamas. Their Qantas flight was delayed as air stewards tried to pacify the pair but they were so indignant that they refused to fly and demanded to get off the plane. Quite right too. There's nothing worse than ill-fitting jim-jams at 30,000ft.

A Thomas Cook flight from Manchester to the Canary Islands had to do a U-turn after a passenger became so agressive that he had to be pinned down by five people. The 50-year-old man, who appeared to have been drinking, apparently got into a violent argument with an elderly passenger - believed to be his father - and began swinging wild punches, witnesses said. The plane landed and the unruly passenger was immediately arrested.

In January 2012, a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica had to be diverted because a couple from Germany reportedly refused to sit down unless they were given champagne. The pair, who were seated in first class, denied the incident, but the Delta Airlines captain took the precaution of making a diversion to Florida, where they were removed from the flight.

Even pilots have their moments, as we discovered from the JetBlue pilot who suffered a mid-air meltdown in March 2012 while in charge of a flight between New York and Las Vegas. Three hours into their flight, passengers were terrified when they heard him banging doors and running around the aircraft yelling about terrorism, and screaming: 'We're all going down!". The pilot had to be wrestled to the floor by passengers and locked out of the cockpit, and an off-duty pilot who was on board helped the plane make an emergency landing. The Jetblue pilot was later found not guilty of interfering with a flight crew for reasons of insanity.

Back in March 2012, one airline stewardess appeared to completely lose the plot when she started screaming about 9-11 and how the plane was going to crash. American Airlines flight 2332 from Dallas was taxiing along the runway when the attendant suddenly started screaming hysterically. Terrified passengers had to pin her down and the plane returned to base, where police arrested her, still kicking and screaming.

In July 2012, a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight faced legal charges after he exploded into an expletive-ridden tirade against a woman in front of him - because she wouldn't turn off her reading light. The 50-year-old man, who was on a flight from Honolulu to Bellingham International Airport in Washington, threatened to keep kicking the back of her chair is she didn't turn off the light.

In August 2011, passengers travelling to London from Moscow on a bmi flight got more than they bargained for when a drunk female passenger started performing erotic dances in the aisles. The Airbus had to return to Domodedovo half an hour after take off when the woman started "harrassing" passengers. The woman was subsequently removed from the flight and taken to hospital for medical tests. The airline said it had considered fining her for the delay...

A toddler meltdown led to an entire family being kicked off a flight from Boston to the Caribbean in March 2012. Collette Vieau's two-year old daughter Natalie started crying and refused to sit in her seat. Although the family eventually managed to strap her in, the JetBlue pilot decided it was unsafe to fly with her on board and the family had to disembark. As there were no more flights that evening, the family had to pay $2,000 for hotel accommodation and to rebook their flights...

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