5 Ways to Get Kicked Off a Flight

You lose a lot of rights when you get on a plane. One of them is free speech; exercising it in certain ways could get you kicked off your flight. The moral here is always pack a little patience on today’s sardine-like planes – a little patience and a boatload of common sense.

LISTEN: Luckily, Rick’s stayed-put on all his flights.

How to Get Kicked Off a Flight

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

1. Going overboard on free speech

A young man was recently barred from taking his seat on a Southwest flight because he was wearing a T-shirt with a very bad word on it (hint: it begins with “F”). He reportedly argued it was a matter of free speech but most airlines have clear rules in their contracts of carriage forbidding such language.

Note: Airline reps supposedly told the lad he could board if he would only wear his jacket to cover up the f-bomb but apparently he refused.

2. Packing items banned by security

This is a no-brainer but it happens over and over, as we see each week in that TSA statistics on guns, knives and other weapons passengers attempt to bring on planes. Usually it’s a case of “I forgot it was there.” Among the more outrageous items seized this year: smoke grenades, stun guns and brass knuckles.

3. Letting little ones roam free

Pets: Airlines that do allow pets in the cabin do not allow you to take them out of their carrier. As for pets traveling as checked-baggage, some airlines like Delta refuse to transport short-snouted dogs such as Boxers, Boston Terriers, bulldogs and more.

Children: If your kid is too noisy or won’t allow him/herself to be buckled into the seat, the entire family could be tossed from the plane; it’s happened.

4. Not enough clothing

Clothes: I think Virgin America says it best: All passengers must wear “both top and bottom apparel.”

Shoes: Nearly every airline bans passengers with bare feet (though some allow it for those under age 5). Never mind that the PassengerShaming site is loaded with bare foot photos, you’re not supposed to do this.

5. Stinking up the plane

We are not talking about garlic for lunch. We are talking about hygiene. If it’s poor enough and the odor is strong enough, you could be kicked off the flight. It’s happened before.

Read more in Rick’s latest ABC News column. See all his columns here.


Updated: March 31, 2015