10 Things That Can Get You Booted From a Flight
An old video recently resurfaced on TikTok showing a woman getting, oh, let's say quite upset, over being seated next to a mother and her infant. She screamed at a flight attendant and threatened to cost the woman her job if she wasn't moved. The outburst got her kicked off the flight.
Like this incident, many more have been recorded in the past few years involving airline passengers who go Karen crazy and are kicked off the flight. But what instances warrant being kicked off or bumped from a flight?
1. Going Barefoot Unreasonably
It is fine to take your shoes off for relaxation in your seat. But if your feet are extra stinky or you're walking around the cabin without shoes on, your bare feet could be a problem.
2. Smelling Bad
If you smell so bad that it is disrupting the enjoyment of the flight for both flight crew and passengers, you might get the boot.
3. Joining the Mile-High Club
This offense seems like it might be worth the risk, but flights are quite public, and joining the "club" would likely make a lot of other people uncomfortable. Any mishaps could also lead to your arrest and being charged with a sex crime.
4. Breaking Parts of the Interior or Opening Exterior Doors
We all know to keep our tray tables up, but if you break the tray table, you could be in trouble. For safety reasons, try to keep the interior intact.
5. Touching Other Passengers' Belongings
Even if their stuff is in your way, don't even think about moving it without asking first.
6. Being Disrespectful to Staff and Other Passengers or Making a Stink About Them
As in our TikTok example, disrespecting anyone on a flight would make their trip less enjoyable. This is even more true if you throw a fit over any minor inconvenience.
7. Dressing Inappropriately
This, of course, is up to the flight crew. Your choice of graphic T-shirt could be cause for your removal, so leave the weed tees at home or in your suitcase.
8. Vaping, or Being too Drunk
Vaping is a more popular habit than you may think. It might seem easy just to whip a pen out and vape at your convenience. But vapes can cause the plane's smoke alarms to go off, which can affect the entire flight. Also, if you're so drunk that the flight crew thinks you may cause problems, they have the full right to refuse boarding you as a precaution.
9. An Air Marshal Needs Your Seat
It's likely that if this happens you won't even know why you were bumped, and the bump would probably be under the guise of overbooking.
10. The Airline Oversells or Double-Books Your Flight
Overselling is a common practice by airlines because they assume that a certain number of passengers will cancel or miss their flight. If this is the case, the airline must first ask for volunteers to leave the flight. If no one volunteers, passengers will be involuntarily bumped, usually with some sort of computer algorithm. If this happens, airlines are required to provide compensation if they can't find you a new flight that departs within an hour.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, anything that interferes with the duties of a flight crew member violates federal law and is grounds for removal from a flight. Usually, you will receive a few warnings before this happens, such as in the case of vaping out of habit or walking around the cabin while the seatbelt sign is on. However, if a passenger poses an immediate threat or a resolution is impossible, they are likely to be removed without warning. Ultimately, getting kicked off or bumped from a flight is up to the airline crew and their interpretation of their rights as airline employees.
Any other laws regarding getting kicked off a flight are based on the airline's terms and conditions, so make sure to read those through before checking the “I agree" box when you buy your ticket.
- Could Unruly Airline Passengers Prompt Federal Prosecutions? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Travel Rules & Rights (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Airline Rules (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.