Updated 18 November 2014

10 worst passengers and who got kicked off the plane

Drunk, swearing, urinating, vomiting, violent. Here's a list of what simply have to be the worst air passengers ever.


It’s an air passenger’s nightmare – having someone in the seat next to you who is drunk, obnoxious, throwing a tantrum or just throwing up on your lap...

In June 2012 Cope MP Dirk Feldman was roundly roasted after he reportedly tried to open the door of an SAA plane in mid-flight while intoxicated.

 But some people never even get as far as the plane: in August 2009, an Indian businessman, stuck in traffic, tried to delay his plane by phoning in a bomb threat. He was arrested, and the plane delayed by four hours.

In April 2009, a 28-year-old man was sentenced to three weeks in jail for urinating on a 66-year-old woman during a Continental Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Here's a look at what could get get you kicked off a plane and what some weirdos have got up to in the past:

  • A man tried to open the plane doors on a flight to Boston in January 2007. He had to be subdued and handcuffed. When questioned by police, 20-year-old Jesse Boyd could give no reason for his behaviour.
  • An entire family was kicked off a plane, because they could not control the temper tantrums of their three-year-old toddler. The Kulesza family, from Massachusetts, was removed from the plane after their child refused to sit in her own seat, screamed and hit her parents.
  • A passenger by the name of Guzman-Hernendez took off his pants and simulated a sex act with the back of his own seat – in full view of a plane full of passengers.
  • A fine of $50 000 had to be paid by a Mr Finneran, who first assaulted a flight attendant and then defecated on a food trolley during a flight from New York to Buenos Aires.
  • A flight over the Atlantic was disrupted by a group of drunken Irish tourists – and the crew members were unable to control them. They called in the help of a wrestling team on the same flight to help them. It worked.
  • A Mr Misiak put his hands round the throat of a flight attendant and tried to strangle her after she spilled a drink on him.
  • A woman’s flatulence got her kicked off a plane last year – she lit a match to try and disguise the smell. Lighting matches is not allowed on planes.
  • Hester Elliott, in her book ‘Plane Insanity’ describes a couple who got so drunk they threw up all over each other repeatedly.
  • In the same book, she describes a woman who had oral sex with the man in the seat next to her – a man whom she had only just met.
  • A Mrs Pennix bent the finger of a flight attendant backwards. Her explanation was that she did not like the woman’s tone when she asked her to put her seat in an upright position before landing.

When can you be kicked off a plane?
When can an airline refuse to take you on as a passenger, or even more drastically, touch down at the nearest airport to kick you off?

The IATA (International Air Transport Association) has extensive lists of rules and regulations. Here are some points from the section regarding passenger behaviour as set out by British Airways:

An airline can refuse to carry you if:

  • you are drunk, or under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • carrying you or your baggage may put the safety of the aircraft or the safety or health of any person in the aircraft in danger.
  • you are, or we reasonably believe you are, in unlawful possession of drugs.
  • your mental or physical state or health is a danger or risk to you, the aircraft or any person in it.
  • you have refused to allow a security check to be carried out on you or your baggage.
  • you have used threatening, abusive or insulting words towards our ground staff or another passenger or a member of the crew of the aircraft.
  • you have behaved in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly way towards a member of our ground staff or a member of the crew of the aircraft.
  • you have deliberately interfered with a member of the crew of the aircraft carrying out their duties.
  • you have put the safety of either the aircraft or any person in it in danger.
  • you have made a hoax bomb or other security threat.

    Image: US film producer Kevin Smith was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight for 'being too fat'. The selfie was taken during a second Southwest flight and posted on Twitter. 



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