7 things that get you kicked off a plane

For most of us, taking a plane marks the start (or end) of a journey and can be punctuated by reading, listening to music, watching a film, or alcohol. But what happens when fellow flyers take it to the extreme? We look at some of the most common (and uncommon) ways people had to be removed from the plane.


Undoubtedly the most common cause of passenger removal, alcohol plays disrupter to thousands of travelers every day. It’s a criminal offence to be drunk on board a flight and you’re not allowed to drink your own drink while up in the air, but that doesn’t stop many. It’s the cabin crew’s discretion to refuse or remove a passenger if they feel they pose a threat to fellow passengers, the staff or themselves.

Screaming, shouting and spitting

Of course, one of the reasons Ryanair want to ban alcohol sale before 10 AM on planes and call for a cap of two drinks per boarding pass is to do with what happens next. Intoxicated passengers can quickly become abusive towards the cabin crew and other passengers. If YouTube and social media videos didn’t warn you of anything, it’s that spitting is likely to get you kicked off the plane pretty sharpish.


If you’re feeling unwell, you might realise that taking your germs into an enclosed space for a couple of hours isn’t the smartest move or the kindest. That’s why many airlines take caution when spotting passengers who may be ill. If a passenger looks run down, the airline has the right to refuse your boarding the plane. It makes bubble-wrapping yourself before your holiday all the more crucial.

Abusive behaviour

It comes as no surprise that a common way some passengers are taken off planes—or refused entry entirely—is when they exhibit abusive behaviour. Often directed towards female cabin crew members, this type of abuse can range from verbal abuse to sexual harassment and physical violence. Whilst cabin crews have the authority to remove passengers, the decision will usually be made by the captain. Many cases of abuse have resulted in airlines bans, fines and even imprisonment.

Being too tall

Strange though it may seem, one Ontario-bound passenger was subjected to humiliation simply because of his height. The 6’9” passenger had tried to get an exit row seat but there were none available. When a flight attendant tripped over his trailing legs, the cabin crew insisted that the passenger either remove his legs from the aisle or leave the plane. As he was unable to remove his legs, he was forced to leave the plane.

Trying to open the doors

Yet again a cause of alcohol, there have been countless cases in which drunk passengers attempt to open a cabin door, surely causing hearts to momentarily race at 35,000ft up. It’s worth noting that it isn’t possible to open a cabin door mid-flight due to the cabin pressurisation.

Evidently, many of the challenges both the cabin crew and we as passengers face are fellow passengers abusing alcohol, so it’s worth keeping your limits in mind when enjoying a drink or two up in the air.

Wherever you’re off to next, be cautious of your fellow passengers. Insurance for your trip can cover the moment you step out of the door right up until you’re home. Find out more about travel insurance at R Collins & Co by calling 01977 558391 today.