Six Unusual Reasons You Can Be Kicked Off A Plane

Open Jaw

When you purchase an airplane ticket, you’re agreeing to a lot of fine print — most of which most of us have never read.

The UA incident has raised questions on when an airline can eject passengers. The answer is just about whenever they want, because the crew essentially has ultimate authority.

Some instances are obvious. For instance, heavily intoxicated passengers will likely be escorted off the plane. The same goes for anyone who is unruly on violent. No problems there.

But courtesy of, here are six other reasons you might be kicked off a plane. Some may surprise.

1. You smell bad.

Nearly every U.S. airline has a clause in its contract of carriage that reserves crew the right to eject any malodorous passenger. A shower and deodorant please.

2. You are barefoot.

Many U.S. airlines mention being barefoot as a possible reason to be kicked off a flight. One reason could relate to item 1 above. The second is that it’s a matter of safety. In case of an emergency it is safer to have shoes on to evacuate a plane.

3. You dress provocatively.

AA’s Condition of Carriage states that crew may refuse transport of passengers that “are clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers or are barefoot.” The wording is vague, and that’s intentional so as to leave it up to the crew’s discretion. Another no-no? Wearing shirts that display foul language.

4. You are too heavy.

DL’s Contract of Carriage reserves the right to eject a passenger “when the passenger is unable to sit in a seat with the seatbelt fastened.” Subtle, but effective.

5. You are annoying.

This one can cover a multitude of sins. Many airlines have rules stating that a passenger might be kicked off a flight “when the passenger’s conduct creates an unreasonable risk of offense or annoyance to other passengers.” Vague again, which gives crew a lot of latitude, which they don’t always employ effectively.

6. You are handcuffed.

UA reserves the right to eject “passengers who are manacled or in the custody of law enforcement personnel.” Enough said.

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