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7 Surefire Ways to Get Yourself Escorted Off a Plane in Handcuffs

It doesn’t take much to be denied boarding a flight for having one too many cocktails and any one of us can be guilty of boorish behavior after a hard day of flying the not-so-friendly skies, but it takes a special kind of bad behavior to earn the attention of authorities and make headlines around the world. These are the highly effective habits of the worst of the worst passengers.

1 — Attempting Stand-up Comedy

Almost everyone enjoys a good joke, but cracking-wise can be a risky venture. Joking about religion or politics can earn disapproval in certain social circles, but making the wrong joke at an airport or on a flight is sure to earn much more serious consequences.

The very worst passengers insist on learning this lesson the hard way. Dr. Manuel Alberto Alvarado, a renowned neurosurgeon from Venezuela, paid nearly $90,000 in fines after joking to an MIA gate agent that there was a bomb in his carry-on bag. Officials in the Dominican Republic declined to allow a US citizen to enter the country after he sneezed and joked that he had Ebola just after his flight landed.

2 — Sometimes You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry

It’s rough to depend on a cabin crew for one’s every human need. Waiting for a “fasten seatbelt” sign to tell you when to use the bathroom can be humbling, but relying on a stranger for food and water is more than some passengers can handle.

Airplane food is never ever worth getting arrested over, but don’t try telling that to Jeremiah Mathis Thede, 42 who caused a recent flight from Rome to Chicago to divert to Dublin, leaving 269 passengers stranded, after he threw a fit because the cabin crew would not bring him a second helping of crackers or the easyJet passenger who punched a flight attendant because the sandwich he ordered was taking too long to deliver.

3 — Fighting the Battle of Wounded Knee

It’s no fun when an aggressive recliner in front of you jolts your laptop, bangs your knee or spills the drink on your seat tray; likewise, chronic seat kicking from behind seems to add hours to even the shortest flight. Overcrowded flights are the real villian here, but there can be consequences for those who appoint themselves sheriff of row 27 in an attempt to bring justice to the economy cabin.

Battles over reclining seats have resulted in more than one passenger trading an economy seat for a jail cell cot. During a two-week period in 2014, three separate flights in the US were diverted because passengers could not agree to disagree and arguments about the proper etiquette for reclining seatbacks turned violent.

4 — Giving in to Addiction

They are called addictions for a reason. If it were easy to give up one’s vices then everyone would do it. The most seriously addicted passengers aren’t about to let government regulations or reasonable orders from the cabin crew keep them from enjoying their raisons d’être.

Unfortunately, “I couldn’t help myself” and “I do what I want” are almost never successful legal defense strategies. This was a lesson learned by the serious nicotine addict who was strapped to his seat for nearly all of a 13-hour flight, after allegedly assaulting an Etihad Airways flight attendant who would not allow him to smoke, and the Australian passenger who earned a lifetime ban from Jet2 Airlines after repeatedly smoking and drinking from his smuggled cache of adult beverages.

5 — Having Way Too Much Fun

Even on a long haul flight, there is no reason to be miserable. There are plenty of ways to have fun on an airplane or at least pass the time pleasantly. On the other hand, some passengers can be guilty of having too much fun and when those passengers turn a crowded plane into a mile-high frat party, a certain degree of misery is bound to follow.

It was all fun and games with the large group of vacationers who dressed in costumes on a Jet2 flight to Mallorca, until one of the rowdy crew exposed his Pinocchio tattoo (along with the rest of his body).

The three Irish mates taking a holiday trip to the U.S. mistook their Aer Lingus flight for the local pub and ended up entering the country in the custody of the Boston Police.

6 — Mistreating Small Children

Sometimes, the bad behavior that would cause big problems on a plane are perfectly acceptable on the ground. Child abuse, however, does not fall into this category.

Mistreating a child, even someone else’s child, doesn’t just make someone a bad passenger; it makes them a bad person. The worst offender, Joe Rickey Hundley of Idaho, lost his high-paying job and was sentenced to eight months in prison after garnering national headlines for using racial slurs and slapping a crying toddler on a Delta Airlines flight in 2013.

More recently, a Jetstar passenger was accused of intentionally violently reclining her seat, injuring a small child who was “tapping” on a seat-back tray table.

7 — Sometimes You Just Lose Your Damned Mind

Rage and mental instability can lead to behaviors that aren’t unique to airplane passengers and cause problems anywhere from fast food drive-throughs to pee-wee football games, but there is something especially terrifying about seeing someone lose their cool at 35,000 feet. For example, the time an Air India passenger destroyed his seat in response to being refused an alcoholic beverage.

Sometimes, it feels like airlines are trying to help push us to a nervous breakdown like the man at Charlotte Airport who stripped completely naked after learning that his flight was delayed.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
weero July 4, 2015

Belfast =/= Dublin ... yes they really ain't the same city. Reclining a seat =/= punching a baby, the comparison is entirely out of proportion. Especially as in this case, the only person intentionally pushing another one was the baby's mother.

rbwpi July 3, 2015

To Diver858 Seat saving=reserved seating. Not acceptable, as WN does not provide reserved seating.

diver858 July 3, 2015

Attempting to sit in a desirable seat on WN when someone is attempting to save it for someone with a later boarding position. WN does not have a formal policy on seat saving, FAs generally leave it to passengers to sort out themselves - until it escalates to a point where they call the captain, escort both parties off of the plane.