7 Ways To Get Banned From Flying

7 Ways To Get Banned From Flying

In January 2016, a woman’s drunk and disorderly behaviour caused her Jet2 aircraft to divert to Ireland. The 42-year old was fined $10,000, and the airline banned her for life, in line with a zero tolerance policy towards disruptive passengers. Since then, their no-fly list has been growing by the week, and other airlines are following their example. In the U.S., flight attendants are so concerned that they have started a campaign to have alcohol banned from all flights. A touch extreme, perhaps, but they do have a point. Alcohol related incidents are now so common they barely make the news. So common in fact, that standing out from the crowd means going much further than simply getting drunk and pissing on the cockpit door. Just as these people did…

Not What Disney Had In Mind

A tattoo can say a lot about a person, and it is not always ‘I am a stripper.’ Jet2 passenger Tom Washington had a unique tattoo, not least because it declared him to be a dick, both figuratively and literally. He and a group of friends boarded dressed as flight attendants and carrying sex dolls. As if that weren’t hilarious enough, Washington then proceeded to show off his Pinocchio tattoo to the rest of the passengers. This didn’t go down too well, as the face of the beloved wooden boy was centered in the groin area and the artist had forgotten to include a nose. Washington was reported to the authorities and, although he escaped punishment, found himself on Jet2’s increasingly long list.

No Ifs, And Definitely No Butts

In July of last year, a 39-year old Jetstar passenger was arrested for what the Australian airline described as ‘inappropriate contact with a crew member’, also known as pinching the stewardess’ ass. Why he decided to do this is unclear. Perhaps he was suffering from Mad Men syndrome, whereby the brain is permanently trapped in the 1960’s. Perhaps he believed the lady concerned would be instantly lovestruck and that they could join the Mile High Club together. Who knows? Either way, the only thing he succeeded in joining on that day was Jetstar’s list of undesirables.

Did You Want Fries With That?

When Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier turned successful musician, learned there was no food on his WestJet flight, his response was somewhat unconventional. Instead of kicking up a fuss, he just told the flight attendant that it was ok…because he had a ‘license to eat human flesh.’ Jal claimed that most of the passengers and crew took it as a joke, but clearly not all did. He was banned from WestJet for life. The airline’s press release declared that this was unacceptable behaviour, even if the person involved had been “starved for years as a child soldier.” We’re willing to bet the PR guy never thought he’d be writing those words when he took the job.

Or Nuts?

In 2014, a 4-year old girl on a Ryanair flight returning from Tenerife suffered a severe allergic reaction, and only the use of an EpiPen adrenaline injection prevented tragedy. The little girl’s peanut allergy was so bad that her parents had asked the crew to make an announcement forbidding the consumption of nuts on board. Unfortunately, one man ignored this plea and, even though he was seated at least four rows away, the recirculated cabin air allegedly did the rest. While one might argue that travelling with a child suffering from such an extreme condition is pretty negligent in itself, the airline didn’t take that view. No more Ryanair for that guy, the lucky bastard.

In The Snoop Doghouse

This incident occurred way back in 2005 but is notable for two good reasons. Firstly, it involved Snoop Dogg and, secondly, the superstar managed to earn a lifetime ban from British Airways without setting foot on a plane. The trouble started when Mr. Dogg’s 30-strong entourage gatecrashed a VIP lounge. When staff rightly asked them to leave, Snoop’s companions didn’t take it at all well. Cue a mini-riot throughout Heathrow’s Terminal 1 which resulted in criminal damage, looting and seven injured police officers.

Fly Marshal

In 2011, Bryan Sisco boarded a Delta flight in Dallas and was pleasantly surprised to be seated next to an attractive girl. On the back of several cocktails, Sisco tried impressing her with items he claimed to have smuggled through security. Namely a blow torch and Tazer. If that weren’t enough, he told her he was both an architect and an Air Marshal — like either are part time jobs. This was too much for the poor woman, who informed the crew of her concerns on her way to the bathroom. Sisco was arrested, strip searched, held for four days and, of course, is no longer welcome at Delta.

Twitter Tw*t

Imagine that you are waiting to board an aircraft. Do you:

Sit quietly, drinking a $5 Coke and wondering, not for the first time, whether the liquids ban is just a way of forcing thirsty travellers to pay over the odds for a soda? Or,
Tweet to your many followers the type of aircraft, entertainment and comms systems before asking whether it would be fun to hack in and deploy the oxygen masks?

Naturally, most people would opt for A, but not Chris Roberts. Founder of One World Labs, which hacks computers looking for vulnerabilities, Roberts gained notoriety after claiming it is possible to interfere with aircraft systems using the onboard wifi as a way in. Following his tweet, he was questioned by the FBI and then denied boarding on his next United flight. The airline assured the media that such intrusions were impossible, yet banned Roberts anyway because “[His claims] are a violation of United policy, and something that customers and crews shouldn’t have to deal with.” We’re pretty sure this is code for “he’s an asshole”.

We think these are some pretty impressive ways of getting banned. Let us know if you have any better examples in the comments section below.

Jack Leonard

Jack Leonard is a 747 captain with over 20 years of airline experience. Living in France, based in the UK and operating around the world, he has seen his fair share of airports as both flight crew and passenger. He’s not sure which is worse.

3 comments

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  • I think it’s not right to ban anyone for LIFE for anything! Seriously – there is a statute of limitation even for murder. But not for, whatever, smoking on a plane? This really is not right.

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