“Legging-gate” sure died down, but in its place, a pressing question has arisen: How easy is it to get kicked off a flight? The answer is, it depends.
Every airline has a “contract of carriage,” which outlines, in fairly broad terms, the actions that could cause denial of a passenger boarding or their removal from a flight. When passengers purchase tickets, they agree to all of these terms.
The enforcement of many of the rules, however, is largely at the discretion of the flight crew.
1. Don’t get intoxicated
“If your flight is delayed, you might want to sip those drinks at the bar a little more slowly, because you need to understand that you could get to a point where if you’re not really in control of what’s going on, you might not get on the plane,
2. Show up looking healthy
3. Behave yourself
Fighting or acting aggressive (in the gate area or on board) is a quick ticket off the plane.
That’s what happened earlier this month, when a man uttered threats over the cost of a $12 blanket.
4. Follow directions
You must be willing and helpful if you’re sitting in an exit row.
5. Practice good personal hygiene
“Odours in a confined space can actually cause other people to be ill, and that would be the concern. I think this would be incredibly rare, but that is absolutely a reason that someone could be denied boarding.”
6. Consider your clothing and wear shoes
Clothing and, yes, wearing shoes are also listed in the contracts of carriage. United makes mention of being “properly clothed” and Southwest calls out clothing that is “lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.”
In reality, however, Nelson, an air crew, couldn’t think of any instance of barefoot passengers being removed from a plane, and she said that the only time she’s seen clothing that raised an eyebrow was an instance involving beachwear.
“They’re not turned away, they’re coming on the plane, but we’re looking at them thinking, ‘oh my goodness, you are going to freeze and we don’t have blankets on the plane,’ ” she said. Still, when you read about passengers running into trouble because of baggy pants (it’s happened) or other wardrobe malfunctions, that rule in the contract could be the airline’s out.
One more piece of advice. When it comes to in-flight behaviour, Nelson advised passengers to consider before boarding their next flight that they are part of a community.