You are probably wondering: Why would I be kicked off a plane when I have already spent money on the ticket, checked in and boarded? Truth is, it happens all the time! And yes, even in Nigeria. Certain individuals for several reasons are asked to get off the airplane due to actions that either go against the airline’s rules or are just unacceptable. There have even been times pilots have had to make emergency stops or change routes just so they could take someone off the plane.
If you are curious to know the possible reasons why anyone could be booted off a plane, read on, as Jovago.com, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking site has put together 6 possible scenarios.
- Singing out loud
While there is freedom of speech and expression, there is a limit to which you can raise your voice either in speech or song while on a plane…unless, of course, you are the only one on the plane or the rest of the passengers and crew are deaf. Some people tend to sing when there is excessive turbulence or just out of boredom. But singing out too loud could actually get you kicked off the plane.
Advice: Contain the voice and settle for listening to music on your headphones.
- Smelling badly
How bad could anyone who can afford to pay for a flight actually smell? you may ask. But hey! you would be surprised. Whether it is chronic mouth odour, the stench of stale sweat or the smell of the ogiri you have packed to take with you to whatever foreign land you are headed, when the smell from your body or carry on becomes offensive to not just you but the rest of the passenger and crew, there is a high chance you would be kicked off the plane.
Advice: Do a smell check with family or better a sniff dog before you head to the airport. Most times, people are oblivious to the odours that come from their body.
- Being sick
No one wants a sick person to seat next to them and no airline wants a sick person on board. Aside from the risk of others being infected, there is the possible bad PR or worse litigation that may come from uncomfortable passengers. Most airlines have asked people to get off because they were having an uncontrollable coughing fit, admitted they had an allergy or they just kept vomiting.
Advice: If you are sick, please wait till you get better before going on a plane, and if it is an urgent trip, take something to knock you out all through the journey. That way you remain a silent passenger who poses little or no risk to others on board.
- Upsetting a flight attendant
You could get thrown off a plane just by disobeying flight attendant or frustrating him/her. Usually, the flight attendant states the rules of the airline once everyone is onboard and goes round to ensure everyone complies with the rules. Trying to prove stubborn would cause more harm than good. Also, using offensive words on the flight attendant or trying to start a fight could fast-track your own personal landing.
Advice: Comply with whatever the flight attendants say and be nice to them, no matter how much it hurts.
- Wearing a controversial or offensive T-Shirt
While you are free to wear whatever you want while travelling via airplane, it is important to ensure the inscription on the shirt or dress is not offensive or suggestive. For instance: wearing something like “Who says the terrorists are wrong?” or “I am loyal to BOKO” will certainly get you off the plane.
Advice: Stick to plain fabrics, neutral colours and comfortable clothing while travelling. Leave the funny T-shirts for later when you are in the confines of your own home.
- Taking photographs
Out of excitement you may decide to take a few pictures of yourself on board an airplane or of the flight attendants, pilot, other passengers or even of another passenger’s possession or actions. Unfortunately, while this may seem like a fun idea to you, some airlines do not condone it. Doing things of that nature could give the impression that you are a security risk and thus, you get thrown off.
Advice: Keep you camera at bay, as well as your phones. If you cannot resist the urge to take candid pictures, wait till you have reached your destination before you start, so that even if they throw you off the plane, at least you are already at your destination.
Contributed by Nkem Ndem, Travel/Tech Writer, Jovago Nigeria
Skype: live:nkemndemv, Twitter: @ndemv, Instagram: @kem_dem