Travel

Here's One Way to Get an Airline to Ban You for Life

Published On 11/29/2016 Published On 11/29/2016
Trump fan Delta
Emma Baum/YouTube

Air travel doesn't bring out the best in people. Pack dozens of strangers into a metal tube for hours at a time, and you're bound to end up with some friction. Even so, it takes a certain dedication to boorishness to earn yourself a lifetime ban from an airline.

Case in point: the dude who got permanently banned from flying Delta Air Lines this past week, after a video of him belligerently blasting his politics on a flight went viral.

In the video (recorded by fellow passenger Emma Baum), the anonymous man in the "Gas Monkey Garage" T-shirt can be seen standing in the aisle and proclaiming his support for President-elect Donald Trump with a level of bombast you don't typically find at 30,000ft. His shouts of "Donald Trump, baby!" fill the cabin, and when they're not met with the raucous applause he expected -- only one other guy agrees with him -- he asks if "we got some Hillary bitches on here?!" in a clear attempt to establish a baseline for informed political discussion.

It's not immediately clear what spurred the man to get obnoxious, and although the cabin crew decided not to eject him from the flight, Delta's CEO Ed Bastian announced in an internal memo that "he will never again be allowed on a Delta plane." Bastian also announced that customers on the flight would receive a refund for their tickets which, if true, means this aggressive Trump supporter might just be the hero Thanksgiving travelers needed.

So how common is the practice of banning passengers from commercial airlines? The guidelines for what makes an offense ban-worthy are nebulous, with a number of airlines citing "security concerns" when Yahoo Travel inquired about the issue in 2015.

Plenty of people have crossed that fuzzy line, though. One guy got banned from flying with Jet2 when he showed off his Pinocchio penis tattoo, and Delta banned another for hitting on his seatmate by claiming he had a canister of poison gas (it was a butane lighter). It's not just the plebes, either. Snoop Dogg got banned from British Airways after a VIP lounge brawl in 2006, and Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher got banned from Cathay Pacific in 1998 for "abusing passengers." 

The bottom line is this, friends: Whatever your political leanings, an airplane isn't a place for bravado or abusive behavior. In fact, it might be the worst place for that kind of thing. If you feel like you might be causing a scene, you probably are. Kindly take your seat, put on your headphones, and save that outburst for when you're back on the ground.

Unless you're flying with Spirit, in which case a lifetime ban is actually preferable.

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Gianni Jaccoma is an editor for Thrillist, and is currently banned from flying Hooters Air. Follow him into the bathroom on Twitter @gjaccoma.

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