Six tips to avoid getting kicked off a plane

Six tips to avoid getting kicked off a plane 

Originally published in the Washington Post 

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2017) — “Legging-gate” has died down, but in its place, a pressing question has arisen: How easy is it to get kicked off a flight?

The answer: It depends.

Every airline has a “contract of carriage,” which outlines, in fairly broad terms, the actions that could cause a passenger to be denied boarding or removed from a flight. Delta has a 51-page contract, Southwest Airlines has a 42-page contract and United has 30 rules in its contract. When passengers purchase tickets, they agree to all of these terms.

The enforcement of many of those rules, however, is largely at the discretion of the flight crew. Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said that flight crews must be vigilant about looking for warning signs of disruptive behavior that could escalate after takeoff.

“Once you’re up in the air, you don’t have a lot of options. You can’t call for help. You can’t have someone taken away. It starts to become an issue that threatens the safety and security of the rest of the people on board,” she said.

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