If there is one place to be on one’s best behavior, it is the airport. While shenanigans may be ignored or carry a slap on the wrist in other public spaces, airports are places in which a respectful and calm demeanor are of the utmost importance.
Your flight may be late (or cancelled), the seats will be uncomfortable, other passengers will likely be rude and inconsiderate, the tickets will cost more than the annual budgets of some third world countries, any complaint beyond “awww shucks” is frowned upon. If we missed any common airport complaints, please enlighten us in the comments section, we’re always open to constructive criticism. But to return to the original point, flying, which could be an amazing experience, is an ordeal. Most of the headaches stem from the fact that everyone at an airport is treated like a threat. Supporters of air travel security argue that after hijackings over the last thirty years and of course 9/11, submitting to bag checks and the occasional pat-down is a small price to pay for safety, while opponents claim that the TSA and other countries’ equivalents have never actually stopped a terrorist threat. It’s a big, irritating issue and nobody who flies has been able to avoid it.
While just about everyone knows the language and actions that are prohibited at the airport and on planes, not everyone follows the rules and the stress can cause behavioral problems. Every now and again, the media is gifted a celebrity who decides to stand up to the airport security folks or creates a ruckus on a plane. Here is our list of those celebrities.
13. Whitney Houston
Now-deceased but still legendary, singer Whitney Houston is the only person on our list who has passed away. The world lost a very talented woman back in 2012. In 2000, she was caught with fifteen grams of marijuana at Keahole-Kona International Airport in Hawaii. Interestingly however, she got on her flight and took off.
Police showed up over half an hour later, but she was already in the air. Airport officials tried to detain her but she was able to get free and walked to her flight. As it turned out, at the time (we’re not sure if this is still the case) airport security personnel in Hawaii were private employees and were not allowed to make arrests that did not involve crimes that imminently affected airport security. Marijuana possession was not such an offense, so they were required to wait for the cops to show up. In the meantime, she sauntered to her plane and made a quick getaway.
12. Conrad Hilton
We’ll continue our list with a member of the one “celebrity/socialite” family that is more irritating than the Kardashians. He is the grandson of Barron Hilton, former president of Hilton Hotels. He’s Paris Hilton’s baby brother and he’s already showing promise as a potential train wreck. He’s been in the news over the past couple of years for violating a former girlfriend’s restraining order, and more recently for behavior on a plane.
Earlier this year he was arrested after an incident in which he caused a scene on a flight from London to Los Angeles. According to the family’s lawyer, Hilton took a sleeping pill before the flight and it didn’t agree with his system. Other passengers claimed that he entered a bathroom on the plane, smoked some marijuana, and shortly after, began harassing flight attendants and yelling at people. He claimed that he could get everyone on the plane fired in minutes and that he could have other passengers killed if he wanted to. He checked into rehab shortly after this event.
11. Naomi Campbell
British model, television star and occasional movie actress Naomi Campbell has a well-documented mean streak. She’s been convicted of assault several times including once for an incident at Heathrow Airport in London.
In short, there was a problem with one of the bags she had brought onto the flight and she got into an altercation with the flight crew. When she was asked to leave the plane, she refused, and police were called. She shouted at them, assaulted them and was taken from the airplane in handcuffs.
10. Courtney Love
The woman some consider to have been behind the death of Kurt Cobain (she’s a musician, too) has a lengthy list of arrests ranging from drug offenses, to theft, to endangering an aircraft back in 2003.
She was on a Virgin Airlines flight from Los Angeles to London when she had a very characteristic meltdown. She was given some simple instructions (please shut up and sit down) by the flight crew and took offense, insulting people and refusing to follow said instructions. The pilot called the police during their descent and Love was taken into police custody a few minutes after landing.
9. Kate Moss
One of the most successful models of the last few decades stirred up controversy earlier this year when she was arrested at Luton Airport in London. Kate Moss was returning to London from Bodrum, Turkey when police met her flight on the tarmac and escorted her away from the plane. According to flight staff, she had been disruptive throughout the flight, but some passengers said they had overreacted, and that nothing Moss did was problematic enough to warrant alerting the police.
8. Snoop Dogg
One of the greatest rappers of all time is also one of those celebrities who cannot stop getting arrested. Aside from drug offenses, a murder trial, assaults and weapon charges, Calvin Broadus has also had trouble at airports. He was arrested at two California airports (Bob Hope and John Wayne) back in 2006 for having weapons in his baggage.
In 2006 he was also arrested at Heathrow Airport after causing a disturbance when members of his entourage were not allowed into the VIP lounge. Back in the summer of this year, he was arrested in Sweden, posted the entire experience on Instagram, calling it racial profiling and said he would not be returning to the country as they had arrested him for doing nothing wrong. Just a week later he was arrested at an airport in Italy for carrying over $400,000 in cash. This amount is forty times the allowed amount in Italy; whether it is actually any of their business how much cash a passenger carries is another story. He will have to pay a fine.
7. Ian Brown
English rock star Ian Brown, who has sung for The Stone Roses and had his own solo projects, was arrested in Manchester City after flying in from Paris. He received a four month prison sentence after using threatening language and actions against the flight crew. It sounded like a very simple misunderstanding, as a flight attendant was handing out drinks, she thought he had waved her over, and he had not. According to her story, she apologized and he flipped out, threatening to chop off her hands, banging on the flight deck door and generally acting erratically. He and his band mates argued that the entire situation was blown out of proportion.
6. Aldon Smith
While Aldon Smith was a gifted outside linebacker with 33.5 sacks in his first two years in the NFL, his behavior off the field has been pretty atrocious. After three arrests between 2012 and 2013, he was arrested in April 2014 after an incident with a TSA agent. He had become frustrated with the questions and fondling that is standard TSA procedure and at some point made a comment that involved the word “bomb” and was arrested. He was suspended for nine games but ultimately the charges were dropped.
American rapper DMX, has had an almost funny amount of unfortunate run-ins with the law. Among them are a few driving infractions, pot busts, animal cruelty charges, refusing to pay child support and did we mention driving infractions? There are so many of those, we cannot stress them enough.
He and an accomplice were caught trying to steal a car at Kennedy Airport in New York back in 2004. They threatened the person, who was in the car with their child and were promptly arrested. They were charged with endangering the welfare of a child, along with a weapon charge and drug charges after police found crack and other drugs.
4. Paul McCartney
The former Beatle who was on tour with Wings at the time, was arrested trying to bring marijuana into Japan back in January, 1980. There was half a pound of the stuff and in his own words “it was too good to flush down the toilet so I thought I’d take it with me” adding that he found it unlikely that Japan would have had dope up to his standards.
He faced a possible seven year sentence for the amount he had tried to bring in, but ultimately served just nine days in jail before the Japanese government just kicked him out of the country.
3. Christian Slater
American television and film actor Christian Slater, has racked up a great amount of frequent flyer miles in police stations over the years. Drunk driving of course, because he is a celebrity and that’s what they do, he’s had an assault, for which he did ten days in jail and one assault that involved drugs and alcohol that put him in rehab and then prison. He also got arrested in 2005 for sexual harassment in New York City. He told the cop who arrested him “harassment, I didn’t even touch her-a**!”. That was a joke, but the charges were dropped with the agreement that he’d behave for half a year.
In 1994 he tried to bring a gun onto a commercial flight at Kennedy International Airport. He was given a few days of community service for the offense.
2. Wiz Khalifa
We waited until number two for the funniest celebrity airport arrest. Rapper Wiz Khalifa is a particularly eccentric figure in a genre of music that has its share of interesting characters. He wouldn’t get off his personal hoverboard and after some bickering with officers, they decided to arrest him. The whole experience was posted on Twitter, he had a great sense of humor about the whole situation, despite the officers probably not being too happy.
He was at Los Angeles International Airport and argued that the officers were stupid for telling him to step off the machine, later saying he stood for “our generation and our generation will be riding hoverboards”. That’s one heck of a crusade to be on. Last year he was arrested in Texas when pot was found in his luggage.
1. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber has had a couple of funny arrests throughout his time in the spotlight. He egged his neighbor’s house, causing what the neighbor called “thousands of dollars in damage”, and while his arrest for DUI in Miami wasn’t funny, as drunk driving is dangerous, his behavior in the cop station was good for a chuckle.
He’s had a few reckless driving charges along with a couple of assaults, and vandalism. In 2013 however, one of the people in his entourage was charged with possession of marijuana. Bieber was belligerent as expected and got into some trouble when he refused to take off his hat and sunglasses for a further inspection.