A lot of famous people suck at sitting still and being quiet. It’s not something they’re asked to do a lot. They are used to constant attention from an entourage of managers, lawyers and hangers who encourage or excuse outlandish behavior. So it’s not surprising that being confined to a seat in a pressurized cabin can present a challenge to people used to the spotlight. And unless they’re rich enough to exclusively jet set on private planes, celebrities have to deal with the same flight delays, turbulence and lost luggage as the rest of us.
And when these supreme egotists react to the inconvenience of the situation with alcohol and other substances, which is usually the case, it’s like pouring gasoline on a pile of dynamite and garbage. It’s a potentially volatile combination that has gotten musicians, models and actors in trouble with authorities and airlines alike. Seemingly simple misunderstandings about inflight meals, baggage and cell phones have escalated into heated clashed between famous passengers and airplane staff and resulted in celebrities getting kicked off planes and banned from airlines for life.
Here are ten times that the mix of celebrity and air travel combined to form a powder keg in the sky.
10 Kate Moss
Evidently, indignant fashionistas are capable of some amazing insults. Take Kate Moss, who reportedly called an easy Jet pilot a “basic b***h” whilst being escorted off a plane by police. Moss boarded a plane in Turkey after celebrating Sadie Frost’s birthday party in June of 2015. When flight attendants declined to serve Moss alcohol, the wispy fashion icon pulled a bottle of vodka from her luggage to keep the party alive. When the 41-year-old supermodel landed in England, police and the media were waiting. She wasn’t arrested but having the world know she flew on a discount airline was probably punishment enough.
9 Alec Baldwin
It’s weird Word With Friends never tapped Alec Baldwin as a game spokesman. The 30 Rock star demonstrated his commitment to the game in the most dramatic fashion possible. In 2011, Baldwin was enjoying a hot streak on the Scrabble-like app and repeatedly refused a stewardess’ request that he turn off his cell phone. According to other passengers, the hotheaded actor stormed into the bathroom, where he slammed the door closed behind him so he could pound on the walls in privacy. Once back at his seat, he resumed screaming at the flight attendants. After delaying takeoff for over an hour, Baldwin was booted from the plane.
8 Gérard Depardieu
The French take Liberte seriously. So when the Gérard Depardieu, the most French man in the world, has to free urine from his body, nothing can stand in his way. In 2011, the Green Card star boarded a flight in Paris with a bladder overflowing, presumably, with the finest champagne in all of Europe. As the flight had yet to take off, the crew refused to let Depardieu into the bathroom. Depardieu released petit Gerard from his pants in the aisle and, in full view of his fellow passengers, sacre blew Depar-dew all over the airplane carpeting. Thanks to the frisky Frenchman, the plane returned to the gate and took two hours to clean.
7 Azealia Banks
Up and coming performer Azealia Bank’s hottest video doesn’t feature any of her music. In 2015, video footage of Azealia Banks going ballistic on a Delta flight overshadowed the popularity of pretty much everything she’s ever done. Banks’s rush to de-board was halted by a fellow passenger. Rather than wait like a normal person, Banks spit at, punched and clawed the man. When a flight attendant stepped in, Banks redirected her toxic anger, calling the steward a “f*****g f****t” while a nearby cell phone captured her tirade on video. While she rushed off the plane, police caught up with her at baggage claim.
6 Jim Morrison
Leather trousers enthusiast Jim Morrison was probably the only rock star to ever be charged with hijacking an airplane. In 1970, Jim Morrison boarded a plane drunk and, with the help of an equally inebriated buddy, turned the cabin into a bachelor party in the sky. They fired up cigars, swapped dirty jokes and guzzled booze. The passengers and crew didn’t enjoy being riders on a storm of rock star excess, especially once the doors singer and his buddy started tossing bars of soap at each other and tried to break on through to an occupied bathroom. When the plane landed, local police and FBI agents arrested Morrison and his buddy on hijacking charges.
5 Justin Bieber
Canadian crooner Justin Bieber is the worst kind of bad boy: a bad boy egged on by a freeloader dad. In 2014, the singer and his father Jeremy Bieber hotboxed a private plane with enough weed smoke to force the pilots to don oxygen masks en route to the Super Bowl in New Jersey. The copious haze of marijuana didn’t mellow out the Bieber boys, who reportedly treated the staff with such extreme verbal abuse they refused to ever work another flight with them. Drug Enforcement Administration officers waiting at the runway reported the plane reeked of pot but did not contain any un-smoked marijuana.
4 Liam Gallagher
Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher is banned for life from the airline Cathay Pacific following a 1998 incident sparked by a pastry. Gallagher went champagne supernova in the sky over a scone. The exact details of how the scone angered Gallagher are a matter of dispute. Fellow passengers say the volatile rocker either didn’t like the look of the scone or was upset he wasn’t served one. The scone sparked unrest amongst Gallagher’s bandmates, who smoked, yelled and threw objects at fellow passengers through the flight. Gallagher evidently doesn’t mind the lifetime ban, saying he’d prefer to walk to Australia than board another Cathay Pacific plane.
3 Naomi Campbell
By 2008, Naomi Campbell’s reputation for violent episodes was well known. So a British Airways pilot’s decision to personally tell her one of her bags was missing is puzzling. To the surprise of no one, Campbell reacted with molten rage, unleashing a torrent of demands and swear words into her cell phone before spitting and thrashing at police officers who boarded the plane. Campbell, who pled guilty to assaulting her maid the previous year, repeatedly insisted that racism caused the incident and that the airline would not have lost a white woman’s luggage. In addition to being banned for life from the airline, she was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and received a £2,300 fine.
2 Dave Chappelle
In 2010, Dave Chappelle was kicked off a private plane. Let that sink in for a second. The former Comedy Central star was supposedly acting so poorly he caused an emergency landing despite being the plane’s only passenger. While flying from New Jersey to his home in Ohio, Chappelle couldn’t tamp down his inner Rick James and refused to put on his seatbelt, walked around the cabin and grabbed the pilot’s arm. The pilot decided Chappelle was too much of a safety risk for the flight to continue. After landing in Pittsburgh, Chappelle reportedly told hotel staff he wanted to rent a car and drive home but couldn’t remember where he lived.
1 Peter Buck
People were neither shiny nor happy after seeing R.E.M. guitar player Peter Buck’s behavior on a 2002 British Airways flight. Flying from Seattle to London, Buck chased back a sleeping pill with wine. Instead of becoming as quiet and sleepy as REM’s early albums, he was loud and annoying as their later work. His outlandish behavior included spraying flight attendants with yogurt and grabbing the handle of the emergency exit, saying he was “going home.” After wrestling with crewmembers and mistaking a stranger for his wife, Buck tore up a yellow card warning from the flight captain, saying "you are just a fucking captain and I am REM." He was put on trial for air rage and found not guilty following character testimony from Michael Stipe and U2’s Bono.
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