Nobody likes flying. In fact, most people try to avoid it. But, if you’re lucky enough to call yourself a celebrity, you’ve probably gotten used to the inconvenience of flying. A lot of frequent flyers find different ways to cope with their time in the sky. Some read books, some drink at the airport bar, and some chat with the people around them, but not everyone can handle the stress of flying — and celebrities are no different.
On this list you’ll find some of the strangest, most notorious cases of celebrities being kicked off of airplanes, being arrested after they land, or throwing a temper tantrum before their flight even begins. It’s always embarrassing seeing a grown adult throw a fit in public — it’s even worse when that person is famous. I guess some people have such a diva complex that they can’t follow basic instructions!
15. Whitney Houston Refused To Buckle Up
In 2011, Whitney Houston was nearly kicked off a plane for wanting to avoid a pretty standard safety regulation. The Grammy-winning singer threw quite a fuss when crew members told her that she needed to buckle her seat belt. She refused for some time before being told by a crew member that the plane would not leave until she had buckled up. A source close to Whitney told reporters that she was overreacting after missing a flight earlier that day.
Years later, a fan of Whitney Houston decided to honour her in an unusual fashion. The passenger started singing “I Will Always Love You” before take-off. Refusing to stop singing, the passenger was escorted off the plane. This may have been a nod at Whitney’s general disdain for flying.
14. David Hasselhoff Was Too Drunk To Board The Plane
David Hasselhoff’s problem with alcohol was in the public eye during the mid 2000s. The former Baywatch star has struggled with alcohol abuse since fading from the spotlight. His abuse culminated into one of the most humiliating incidents ever filmed. We’ve all (unfortunately) seen the video of a drunk Hasselhoff laying on the floor, shoving his face with fast food. It’s pretty gross. But, before that video went viral, there was another incident involving a drunk Hasselhoff.
In 2006, Hasselhoff was prevented from boarding a British Airways aircraft because flight attendants felt that he was too drunk to travel. According to reports, Hasselhoff drank bottles of beer and chugged shots of whiskey while waiting for his flight. He was so drunk, he lifted a female assistant at the duty free shop. Drunk enough to talk, Hasselhoff confided in the British Airways staff and told them that he was drinking so much because he was upset about his divorce from his wife of 16 years. Oh, and this whole event happened at 7 in the morning. Yikes!
13. Alec Baldwin Wouldn’t Stop Playing Words With Friends
Some people really can’t put their phones down, and celebrities are no exception. In 2011, Alec Baldwin was kicked off a plane for continuously using his phone before takeoff. If you’ve ever flown, you’ll know that for whatever reason, the flight attendants ask you to turn off your electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Alec Baldwin decided to use his phone to play Words With Friends while waiting for the plane to take to the skies. After American Airlines staff asked Baldwin to stop using his phone, he took to Twitter to complain about the staff. He tweeted, “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt.”
According to other passengers on the plane, the situation escalated and ultimately resulted in the plane heading back to the gate so Alec Baldwin could be removed from the plane. What a colossal waste of time for everyone on that plane.
12. Billie Joe Armstrong’s Pants Were Sagging Too Low
Green Day front man is no stranger to controversy. He’s cussed out concert goers before, and, in true punk fashion, he got himself kicked off a plane. It happened back in 2011 and just about everyone has forgotten about the incident. According to reports, Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for sagging his pants. Armstrong lashed out on Twitter by saying, “Just got kicked off a Southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the f-? No joke!”
A producer from a San Francisco news station was on the plane and saw the ordeal unfold. According to the producer, a flight attendant approached Armstrong and told him to pull his pants up. Armstrong responded by saying, “Don’t you have better things to do than worry about that?” The flight attendant responded by saying, “Pull your pants up or you’re getting off the plane.” And, well, Armstrong got kicked off the plane.
11. Courtney Love Verbally Abused The Crew
Courtney Love is known for a lot of things and most of them aren’t good. In her defence, she’s had a rough life, but that doesn’t excuse most of her behavior. Then again, if someone accused you of assassinating the love of your life, you’d be a little loopy, too.
A few years ago, Courtney Love was arrested and charged with “endangering an aircraft” after landing at Heathrow airport. During the flight, Love was throwing a tantrum and verbally abusing the cabin crew. She refused to sit in her seat and wear her seatbelt. Apparently, Love was causing such a disturbance, the captain called the airport to ensure she would be arrested when the plane landed. At the time, she was facing up to two years in prison for her offence, but nothing ever came of the charges.
10. Amanda Bynes Didn’t Bring ID
Amanda Bynes likes to think that she’s more famous than she actually is. While almost every millennial could point out pre-breakdown Amanda Bynes, the older generation probably has no idea who she is. We’re at the point now where even the younger generation don’t know who she is. She looks so different now that even her biggest fans don’t recognize her.
In 2013, Amanda Bynes was prevented from getting on a plane after her diva ego got the best of her. According to witnesses, Bynes was unable to present photo ID to the staff at the airport. Without identification, as most people will tell you, you can’t actually get on a plane. You don’t need a passport to fly domestically, but you still need to show something to prove you are who you claim to be. Bynes didn’t see it that way. She asked the pilot to “Google her” but she was still not allowed to board the flight.
9. Snoop Dogg Had Over $420,000 In Cash
If you’ve ever flown internationally, you’ll know that usually, you aren’t permitted to bring more than $10,000 cash into a country. Every time I fly, I wonder, who would be bringing in that kind of cash to a country? Apparently, Snoop Dogg would.
In 2015, Snoop Dogg was detained at an airport in Italy as he prepared to board a private plane on its way to Britain. Snoop Dogg and his entourage were searched and Italian police found approximately $422,000 in cash stashed away in his luggage. Unfortunately, the reason for Snoop carrying so much cash isn’t as gangster as it sounds. His legal team told reporters that the money came from concerts that Snoop had performed around Europe and was nothing more than an administrative infraction. Half of the cash was returned to Snoop, and the other half was held by Italian police until they could figure out how much to fine him.
8. Paul McCartney Smuggled Marijuana Into Japan
Paul McCartney is arguably the most popular member of The Beatles, meaning he can get away with just about whatever he wants. This was especially true on January 16, 1980, when McCartney was arrested in Japan for smuggling nearly half a pound of weed into the country. Border officials found the bag stashed inside of McCartney’s luggage and the Wings front man claimed that the marijuana was for personal use.
McCartney told reporters that he brought marijuana to Japan because he thought he wouldn’t be able to find any in Japan. And, if he did find some, he thought that it wouldn’t have been very good. In his own words, “This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it with me.” Amazingly, Paul tried this stunt just five years after he was denied entry to Japan because of his earlier drug arrests in Europe. He faced 7 years in jail, but was released after serving 9 days in a Japanese detention center.
7. Wiz Khalifa Refused To Get Off His Hoverboard
Wiz Khalifa is kind of an oddball. His hit song “Black and Yellow” pushed his fame to new heights. But, in 2015, he hit somewhat of a low point when he was handcuffed at LAX after an incident between him and the Customs and Border Patrol officers. According to Rolling Stone, when asked by officers to get off his hoverboard, Wiz refused and was arrested.
Wiz took to Twitter to talk about the incident saying, “All because I didn’t want to ditch the [technology] everyone will be using in the next 6 months. Do what you want kids,” and later added, “What’s even funnier than [the cops] not being able to do s*** is they’ll be riding them soon, as well. Maybe ones I design. I stand for our generation and our generation is gonna be riding hoverboards, so if you don’t like it eat a d***!”
6. Amber Heard Ignored Quarantine Laws
If you’ve been lucky enough to travel to Australia, you’ll know they’re pretty strict about who and what they let onto their island. Often times, staff members step onto the plane to spray it in order to kill any pests or bacteria that may be hiding on board. This is to prevent a foreign species from taking refuge in Australia and essentially ruining their ecosystem. If you think it’s too crazy to happen — it already has. The Simpsons even did an episode about it!
Amber Heard tried to beat Australia’s quarantine laws, which state that any pet entering the country must be quarantined for 30 days. She was visiting Johnny Depp while he was filming Pirates of the Caribbean and claims that she falsely filled out the form. Heard arrived on a private plane, which meant that her dog smuggling scheme only became public after her dogs were taken to a dog grooming salon and her visit was made public on social media. She faced two charges of illegal importation of an animal, and one count of a false document. Johnny Depp and Amber heard made a video apologizing to Australia for their ‘mistake.’
5. Christian Slater Brought A Gun
Christian Slater was quite the hot shot back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Slater made his debut by starring in the movie The Legend of Billie Jean and appeared in a number of movies throughout the 90s. Though he had quite the fan base, Slater’s career began to spiral due to his behavior off screen. He has been arrested numerous times for crimes such as drunk driving, assault, and sexual harassment. But, perhaps Slater’s most infamous crime happened inside of an airport.
In 1994, Christian Slater was arrested when he tried to board a commercial plane with a gun in his luggage. He struck a plea deal with the police and was ordered to spend three days working with homeless children. If he had tried the same stunt today, he wouldn’t have gotten off so easily. You’ve gotta love the 90s!
4. Charlie Heaton Had Traces Of Cocaine In His Bag
Charlie Heaton is only really known for playing Jonathan Byers on the hit Netflix show Stranger Things. The British actor’s career is still in its infancy, and while he may feel like he’s on top of the world now, if he makes the wrong career move, he will leave the spotlight just as quickly as he entered it.
In October 2017, 23-year-old Charlie Heaton was pointed out by drug-sniffing dogs after he landed at LAX. He was pulled aside where border officials found a “very small amount” of white powder on his person. The substance tested positive for cocaine, but Heaton was not arrested. Instead, he was held at the airport for some time and put back on a plane to London. Officials say that sending him home was their only option because of how little cocaine they found. There’s no word on whether or not this will affect Heaton’s ability to return to the United States.
3. Kevin Smith Was Too Fat To Fly
In the United States, there are a number of services designed to accommodate people that are larger than the average person. However, a hot topic of debate in America is whether or not airline companies can charge overweight passengers more for their ticket. For example, instead of charging them for one seat, the airline could charge them for two, because they may take up that much space.
In 2010, Kevin Smith was shamed in front of his fellow Southwest Airlines passengers after the crew asked him to get off the plane because they claimed he was too overweight to fit in his seat. Smith said he was aware he’s a bigger guy, but claimed he was sitting comfortably in his seat with his seat belt on before being asked to leave the aircraft. A PR team from Southwest Airlines scrambled to save face with the director, but he had already taken to Twitter to rant about the ordeal.
2. Gerard Depardieu Peed In A Bottle
Gerard Depardieu is kind of a big deal in France — he’s one of their most prolific actors, after all. Sadly, Depardieu is somewhat of a French stereotype — he loves to drink wine, with some sources saying that he finishes 5 bottles of wine a day. That’s not funny — that’s just alcoholism. In 2011, Depardieu made international headlines for a stunt he pulled before his plane had even taken off.
As any frequent flyer will tell you, once the seat belt light is turned on for takeoff, passengers are unable to get up from their seat — even if they have to use the bathroom. Depardieu, who was 62 at the time, had to use the bathroom, but the seat belt light was on and the staff would not let him. So, what did he do? He stood up, walked to the back of the plane, and tried to pee into an empty bottle. Unfortunately, his aim wasn’t perfect and he got pee on the floor. He claims he was sober during the ordeal and was tired of waiting because the plane’s takeoff had been delayed for more than 30 minutes. Depardieu was kicked off the plane, and passengers were told the plane would be grounded for another 2 hours until it could get cleaned.
1. Leisha Hailey Kissed Her Girlfriend
Of all the reasons to get kicked off of plane, this is, perhaps, the most ridiculous one. In 2011, Leisha Hailey was travelling from El Paso, Texas on a Southwest Airlines plane with her girlfriend and bandmate Camila Grey. After takeoff, the two women kissed and apparently disgusted a nearby passenger. The passenger complained to a cabin crew member, who then told Hailey that Southwest was a “family airline” and told her to stop. Naturally, Hailey and Grey freaked out and started to swear at the crew member.
Southwest Airlines told reporters that after Hailey and Grey began arguing with the staff, the pilot made the decision to travel back to El Paso to kick the pair off the flight. According to the airline, the problem was better off being solved on the ground, and they insisted that the problem was the couple’s abusive language, not their kiss. A few days later, Southwest retracted their statement and offered Hailey and Grey a full refund for the flight.
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