11 Celebrities Who’ve Been Kicked Off Planes
Air travel can be a pain for everyone: nobody likes dealing with the long lines at the TSA screening checkpoint, unexplained and unexpected delays, or big crowds of loud, germ-infested people. But since celebrities are used to special treatment, they often throw tantrums when they have to suffer through the indignity of flying commercial just like the right of us. Here are 11 celebrities who have been caught behaving badly on planes:
11. Conrad Hilton
In one of the funniest celebrity plane meltdowns of all time, hotel heir Conrad Hilton (yes, those Hiltons) allegedly threatened the crew of a British Airlines flight and called his fellow passengers “peasants” when he flew from London to Los Angeles. Children even started crying because of his tirade, which included death threats. If he wanted to audition for the role of Douchebag Villain in some kind of college movie, he did a bang-up job. “I could get you all fired in five minutes. I know your boss,” he told the crew. “My father will pay this out, he has done it before. Dad paid $300,000 last time.” He also smoked a cigarette in flight, putting a wadded up paper towel over the smoke detector so it wouldn’t go off. Conrad, who was supposedly upset over a breakup with his girlfriend, eventually had to be subdued with handcuffs. Once he landed in the United States, he was charged with interfering with a flight crew.
10. Dave Chappelle
Back in 2010, comedian Dave Chappelle’s airplane antics were so bad that the plane had to make an emergency landing. While flying from New Jersey to Ohio, Dave refused to buckle his seatbelt and apparently wanted to go to the bathroom so badly that he walked into the cockpit, grabbed the pilot’s arm and demanded to know when they were going to land. Did he not know that planes have bathrooms? We know they’re not ideal, but come on. Luckily, the plane was a private one, so he wasn’t inconveniencing other passengers when he ended up making an impromptu bathroom stop in Pittsburgh. The lesson here: always go to the bathroom in your last moment in the airport!
9. Liam Gallagher
Back in 1998, a scone was all you needed to cause volatile Oasis rock star Liam Gallagher to have a meltdown. While flying on a commercial Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Perth, the 42 year-old threatened the pilot and crew after he was refused a scone, or because he was unhappy with the shape of the pastry (reports vary). He and his fellow band members wouldn’t stop swearing, smoking and throwing things at the crew members (they seem like a fun lot, huh?). Liam’s behavior was so bad that he was banned from ever riding on the airline again, to which he responded that he’d rather walk to Australia than take Cathay Pacific another time.
8. Alec Baldwin
Remember when we were all addicted to Words With Friends? Back in 2011, 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin refused to power down his cell phone on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles because he was in the middle of a game of the Scrabble-like app. After he was unceremoniously kicked off the plane, Alec tweeted, “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericaairisbankrupt.” He also started using the hashtag #theresalwaysunited and suggested that “United Airlines should buy Words With Friends.” Other passengers said he was talking on the phone in addition to just playing the game. Always one to get involved in public controversies, Alec later left Twitter.
7. Naomi Campbell
Women have had their share of plane meltdowns, too. In 2008, supermodel Naomi Campbell was flying from London to a memorial service when she had a meltdown after learning that British Airways had lost a piece of her luggage. The airline “decided to resolve this by insisting she leave the flight and then called the police to forcibly eject her,” after which she was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. Naomi actually has a history of assaulting assistants and employees. In January 2007, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after throwing her cell phone at her maid who supposedly lost a pair of her jeans. Do not ever take a job guarding Naomi Campbell’s clothes!
6. Ivana Trump
Don’t ever bring your kids on a plane with Ivana Trump! Back in 2009, Donald Trump’s ex was flying from Palm Beach, Florida to New York City when she lost it over some screaming children. When the kids ran in front of her, she launched into a tirade of expletives, calling them “little f—-” and saying “f— you” to other passengers nearby. She caused enough of a disturbance that the pilot had to take the plane back to the gate. She refused to leave, so airport police officers had to come on board and force her to get off the plane. Maybe rich people should stay on private planes only.
5. Martin Lawrence
Comedian Martin Lawrence didn’t have a meltdown, but he did once get arrested at Burbank Airport in California. In 1998, Martin tried to take his loaded 9mm Beretta hand gun with him on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona. He told police that he thought guns were allowed on inter-state flights. I’m sorry, what? No charges were filed in the incident, which was part of a pattern related to weapons: a few months earlier, police found him walking around a busy intersection in Los Angeles with a loaded handgun in his pocket.
4. Gerard Depardieu
In one of the funnier celebrity plane meltdowns, French actor Gerard Depardieu grounded a CityJet flight from Paris to Dublin for two hours because nature was calling. When he tried to go to the bathroom, the flight crew told him he’d have to wait until after takeoff. Unable to hold it, he went to the back of the plane and urinated into an empty plastic bottle, getting some on the carpet. Gerard was asked to leave and other passengers had to wait while the flight crew cleaned up the mess. A representative for the actor said in a statement that he tried to deal with his issue “as discreetly as possible,” adding, “Gerard is very sorry to have spilt some on the plane’s carpet.” Can you imagine your publicist having to make a statement about this?
3. Leisha Hailey
In 2011, The L Word actress and musician Leisha Hailey got kicked off a Southwest flight for excessive PDA! While flying from El Paso, Texas, Leisha kissed her girlfriend and bandmate, Camila Grey, who was sitting in the seat next to hear. Apparently, one of the other passengers complained and a crew member asked them to stop, saying that Southwest was a “family airline.” Here’s the question: were they being excessive, or was the complaint lodged because Leisha was kissing another woman? Would it have happened to a straight couple? The gay and lesbian community rallied around Leisha, who also started cursing at the crew after being asked to tone it down. After days of backlash, Southwest offered to refund the flight in full and said it had “reached out to extend goodwill” — but did not formally apologize.
2. Soulja Boy
Back in 2013, rapper Soulja Boy joined the ranks of celebrities kicked off American Airlines flights. When the flight was about to leave, a flight attendant asked that everyone take their seats and buckle their safety belts. Soulja Boy refused, continuing to walk in the aisle. When a crew member asked him to comply one more time, he still refused — so he was kicked off the plane. Unlike most celebs, Soulja Boy was actually sorry for his bad behavior, and issued a public apology: “It was a bad night and me and the flight staff didn’t see eye to eye,” he told TMZ afterward. “In hindsight, I’m extremely sorry for all inconvenience caused to the passengers and employees of the airline.”
1. Kevin Smith
In one of the more publicized celebrity-vs.-airline incidents, Southwest crew members removed director/actor Kevin Smith off a plane traveling from Oakland, California, because his weight was considered a “security concern.” The airline publicly stood by their Customer of Size policy, which states that a large passenger may be bumped from a full flight if the “customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat,” but after Kevin released a series of Tweets bashing Southwest, they were more contrite in their apologies. Southwest refunded his airfare and told him it was sorry to have made a mistake in kicking him off the flight.