PSA: How To Avoid Getting Kicked Off Your Next Flight

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It seems like every day there’s another crazy story about people getting kicked off a flight.

I wrote about how to avoid getting your credit card shut down, so I figured I may as well also write about how to avoid getting kicked off your flight.

I don’t typically write about most of these stories unless I speak to a passenger on the flight to learn all of the details I can. I’ve spoken to people who have been kicked off JetBlue, Spirit, and Frontier flights and written about what went wrong there.

I haven’t spoken to any of the girls who were kicked off multiple Delta and KLM flights this past week, so I can’t comment yet on that story, though my inbox is always open. They finally made it home after switching to United.

With that being said, here’s what you should do or avoid doing.

  • Avoid eating or drinking before takeoff.
    • Flight attendants are watching like hawks before takeoff for anyone that looks like they may cause issues during a flight. A common denominator among the incidents linked to above are that they all happened before departure. According to one alleged eyewitness, the girls were also kicked off one KLM flight for eating during boarding. There’s no official rule against that, but airlines will back their crew over passengers in a dispute. It’s obviously significantly easier to remove someone from a plane before takeoff. Avoid giving flight attendants any reason to remove you before takeoff. Eat in the gate area or wait until after takeoff to eat.
  • Make sure kids are fully masked, especially when boarding and before takeoff.
    • Most flight attendants understand that young kids have a hard time keeping a mask on, but there are some that will go on a power trip to ensure everyone 2 or older is masked at all times. Once again, the before takeoff rule applies here. Don’t give any reason for a gate agent or flight attendant to remove you from a flight before takeoff. Try to make sure that your child’s mask is on properly at all times, but especially before the plane takes off.
  • Avoid arguing about rules. Apologize and deescalate.
    • Flight attendants sometimes make up nonsense rules. No, you don’t need to eat at designated mealtimes, but if your flight attendant is insisting on that, it’s not worth arguing about it. If you’re eating a bowl of cereal it’s not easy to mask between every bite, but if you’re asked to do so, just go with it. You can write into the airline afterward to complain, but don’t get into a confrontation or fight on the plane or else you may find yourself kicked off a flight or blacklisted from future flights. Instead, just apologize and move on to deescalate the situation and let the flight attendant enjoy the power trip. It may not seem fair, but it’s the wise thing to do.
  • In an egregious situation, be sure to record video, but try to avoid pointing it in their face.
    • Video evidence of an absurd request from a flight attendant or getting kicked off can be extremely helpful to fight back against an airline narrative of what happened. However, sticking a camera in a flight attendant’s face will also escalate the situation. The girls kicked off the KLM flights allegedly said that a crew member forced them to delete video recorded of what happened. Start recording as soon as you sense something is wrong, but instead of holding your phone up to record, consider holding it at an angle to avoid an in face confrontation. You can still hear what’s going on and hopefully you’ll be able to see what happened while avoiding escalating the situation. If you do have recordings, immediately send them to someone else or duplicate them to another folder in case you are forced to delete them. Be sure to also record interviews of people sitting next to you, along with their names/seat numbers, to get their perspective of what happened.
  • Consider driving until the mask mandate is lifted
    • While I’ve been flying for the past year, they have all been solo trips and we haven’t flown with the kids since January 2020. With a 2 year old, it just wasn’t worth the risk of getting tossed off a plane. But now we have a 1 year old that won’t have to wear a mask and a 3 year old that will hopefully wear a mask without too much kvetching, so we’re hoping to make a short trip later this month and I’ll probably have more tips after that flight. I guess I should bring bags of Bamba and lollipops in case our 3 year old won’t wear her mask?

What other tips do you have?

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108 Comments On "PSA: How To Avoid Getting Kicked Off Your Next Flight"

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Dave Chappelle… when keeping it real … goes wrong


Another tip: After you take the video, send it to Daniel Eleff of DansDeals. He will publicize the story, and he will also directly confront the CEO of the airline in question to get their response. Instead of having the video just got some guy some status views on WhatsApp, add some weight by getting the heavy-hitters involved.


When Delta had normal child policy i specifically chosen Delta even when it meant a extra stopover.
Unfortunately now when that is no longer an option, I’m not flying with my kids.


Don’t fly as a Jew. Nazis still exist


That’s uncalled for and unhelpful.
Dan has given us practical advice that combines reality with fairness. Basically, be nice and be respectful even if you don’t totally agree. Isn’t that a better attitude?


I just flew Delta today NYC-TLV and they were extremely rude, especially to orthodox Jews, but children even 4-5 Y”O they didn’t bother.

Dr P

Shame on you…please do not be rude

Harabi MiUto

Not every rude flight attendant is a Nazi. Calling them Nazis is disrespectful to those who perished and suffered in the (real) Holocaust, like my dad and most of my family z”l. Enough.


“we’re hoping to make a short trip later this month”

Dan, are you not worried of the kids contacting the virus, G-D forbid, while traveling? I’m hesitating on taking kids on flights these days. What do you think?

Ignore the media

I’ll respond for myself, not for Dan.

There’s barely any risk for children, I’m not more worried than having them contract the common cold.

Dr P

@ Ignore the media.
Please educate yourself instead of just accepting what you hear


seems to me Ignore the media is saying just that: “Ignore the media” & educate yourself instead of just accepting what you hear


You can’t really say how many children are affected by Covid because many states don’t report it and when they do, the definition of “child” can mean anyone 14 or under (Utah and Florida) up to 20 and under (Tennessee and South Carolina).

How much risk do you need before you deny “there is barely any risk”? For the week ending July 29, there were 71,726 “child” Covid cases, according to data compiled by the American Pediatric Association. The cumulative number of child deaths, since April 2020, was 358 in the 43 states reporting. The parents of those children probably disagree that there was barely any risk. Just in Ohio, the cumulative total of child hospitalizations is 1,646. (That’s more than enough to fill the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the state’s largest.)


The problem with raw numbers is that the reader doesn’t understand the proper context. So a number such as “1,646” hospitalizations sounds awful- but the important question is- “out of how many who got infected/were tested?” Put simply- you need the denominator. Without it, the numerator doesn’t mean much when trying to assess risk.

Don’t get me wrong- COVID is very real, and all of us need to take it seriously and follow all regulations- and certainly, anyone who is eligible for a vaccination should get vaccinated immediately. And it is certainly way more concerning than the common cold. But virtually all of the data has shown that the risk for children getting seriously sick from COVID is extremely, extremely small (that’s the whole reason they’re the last group to get vaccinated in the first place), and that they’re also less likely to spread it than adults.


“(that’s the whole reason they’re the last group to get vaccinated in the first place)”
With which you destroy any credibility you have for anything else you write.


358 deaths and 0 of those kids were healthy before catching covid according to a jon hopkins study/report. these deaths are of course a tragedy. but these kids had comorbitities such leukemia.


The Johns Hopkins study involved children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020. So a year later, it is inaccurate to say we know much about the deaths since then. What we do know is that pediatric ICU’s are overflowing in many places with Covid patients, and that many will be discharged with “long Covid” symptoms.

Texas Totty

“I guess I should bring bags of Bamba and lollipops in case our 3 year old won’t wear her mask?”
I gave my 3-year-old a lollypop to suck because he wouldn’t keep his mask on (midflight). The SWA FA got on the loudspeaker immediately: “Please make sure your mask is covering your mouth and nose unless actively eating…and no, lollypops don’t count”! But she said it with a smile.


All this time scientists were working on vaccines while we had the solution in every kosher grocery. #BambaStopsTheSpread


Um, the point of the Bamba isn’t to stop the spread, it’s just to avoid the rule of having to wear a mask… 🙂


Avoid Ambien while flying.


What could be the problem with Ambien wile flying?


Traveling tomorrow with a 2 year old on JB. Extremely nervous. We’ve been practicing but he’s not having it.

Let’s go!

If he’s not too big of a kid – Just say he’s 23 months old.


Or just use a migu like that guy tried a few months back… he’s really 3 but I could have lied about his age…


This only works with a migu of koach hatainah, because a migu of ne’emanus wouldn’t help – everyone agrees the kid is three, so there’s no benefit to ne’emanus. But koach hatainah allows you to gain even more than you would have if you were believed – it gives you the benefit of the tainah you could have had.


Americans (who don’t learn Gemara) don’t accept a Migu, only instructions.


Hi David- We also have an upcoming flight on JetBlue with a 25 month old. I can’t avoid it- it’s a family Simcha. Good luck on your trip!! If you don’t mind I’d love to hear how it goes, and gain any tips into how to make it work. You can email me at Safe travels!!


I had a recent JetBlue flight and was not bothered.
But be smart. Give them the ability to look away. For example, if the kid looks small enough then keep the child on your lap/ They won’t want to land the plane so “game time” is only from boarding til the runway which should be 25 minutes or so.

If the kid won’t take the mask, try to bribe with candy. If not then give the kid a baby bottle or something to eat so the flight attendant has the ability to look away.


Go out of your way to say hi and be friendly to the flight attendants especially if you’re flying with little kids. It has helped us multiple times flying during COVID.

And lots of lollipops!


What flavor lollipops to flight attendants like?


“Avoid arguing about rules. Apologize and deescalate”
Always a wise rule to follow.
Yasher koach Dan . Great post, as usual


Yes maybe I’ll use this on family members this Elul…


sit at another gate until boarding time, keeps the hawk eyes off your kids until boarding. works like a charm, ive flown multiple times with the littles during these times, had only good experiences


Tip for flying with kids: there’s a very good chance that your 2.5 yr. old child isn’t used to wearing a mask. Don’t wait till the airport to change that. Spend time way before that explaining and practicing.

We have flown multiple times with 4 kids under 6, and always been without a hitch.


Let’s add to the list being on your phone prior to take off. I know someone who came close to being removed from a flight because he didn’t respond immediately (took him a second or two to process that he was spoken to) when a flight attendant told him to close his phone.
They made him promise like a child that he’d follow crew instructions right away.
I was on that flight and can tell you that the FA was ridiculous, but as Dan advised, my companion just bowed respectfully and nodded like a good pupil.


“Flight attendants sometimes make up nonsense rules.” This is an understatement. So many times I have heard them say “it’s against the law to…”, when it’s not even against any airline rule.


Cops do that too. SOP, lie so they comply.

Shone joe

I would love to get tips how to get kicked off a plane, get reimbursed plus future credit and compensation!!

Texas Totty

Just be ready to get duct-taped to your seat instead.


Thank you for the advice. This was my understanding.

Friendly skies no longer exist. Airlines only care about getting as many people to their destinations as possible to maximize revenue.

Plus so many people have been giving flight attendants trouble about masks they assume everyone is giving them a hard time.

TLDR: Go out of your way to show your not going make their life harder and flight attendants will likely leave you alone. It’s not fair but it’s life.
(And maybe wear a hat.)

miriam kairey

The skies are so unfriendly

Brooklyn mom

Dan, give the flight attendants chocolates when boarding. They will be your friends instead of looking to make you miserable


If you see they are about to approach you, start talking as loud as possible about how sad it is that flight attendants are underpaid and overworked, maybe shed a tear and proclaim solidarity with them. If all else fails, start talking about how Trump ruined the world and how black lives matter and how Ben and Jerry are people too. Soon the whole plane will join in, and love and tolerance will be restored.


I’d rather get kicked off the plane


It’s sad..


No bamba for 3 year old! You don’t want to be thrown off for bringing peanut allergies on a plane (and seriously there are some people who are deathly allergic, just not worth it). Hope she likes pretzels or potato chips!


“A common denominator among the incidents linked to above are that they all happened before departure.”

Most people don’t get kicked off of flights *after* departure!


“we’re hoping to make a short trip later this month and I’ll probably have more tips after that flight.”

Maybe you should wear a bodycam, so in case something is unfolding, you should have it all recorded without them noticing, from the beginning.
Or to the other side: Before takeoff, make sure the flight crew notices your body cam, so they should know that you’re not the prey they’re looking for.


As someone who flies almost weekly, here is my tip, take pringles or something else that takes awhile to eat. Also, I frequently get upgraded to first class, the difference between first and economy is in economy they yell at you to put on your mask. In first, they say “sir, would you like another drink or did you want to put your mask back on”


Mendy, if you mean try to find a way to keep your mask off as much as possible, that’s pretty unhelpful. It’s exactly the kind of behavior that flight attendants are tired of. And if you are dressed like a frum Jew, don’t you think that they will start making life harder for othet frum Jews? That may not be fair, but why make it easier for it to happen?


try to understand for just 1 split second, its super hard for people to wear masks! especially on an airplane for any considerable amount of if a person needs to bend the rules in his favor i dont think thats out of line.

and i dont think a proper answer is that he shouldnt fly till this is over!

bec this is a never ending thing.

remember the vaccine was supposed to be the ticket back to normal life, and frankly thats why so many people went out to take it.

and now we keep circling back ….

i aksed this question more times then i can count, when will the masks and all covid restrictions end? bec if the bar is 0 covid, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!

its time for us to start learning how to live with this virus!

that means protect your self and your loved ones, with meds and a plan if you get covid.

and thats it, we all go back to our regular lives and wait for the climate change lockdowns to come.


I understand it’s hard. But trading tips on getting around rules is mostly about gaming the system. Ha ha, I can pretend to eat for 10 hours, aren’t I clever.
If someone has a legitimate medical reason, they can get documentation and wear a face shield and generally be cooperative about the times they are able to mask up.
Children are another story IMHO. Little kids can’t always do it. But it’s better if the parents try to be cooperative and let the flight attendants know they are trying. The more that people complain as if their kid is the only one that this has ever happened to and start getting outraged at flight attendants, the worse the reaction will be to you. Just try a little kindness. It might be greeted with the same level of respect.


I flew KLM during May. Before taking off, they specifically announced that no recording is allowed.


Do they have a right to do that? What if Derik Chauvin told the bystanders no video?


I think they also added: without personal consent; which means one can’t record flight attendants. It was just curious to hear that as an announcement (not only the transatlantic flight but also within Europe).

It may not be something new, I remember we had a little incident many years ago and the flight attendent told me I can’t record her. It was an United flight within U.S. I was recording the heated exchange between my wife and the flight attendent. Social media was not big at that time, I am sure that video would have been shared lots of time.


My 4 year old needed the bathroom during a delayed take off she was crying hysterically and I pressed the call button no one came. The entire plane was telling me to get up and just go to the bathroom but I told them I won’t get kicked off. Someone ended up giving me there sweater and said let her go on the seat. I decided to give her a shopping bag and we did it that way. Thank god 3 really nice ladies were sitting across from me and helping me out. It was extremely traumatic! And once we took off (would have been her waiting an hour) they finally came over to see what we needed. Really crazy that these things are happening on the daily! And you can feel safe on a flight!


Might be wise to make little kids wear pullups before traveling “just in case”
I’d rather change a wet diaper than clean an airplane seat.


That has always been my travel policy. Too often the bathrooms are occupied or otherwise unavailable, and even when not, many kids don’t like airplane bathrooms.


My 2.5 year old grandson (who has already had COVID) refuses to wear a mask. On the Delta flight from TLV to JFK, one of the flight attendants was on a power trip and made threats, but the other flight attendants calmed her down. On the return flight, a flight attendant said he didn’t have to wear a mask because he’s “just a baby.”


Unfortunately a group of Orthodox teenagers (or any group of noticeably Orthodox people for that matter) seems to be a target. Maybe try traveling inconspicuously. I traveled last week and there were a group of non Jewish teenagers behind me chewing gum etc. without masks for most of the flight. No one bothered them.

Additionally the first step is to keep the rules and not cut corners, (yeah wear a mask and don’t suck a lollypop the whole flight). I am not blaming anyone or criticizing anyone but being extra careful if you are a target won’t hurt.

Flying with a two year old…

@Dan we flew with our 2 year old on Thursday and the AA flight attendant went all Robo-cop on my wife because my daughter was sucking on a lollipop. Said Federal Regulations did not consider sucking on a lollipop as active eating and that she would have to cover up with a mask while having the lollipop…


It’s right there in US code #l0ll1p0p

Flying with a two year old…

I had a strong urge to tell him that I had read the entire code and saw that specifically Paskez lollipops were mentioned as allowed.

Crazy part is that we weren’t trying to get “around” anything. She’s two and flying ain’t easy on the ears so we gave her the lollipop…


Sad to watch how the left/msm managed to take humans and turn them into monsters. You can have FAs literally hawking for slightest inkling of trouble.


What the hack does this have to do with the left? Mask rules on planes are in affect since April 2020


But acting like a moron and trying to frame people with a “supposed” violation for every move has not been in effect since then…


Get an ipad with videos. The only trick.
I just flew with my 26 month old. We trained him a few days before to wear the mask, and if he does he gets to watch “wheels on the bus”, baby shark, etc it worked wonders.

He kept it on all of boarding and take off, afterward it slipped off and noone cared …


I just flew El Al for this very reason; I figured they would be less makpid on the mask rule, and although I wore mine, I wanted to avoid any possibility of hassle. They were indeed pretty relaxed about it, reminding people some of the time, but no hassling. And at night while people were sleeping, some entirely w/o masks, they left them alone. It was great.


I went recently with Swiss for most of the time i didnt wore my mask only ones they reminded me, i even had a discussion with a FA while not having my mask on, and most of the kids around me didnt had the mask as well.

Had a pleasant trip back and forth while i was able to breath…


I just took several American Airlines flights. On the trip to the US from TLV, they made an announcement at the beginning that everyone is required to wear a mask at all times, except for a short time for eating, with no exceptions. Really, most of the kids, and many of the adults, were not wearing their masks. Soon before landing, they announced that as we were entering US airspace, FAA and US laws require them to enforce mask wearing very strictly, and asked everyone to please cooperate, which everyone that I could see did.
On my other flights, most people complied with no reminders, and the rest responded immediately and politely when reminded to by the flight attendants.


Thanks for sharing
I’m about to travel with kids to TLV and I also heard that American airline don’t botter with Masks

I would say
Amerian #1
El al #2
United #3
Delta don’t fly


Thank you for reminding me to fly Delta.


I believe it is only in the US that kids over 2 have to wear a mask. In the UK kids under 11 is not needed and under age 3 is not recommended. (They also issued exemption cards for those who don’t want to wear a mask!) I don’t know about other countries. I assume that airlines may set their own rules, but a non US airline may have a different age limits & rules. It maybe worthwhile to check other airlines before booking. Eg.
“Parents flying on British Airways will be happy to know that children under the age of 11 are not required to wear a face mask while traveling. Apr 26, 2021”


Stay off the planes – period. Unless you must fly, don’t.

I used to fly multiple times each year, but no longer. It’s not worth it.

I also stopped shopping in stores where they force you wear a mask. I’d rather pay a few dollars extra if need be to shop at a store that doesn’t insist on this madness and preserve my sanity. Bye CVS, Shop Rite, Walgreens…

Like sheep we’ve surrendered our freedoms.

If you do go on a plane, RECORD everything. But do it surreptitiously. Use something like this
It’s $30 and no one will know and you’ll capture everything you need. I bring it to all business meetings and anywhere else I think I may need the information.


Wouldn’t that (Pen Spy Camera) cause trouble in itself getting through the x-ray scanner?


No it won’t. There’s nothing illegal about it. I’ve done it many times and it doesn’t pick up anything unusual.

Ed A

I just flew Miami – Bogota and the Captain got on the speaker and told the folks in no uncertain terms that the attendants represented him and his authority, so mask up. I don’t know why some folks feel that they are special and the rules don’t apply to them and they want to play legal games saying their rights are being violated or that they are being discriminated against. Those attendants have no interest in being nannies for folks who don’t want to obey rules which the Feds mandated for the health of the fellow passengers. If you want to have the right not to wear a mask, don’t fly. But the majority of folks who fly are passengers like myself and are tired of those who could care less about the health of others and who waste the time and energy of the attendants in their entitled behavior.


Agree. For a community that has many many many rules, its depressing to see such strong interest here in rejecting flying rules intended to protect everyone (hence the term ‘public health’). Also depressing to see the whining that Jews are treated differently. (Are you walking the aisles when asked to sit down? Are you refusing to sit next to certain other passengers on a public conveyance? Then yeah, you may be singled out).


1. This comment section may be more diverse than you think with not everyone coming from the “community that many many many rules”
2. The above mentioned community(ies) is made up of many many many individuals who don’t necessarily represent the rest.