Videos of pro-Trump supporters getting booted from flights departing Washington, D.C. have flooded social media since last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers and airline unions have called to add participants in last Wednesday's riot to federal no-fly lists, and onlookers have cheered as that seems to come to fruition.
The problem? That's not what has happened. In nearly every case so far, the pro-Trump supporters captured getting kicked off planes can blame their behavior onboard – not a no-fly list.
Take, for example, two incidents flying with Delta last weekend that exploded on the internet. On a Friday flight from Washington, D.C.-Reagan (DCA) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), a group of passengers is filmed shuffling off the plane. One woman in the video, who was captured outside the Capitol last Wednesday, said she was being removed “because they said I was loud” and later faulted “freedom of speech.”
None of the videos of the incident show what happened leading up to Delta's decision to ask them to leave.
Group from the insurrection gets kicked off plane. pic.twitter.com/Nenpochgtc
— TheWillOfSkrong (@AnonSkrongus) January 10, 2021
Shortly afterward, a man was captured sobbing in a Washington, D.C.-Reagan (DCA) gate area after apparently being removed from a flight, screaming “This is what they do to us!” and “They called me a … terrorist!” Viral videos of his removal said he had been added to the no-fly list.
People who broke into the Capitol Wednesday are now learning they are on No-Fly lists pending the full investigation. They are not happy about this. pic.twitter.com/5GfHo1eVU8
— Ray [REDACTED] (@RayRedacted) January 10, 2021
Delta confirmed to Thrifty Traveler that none of these passengers were on no-fly lists. Instead, they simply weren't complying with flight crews' instructions onboard.
“Decisions made to remove unruly customers on flights are based solely on behavior that affects the safety and security of our operation including noncompliance with instruction from flight crews,” a Delta spokesperson said.
And that's a much more logical explanation for the uptick in unruly passengers getting kicked off planes. As Gary Leff from View from the Wing points out, it's highly unlikely anyone on a no-fly list would even make it to the plane. They'd likely get turned away at airport security.
And these aren't isolated incidents. A plane full of passengers refused to stop chanting “USA!” when asked onboard an American Airlines flight from Washington to Phoenix (PHX), leading the captain to threaten “I'll put this plane down in the middle of Kansas, I don't care.” Another woman was captured screaming while maskless at the rest of an American Airlines plane. Flight attendants' unions have expressed concern about “terrifying” incidents onboard, including a black flight attendant who was subjected to racist epithets from passengers, Paddle Your Own Kanoo reports.
Airlines have beefed up security and staffing at airports around the nation's capital. American Airlines has suspended alcohol service on flights to and from Washington, D.C. The entire industry is bracing for more drama ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week.
All of this underscores an important point: It's easy to not get kicked off a plane.
When you buy a plane ticket, you're signing a contract with your airline. They're agreeing to transport you from point A to point B at a certain price, and you're agreeing to follow the airlines' rules and any instructions from the crew. That includes wearing a mask, being quiet when flight attendants ask you too, and staying buckled in your seat during takeoff and landing. It's really that simple.
Yet for some reason, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needed to remind flyers last weekend that threatening or assaulting passengers or crew on a plane could mean jail time or a fine of up to $35,000.
“I expect all passengers to follow crew member instructions, which are in place for their safety and the safety of flight,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement.
Be careful, Thrifty Traveler. I’ll cancel my membership if I think you’re getting political. Stay above the fray.
OK. But this isn’t “getting political.” People getting thrown off flights is an important travel issue, and we’re simply clearing up the misunderstanding about why these recent incidents are happening.
cancel your membership. ill sub myself and others in my fam individually to make up for it for them to keep telling the actual truth without alternative “facts”
How is this political. It is accurately reporting that people are being removed from flights because of their behavior on board and NOT for political reasons. Correcting mistruths is not political, it is honorable and important for all of us to know.
How dare he report on Trump insurrectionists behaving badly and getting kicked out of airplanes! He’s on the verge of getting political because you just don’t want to hear anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. If this news is bothering you because you think your political views are being attacked, shame on you. Just outright done with comments like this. You should be ashamed of yourself as an American if you are one and as a human being.
The staff at Thriftytraveler have NOT surrendered their rights as citizens in order to run this website. That includes expressing an opinion and “getting political”. It is way past high time to expose the truth about Trump and his supporters. Unfortunately, the political reality stains or affects every other aspect of life, including travel. Therefore, providing this type of information is an essential service to their readers. I, for one, love it and appreciate it. I believe this website is on the up and up. If you leave, it is not a loss, really.
Living in USA is act of political display. Don’t hate the crazy republicans or the extreme left, hate the tech platforms that helped them self radicalize. There is no future for this nation as long as people hate each other like this. Trump hates China but in failing to unite the country he ensured there is no future for USA. I see families falling apart over Trump. USA is like USSR in 1985.. few more years left for this drama to come to conclusion. Who wants to live in the Republic of Texas 🙂
Thank you for reporting the facts. Haters gonna hate! I appreciate you!
Many folks have voted both parties for years and THEY were not in the capital building ! This reminds me of 1917 and then of the 1937 purges . Friends of friends, relatives and voters of the so called “wrong” party just being kicked off and out. Hey folks, recall Sen J. McCarthy and if you were a dem or commie back in his era, bad things could happen to you. Goes around comes around .
Well you did not represent the whole truth of this but your version of it. Did you actually find out what constituted unruly behavior? Was it simply wearing a Trump hat or mask? Was it just simply saying Trump 2020? So how can we really understand what happened?? I mean the video of the lady in red being removed shows support of her by other passengers. If she was unruly would the passengers not be in support of the removal instead of against it? This type of half way investigation of matters is partially what is wrong with the news today which is causing so much division among Americans.