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Man Kicked Off Flight for Sagging Pants

...And other unusual tales of being deplaned

By Rich_Maloof Aug 2, 2012 6:28PM

Photo: Dirk Anschutz/Getty ImagesSaggers, beware. Though the rest of the world really is thrilled to learn the color of your underwear, the staff at Spirit Airlines is clinging to the conservative notion that pants should be worn around the waist. The Chicago Tribune reported this week on a man who was asked by flight attendants to pull up his saggies. Apparently the passenger was willing to raise his voice but not his pants. After he became verbally abusive and threatened the attendants, he was booted in his thinly attired bottom and forced to deplane with his traveling companion.

This particular low-rider was more likely kicked off the flight for his threatening rant than for his low-riders, but it’s not the first time and won’t be the last that fashion trashing has pitted people against corporations and institutions. Every school season, some kid is suspended for an offending skirt or a shirt. The last time such a story made big news was when Katy Perry was cut from Sesame Street after showing too much cleavage to Elmo (and it’s only fair to note here that Elmo (a) is naked and (b) has a hand up his rear).

Schools and muppets get to make up their own rules, but the guidelines for passenger fashion and conduct are seldom well defined by airlines. Earlier this year, a woman with a healthy disdain for authority was prevented from boarding an American Airlines flight while wearing a T-shirt that read, If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d f*** a senator (the asterisks are ours, by the way). And this week’s Spirit sagger has some celebrity company: Billie Joe Armstrong from the band Green Day was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight last year in another sagging scene.

If your travel clothes don’t get you in trouble, something else will. Here are a few other ways you can be booted from a flight without rushing the cockpit, yelling “Bomb!” or being Alec Baldwin.

• Cry, and be 3 years old. Suggestion to parents: Buy a drink and a set of movie headphones for nearby passengers, and then for yourself.

Appear devout. Two American men, both Muslim, were ejected from an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight for wearing traditional clothing that made other passengers uncomfortable. The men were headed to a conference on Islamaphobia.

• Appear sexy. When Kyla Ebbert wore a skimpy skirt and offended Southwest in 2007, it was the best publicity stunt she didn’t know she could pull: Ebbert later received an offer to pose for Playboy. Other passengers, like Malinda Knowles, turn out to be victimized by flight-crew perverts.

Quadriplegic? How dare you. Frontier Airlines was fined $50,000 for forcing John Morris off a flight when the pilot didn’t like how Morris had been strapped into his seat.

Dance erotically. Last year, a 39-year-old woman flying from Moscow apparently had a little too much to drink and started removing the eyeglasses of select fellow passengers and dancing for them evocatively.

Be too big. If you can’t fit your behind into a single seat, you may have to buy one ticket for each cheek. With any luck, the seats are next to each other.

Smell bad. You know what? They’re right, get off the plane.

Photo: Dirk Anschutz/Getty Images

Apr 19, 2013 6:11PM

Regarding the problem of a very large person in the next seat: If you tell the flight attendants that your seat is "not available to you" because it is partially occupied by another passenger, the airline must, by law, provide you with one that is fully available.


Being uncomfortable is a personal problem. A seat that is not available is the airline's problem, so the wording matters.


If they can't just move you, the flight attendants will tell you to report the problem to the check-in person at the top of the jet way. Then, the airline will do what they always do with overbooked flights. They ask for volunteers to be bumped. This does not involve embarassing the large person in any way, and it does not mean that you will be the one bumped.

Aug 4, 2012 10:09AM
Inappropriate and ill fitting clothing must be shunned by any civilized society.  No one with any self respect and desire to succeed in their endeavors  wear pants half way down their butt.
Dress like a bum and you will be treated like one.  Regardless of race, color, or creed.                

Aug 4, 2012 12:24AM

The dress policy has nothing to do with a political party affiliations....it is morals.  We do what we have to do at our own discretion using common sense especially if there is only one flight attenant onboard.   You have children on the flights and your attire should be appropriate.  The point of flying is to get from point A to point B.  So why make a problem for yourself.  When you get to your destination then go trashy...who the hell cares!!!  We as flight attendants have enough to worry about, ie, turbulance, emergency landing, sick customers, etc.   Remember from point A to point B.

Aug 4, 2012 12:19AM

I am a flight attendant and I have sternly asked people to pull up their pants, "there are children on board"....never had a problem.  Also, we are not allowed to profile.  If someone is on the large size I just move him to double sitting alone (they appreciate that).  If someone has a bad odor I use the lav spray around them when they are not looking.  The problem with children is that the parents allow them, while boarding, to stand in their seats, sit on the floor (dirty) and let them play with the overhead light.  Then when it's time to get everyone in their seats the kids refuse to and that's when the tantrums begin.  People do not respect airlines and airline travelling anymore.  The passengers in pajamas are laughable!!!!

Aug 3, 2012 7:37PM

I know most of you people don’t want to think about young homosexual men with Sagging Pants being so silly, but this new generation has done a lot of silly crap. 

My generation started with the earring, and the lady’s with their thumb ring.

For 2012 we have drug dealers and immature homosexual boys making money on two fronts.  A $50 blow is just as good as a $20 bag of weed.  That is just how they make their money.  The Sagging Pants is just their work uniform.

Aug 3, 2012 3:42PM
kids that wear their pants below their waist tick me off. their stuff isnt that big and if you think about it its unsanitary with their stained boxers. plus noone wants to see what your boxers look like. ive been known to yell at clients that do that and even though somell have something to say "your just disciminating". in some states it is illegal-considered indecent exposure and slowly thats spreading across the country. kids nowadays arent being raised by their parents but by the media and a lot of what they see is shows like cops or music videos where they see those styles and think its cool. guess what kids? it might be another charge added later on. i could sit here and go on about other fashion that really riles me but i wont. i remember when wearing your clothes backwards was the style or men having diamond studded earrings was the style. those were mild compared to todays youth
Aug 3, 2012 2:37PM

Let's see, Tea Bagger and Red Dot.  So, most of the saggy pants wearers are black, huh?  Most serial killers (i.e. Eric Rudolph) and random shooters/killers (i.e. James Holmes) are white.  Most pedophiles (i.e. Sandusky) are white.  Most bigots (i.e you and the church that didn't want a black couple to marry in "their" church) are white.  


Now, we can go on and on with this foolishness, but, it nets nothing but stupidity. 

Aug 3, 2012 2:34PM
A few years back my husband and I were last on board.  We were not late but just last in line.  There were no seats except in the very back.  My husband took the middle seat 4 rows from the rear of the plane and I took the aisle seat just before the rear galley.  However, a third of the way back we were both harassed to sit down immediately though there were no seats insight.  "You must sit down you are delaying take off."  "You will be removed from the plane if you don't sit down." No time to stow anything or hardly put on the seat belt.  I was amazed that they allowed me to hold my purse, totebag and leave my hat on-sliding off my head and covering my eyes.  I sat that way till we were launched and finally an attendant asked if I wouldn't be more comfortable if I put some of the items away.  I would have been more comfortable if the lady in the middle seat hadn't weighed 375.  I weigh 230 and can fit in my seat without any spill over.  This was ridiculous. From Las Vegas to DC.  She was pleasant but spoke mostly with her husband and ate their Hoagies.  1/2 way through the flight the attendant showed me how to raise the arm of my seat until I had to put it down again for landing.
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