PSA: You Can Apparently Get Kicked Off A Flight For Not Putting Your Phone In Airplane Mode
If you’ve flown more than once in your entire life, then you should have a pretty good idea about how the preflight protocol generally works. It’s fairly straightforward: you find your seat, make sure to dominate the armrest before the person next to you can, and browse the drink menu while pretending to listen to flight attendants talk about the whole “safety” thing (or, if you’re flying Virgin, do everything you can to block out that music video that still haunts me to this day).
At some point during the whole spiel, you’ll also be asked to cut yourself off from the modern world by turning your phone to “Airplane Mode.” For years, people were tricked into believing cellular signals could cause their plane to nosedive into the ground until the FCC revealed that wasn’t actually a thing. However, that hasn’t stopped airlines from changing their policy, and it turns out the potential consequences of trying to check Instagram one last time can be more serious than I ever would have imagined.
According to USA Today, five passengers— FIVE!— were kicked off of a Delta flight in Texas after a flight attendant accused a passenger of failing to turn Airplane Mode on. The power-tripping flight attendant in charge got into it with a few other passengers who actually saw what happened before deciding to kick all of them off of the plane.
A passenger shared a video of the interaction, which is filled with all of the sass and condescension I’ve learned from expect from flight attendants since dealing with one who tried to make me wait at the front of the plane for two full minutes so I didn’t get in the way of the pressing and vital task of serving people champagne in first-class (an incident that pissed me off enough to make me break my golden rule of using Twitter to complain about air travel).
Apologies y’all this is a LONG post but I have to share this. First, I want to acknowledge because I am painfully aware of the serious and profoundly heartbreaking injustices/events happening in our world and communities that I have grappled with sharing my experience. It seems small in the face of those things. But the micro is important and little things that go unchecked spiral. So I was on a flight leaving Fort Wayne, Indiana this past Saturday June 23rd after doing a DJ workshop for #gearfest @sweetwater for @serato when I was unfairly ejected from @delta flight 4527. Just before take off the flight attendant rudely told me to put my phone on airplane mode.As I was swiping to it the attendant menacingly stood over me with her arms folded waiting for me to do it. I told her “I know how to turn on airplane mode, you don’t have to stand over me” She became agitated and said “If you’re gonna act like that we can go back to the gate and you can get off” I held up my phone to show her that airplane mode was on. She stormed to the front then came back to my seat and said we were going back to the gate. She then accused me of not turning on airplane mode after being “told to do so several times”. She only asked me once. I then asked her “What can we do to rectify this so that we can all go?” She said “You can comply” and I repeated that I had and she argued I did not. At that point the passenger sitting behind me @ryanmillerphotos told her that I had complied and he witnessed me doing so. She then threatened to kick him off of the flight as well. A Latina woman two rows ahead politely asked the flight attendant to sit down so that we could fly and the attendant snapped at her. We returned to the gate an officer boarded the plane and the flight attendant directed him to take me, the Latina woman @ryanmillerphotos off of the flight then the entire plane had to deboard. Subsequently 4 adults and a little boy were ejected permanently from the flight and stranded in Indiana with no place to stay as @delta refused to put any of us,including the man with the child,in a hotel. That was the last flight out. Elena, the Latina woman who was also ejected was rushing
So what should you do if you want to avoid a similar incident (besides actually putting your phone in Airplane Mode)? You can always fly United— unless you want them to kill your dog or forcibly drag you off a plane. If neither of those fates appeal to you, I guess Southwest is an option (unless you’re afraid of getting sucked out of a window). You could always fly American but they lost some points in my eyes after kicking off a hero in first-class who brought drinks to his friends in economy.
At least we have… Spirit? Jesus. Maybe the best move is just to never fly again.