What are the “dumbest” things you can do when flying Delta? You really should avoid these!

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lady dragged off a delta jet renespoints blog

Yeah, this was really dumb!

Clearly it is not smart, as this UofM professor will attest to, to charge down the jet bridge without having the gate agent FIRST scan your boarding pass because you are scared that overhead bin space will be gone by the time you get to your seat. The simple fix for this problem is just to have a Delta co-branded AMEX card and then you get to board with Zone 1 (that really is not group 1 but will likely get you a spot for your bag).

But this one was an extreme event. What are a number of other really dumb things you could do when traveling that could get you in a world of hurt and, under certain circumstances, ending up in jail! Let’s look at my list and see what you think.

Smoking on-board. Delta prohibits smoking as well as vaping and smokeless tobacco onboard. Try any of these and you could find yourself met by the “men in blue” when you land. If you are a frequent flyer you really should try to quit these bad habits!

Getting drunk. It is never ever smart to get drunk, let alone on a jet. In case of an emergency you could hurt yourself or those around you. Not just that but you may be denied boarding if you are intoxicated before the flight departs. That is not a good time – right?

Argue / fight with Delta personal. It is one thing to ask for something to be fixed that is not right, but it is another to take it to the next level. While these folks are working for you they also have the power to prevent you from travel. Winning is getting where you want to be, not being told you will not be allowed to fly today.

Bringing a weapon to the airport. I am constantly stunned by folks who “forget” they have a loaded gun in their bag. Really? Then again folks often get caught with all kinds of dangerous things at security (well most times anyway). If you want to fly, check your bag and/or purse (don’t assume there’s nothing in there) and make sure you don’t bring anything that could be confiscated or land you in jail.

Anything illegal. Now if you have the habit of illegal activities you have a larger problem than just travel, but if you combine these with travel your likelihood of getting to where you want to be are remote. Again, I see jail time in your future travel plans (hey, free food and lodging but a horrid rewards program I am told)!

Dressing really bad. This sure was in the news with #LeggingsGate back in March but on a more serious note, if you are wearing things people really should not wear out in public (like ever) there is a good chance someone in a Delta uniform may just ask you to change before you board. Now I am not just talking too much skin I am talking wording on your shirt that could be viewed as something that would raise attention and not in a good way.

Too many carry-on bags. Seriously, this can keep you off the jet. Delta has a good policy and the size check box is way better than the other major airlines but if you have more than two, even in 1st class, the gate agent is very likely to ask you to step out of line and combine your bags into just two. Can’t do it? You may not get to fly or may be forced to check one of them to your final destination.

Lots of CASH! Now before anyone starts telling me how it is legal to fly with lots of cash and they, the TSA et all, have no right to confiscate your personal property just because they believe you did not earn this cash legally does not matter. If you can not catch your flight because you are fighting with anyone over your cash you are losing. I know there can be reasons to fly with large amounts of cash but don’t be surprised if you have issues when you do.

Forgetting your passport. If you are flying internationally you need a passport. Delta in fact will call you up to confirm you have it before they will let you board. If you forget it at home you may be able to clear security but the chance of you getting on the jet are not good. And even if you do, you then likely will not be able to enter the country you are traveling to.

Showing up late. While Delta may, again may, hold a jet for a minute or two for a HVC or a mass of folks that they can see are delayed from a connecting flight, they will not hold a flight if you are late getting to the airport or gate. Be on time if you are going to fly.

So that is my list of both extreme and not so extreme things that are the dumbest things folks can and do do that could mean they don’t get to fly. What do you think of my list? Are there a number of things I have left off that I should have included? Let me know in the comments below. – René





  1. Bringing a cat that won’t stop meowing on board as a “service animal”. Like the flight I’m on right now. In first no less. Or any dog that you make a “service animal” online.

  2. You can safely bring medical marijuana on to airplanes these days. Tips 1. Don’t be high 2. Don’t smell like it 3. Your ‘piece’ shouldn’t be metal. 4. Keep a copy of your receipt on your phone just in case.

  3. Please add;
    Being part of a minority.
    leaving MIA we aere singled out to check our cabin baggage which was sized in accordance with Delta rules. Passengers behind us continued to board with bags and bags that dod not fit the Delta rules.
    We were threatened with not being permitted to board.
    Delta will not reply to two concerns filed with them.
    The next step is filing within 180 days with US Office of Civil Rights. Delta, hope you are listening.

  4. @ Nathan

    Actually you cannot bring medical marijuana onto an airplane, TSA made a mistake when they listed it as ‘allowed’ but has since changed this as it is still illegal by Federal standards….

  5. Failing to greet the person next to you when he/she takes his/her seat.
    In most cases putting down your cell phone for a moment and saying hello to the person next to you will go a long way toward preventing all kinds of unpleasant passenger behaviors that otherwise may ensue in flight.

  6. @Karen – I tend to blog about Delta and, belive it or not, these do not apply to all airlines. For example, my understanding is some airlines allow smokeless tobacco while Delta does not.

  7. @Rod A – TSA may search you bag and since they have nothing better to do they can cause you more pain! 😉

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