Love & Hip Hop Star Booted from Delta Flight For Boarding With Glass of Wine In Hand

Basic principles: Airline flights aren’t “BYO.” If the demands the alcohol you brought on board to drink, you had better give it up.

  • You can buy alcohol post-security, such as at duty free. (And Memphis airport is going to start selling alcohol in to-go cups.) But you cannot drink your alcohol on the plane.

  • It is a violation of federal law to drink alcoholic beverage onboard an an aircraft unless served by the airline. Airlines have the option of serving you the alcohol you bring onboard yourself, but that’s entirely at their discretion (and the discretion of the flight attendants on any given flight).

I once had a seatmate refuse crew instructions to stop drinking her own alcohol onboard. I was lucky we didn’t divert, though things did get kind of nasty.

What happens to you really depends on the airline and the flight crew. Last year an Alaska Airlines flight diverted to Denver after a passenger refused to stop drinking his own alcohol and shouting “we’re all gonna die”. Yet the airline treated it merely as ‘a customer service issue’.

Love & Hip Hop‘s Tommie Lee was kicked off Delta flight DL1949 from Atlanta to Miami after boarding with a glass of wine in hand.

The incident went down Wednesday night in Atlanta, and according to witnesses, security and flight attendants approached Tommie shortly before takeoff. We’re told she was calm during the 10-minute convo and ultimately got off without a fight.

While “at least one witness says she was asked to leave [the glass of wine] in the terminal” but boarded anyway, Lee’s rep claims she “was kicked off for crying about a friend’s recent death” which of course is what airlines always do?

If you drink all the booze on the plane you may get congratulated by the pilot. Just make sure it’s the airline’s booze you’re drinking, and not your own.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When I lived in Amsterdam, I would often fly Pakistan Air to NYC. If I recall correctly, it was a dry airline, but people brought alcohol onto the flights. I’m not sure if this was technically allowed, but it was openly permitted.

  2. Re the Delta CEO with his mouth open. Seems the airline buys from Bombardier rather than Boeing when Canadian taxpayer subsidies make the former’s aircraft offer more appealing than the latter’s. Boeing filed an anti-dumping petition just last month.

  3. I once flew on a SWA flight from ATL to LGA with Cisco Rosado who is on that show as well. Super nice guy. He appreciated my explaining to him the concept of hedonistic adaptation. Seriously. I don’t recall any alcohol consumption.

  4. This happened to me at MCI – I bought a beer and then they started boarding sooner than I expected. I got on board with the beer and a FA apologetically told me that she had to take it. I was polite about it and so she brought me an “on board” beer as a replacement. No big deal.

  5. Yep people need to know the rules, problem people. Especially those who get some kind of status in the public eye think they do as they please and when they do not get their way they will blame it on someone or something else.

  6. On an American LAX-PHX flight last week a passenger across from me in F ordered a beer before takeoff, drank half of it and passed it to her friend as she walked by us on her way to her seat in economy. The F flight attendant (John, who was awesome) somehow noticed this despite being busy taking drink orders and an aisle full of passengers, promptly picked up the microphone and asked his colleague to take the beer from the friend. He then explained politely that only crew members are permitted to serve alcohol on board.

  7. But why? What is the purpose of the rule in the first place? Today you can only purchase liquids after you have passed security from a secure vendor. So why the rule? Is it a long time rule that was in place prior to 9/11 when we all just walked to our gates with no security? Times are different now, now if you buy any liquids it is AFTER the security process, so why can’t you bring a drink on board? I think the rule needs to be reanalyzed. It seems like a dumb capricious rule to me.

    I never drink on board, somehow it seems like if I consume alcohol during a flight I get headaches and cramped legs so long long ago I stopped any alcohol consumption while flying, but I don’t begrudge others to imbibe.

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