Man Denied Boarding British Airways Flight for Wearing Too Much Clothing

We’ve seen cases of passengers being kicked off flights for showing too much cleavage, one woman even got a Playboy spread after being kicked off of Southwest Airlines.

In contrast Virgin America explicitly welcomes passengers wearing just underwear and no pants. Virgin America though is now part of an airline that used to put prayer cards on their meal trays.

meanwhile at the airport… from pics

I’m not sure I can recall anyone ever being kicked off a flight for wearing too much clothing, unless of course it was Naked Air.

A man flying British Airways out of Reykjavik, Iceland on a hand baggage only fare wore all of his clothing. All of his clothing, ten shirts and eight pairs of pants. Which is what I thought you’re supposed to do to avoid checked baggage fees, that’s usually the strategy people who fly Spirit write about anyway. Or at least buy a Scottevest.

BA agents didn’t take kindly to his attempts to circumvent checked bag fees. They refused to allow him to fly. He thinks it’s racism.

After his confrontation with staff he shows his overstuffed allowable cabin back and all his clothes on.

He tried to fly easyJet the next day but they refused to let him fly because British Airways refused to let him fly. Both BA and easyJet have refunded his tickets, and he flew home on Norwegian.

Here is the statement from British Airways on the matter,

“Our hand baggage only fares from Iceland are as low as £47 each way, and are designed for customers who are travelling without any hold baggage.

“We do understand that our customers’ plans can change so they can choose to pay a fee at the airport if they need an extra bag. ​

“We explained our policy to our customer, and arranged an alternative flight to London.”

It’s not obvious to me what rule he actually violated though, I’d be curious to hear from readers with more experience with BA’s “HBO” fares than I have.

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. I am guessing you meant Easyjet not Ryanair? Either way, on what grounds can easyjet captain boot a passenger because the pilot saw BA’s action a day before??? I think easyjet needs to explain that, otherwise, it is really a differential treatment…

  2. Because A-holes like him try to cheat the game by doing this, then once onboard, undress to physically fit in their seat, thus filling up the overhead space more than he should be fairly expected to use.
    If, as his videos suggest, he was as big an A-hole as the second one suggests and provocative, then it is no surprise that easyJet made the decision not to allow this self-publicist on board.

  3. Sure, pull the discrimination card if you can’t win. He tried to beat the system and failed.
    At check-in I would have told the guy he was obese (or as you Americans politically correct would say: person of size) and needs to but 2 seats as he cannot fit in one seat. Problem solved.

  4. So, a fool with a social media profile, who “identifies as Ryan Hawaii” engineers a confrontation with an an airline to draw attention to his Twitter account and, one assumes, sell more of the hideous clothing he sells… Fair play, I suppose.

    This, a website that claims to be an authority on the airline industry, provides further oxygen to the non-story… Rather disappointing.

  5. @Mike, you gotta work the system anyway you can. He is willing to trade some temporary discomfort.

  6. @Mike, there’s no rule against wearing more layers of clothes to avoid paying baggage fee. I’ve always brought my heavey coat with me when traveling so I don’t overstuff my carry on bag. The airline needs to clearly explain its actions here. Because he’s discriminated against (and I’m not necessarily saying it’s race based) for unclear rule violation.

  7. Wow, I’ve had real “fat” (yes I can see people up in arms already at me using the term). So lets say it again, I’ve had much fatter and heavier people sitting next to me then what the guy is wearing. So what’s the difference. You can carry 200 pounds of your own fat aboard. But if you are 100 pounds and wear 20 pounds of clothing then that is a no no.

    BA should be ashamed

  8. Just another cheapskate trying to game fees for check in bag fees. Claiming profiling. Do we have to have articles ridiculing Airlines for trying to control all the jerks flying these flying buses . People are people and being aggressive about getting by pushing the envelope. These articles just encourage more such actions. And they do

  9. The airlines are responsible for this mess with their “a la carte” fees. Without a specific rule on the books banning a passenger for wearing 8-10 layers of clothing, they should have let him board. They can then change the rules AFTER his flight.

    This is like accusing someone of a crime that there is no law against because the authorities don’t like it. While it would not personally be worth it to me to do this – without a rule, the airlines are in the WRONG for denying him boarding!

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