Passenger Does Cartwheels, Drinks Wine, Gets Kicked Off Southwest Airlines Flight

A woman wasn’t allow to board a Southwest flight because a flight attendant says she was intoxicated. The passenger, though, says she was just “doing cartwheels and back bends” to entertain a crying little girl.

The flight attendant interpreted the cartwheels as being “engaging, loud, you want[ing] attention from everybody.” And the woman was seen drinking alcohol – one glass of wine.

  • Drinking alcohol isn’t a problem
  • Doing cartwheels isn’t a problem
  • But calling attention to yourself by doing cartwheels while drinking alcohol may create the perception you’re drunk
  • And the perception of crew, even those mis-informed about federal aviation regulations (as you’ll see), is all that matters.

The flight attendant explaining that they could fly also object to their filming, claiming doing so is illegal, that “federal aviation regulations say that you have to have my permission to be filming me” (they do not). And she wants law enforcement to deal with the passengers over the filming.

The crewmember also claims the fact that the woman didn’t walk away and accept being kicked off the flight for being intoxicated proves she was intoxicated. The passenger, though, says she objected “because I have kids at home I’m waiting to get back to” which the airline wouldn’t allow.

I don’t know whether the woman was tipsy, and we don’t have video of her cartwheels. I don’t know whether she’d have been a problem on the flight. But the crew thought she might me. And that’s the end of the story.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. The female passenger’s voice sounds intoxicated, very much.

    That’s definitely not just one “GLASS” of wine, it’s more like one “BOTTLE” of wine.

    Flight attendant responded very professional, kudos to her excellent job.

  2. Bunch of FA suckups here. Name her, shame her, and fire her. Another power crazed Karen making law up on the fly.

  3. Excellent training video for SWA recurrent training on how NOT to remove passengers at gate. Captain was wise to stay in cockpit with door locked to avoid a trip to Dallas on a day off for fact finding meeting (they like to have those).

  4. If she really wasn’t drunk, she definitely has a case against southwest for slander for calling her a drunk and making fun of her actions. Also, can we just get rid of flight attendants and put one security guard on board every plane instead?

Comments are closed.