Woman Put in Plastic Cuffs, Banned for Life By British Airways After Walking Around on Plane

Hair stylist Bridget Nhire has been banned for life by British Airways after getting up to stretch her legs through a flight from London to Dubai.

Bridget Nhire, 33, was left in tears when she was handcuffed and escorted off the flight after the passenger behind her complained that she kept walking around.

…Ms Nhire, from Uxbridge, said: ‘He was telling me to sit down and I said “I have the right to get up and walk around for my health”.

In her version, then, it was all about staving off deep vein thrombosis.

Apparently the crew ‘moved her to the front of the plane’ because off her ‘aggressiveness’. She was also strapped to a seat. She admits to drinking “two glasses of wine with my meal” but claims not to have been drunk.

Although her Google Plus page emphasizes her love of “expensive white wine” and that’s she’s learning “not to take myself seriously and unleash the crazy in me!”

On arrival in Dubai she was escorted from the plane by police but not charged. Since British Airways banned her after taking statements from crew and other customers, they cancelled her return flight home. She’s seeking £350 in compensation (presumably in addition to a refund of the cost of her return flight, which would be normal procedure). Somehow we may not be getting the full story here.

British Airways Flies Both 747s and 777s to Dubai

There may be something about the London – Dubai route. A year ago this month a flight from London to Dubai was forced to turn around after a passenger left the smelliest poo in history in a lavatory. (Of course you’d expect events to happen more frequently on this route than most, simply based on passenger volume as the world’s second-busiest long haul route by seat capacity.)

Here’s what a British Airways ‘yellow card’ warning looks like. (HT: SchrottFly on Flyertalk)

In this case they appear to have skipped the ‘final warning’ step and moved straight to lifetime ban, but a British Airways spokesperson says that “lifetime bans can be appealed.”

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Hi. I’d like to make a suggestion for your articles. There often are pictures or illustrations or documents that are so small they can barely be be seen or read. An example is the BA warning letter above.

    How about making such documents clickable so they will enlarge and we can read them. Thanks. Otherwise, what’s the point of including them in the story?

  2. “Why wasn’t Konrad Hilton banned after he assaulted crew and threatened passengers?”

    Because money talks and BS walks.

  3. My guess is that if she was a white woman they wouldnt have treated her so harshly. And like someone above pointed out Konrad Hilton wasnt treated similarly. He’s a rich white man with serious family connections in the travel industry. Maybe there will be some more news to come out about what actually happened on the flight.

  4. Sorry, but I strongly believe there must be more behind that story. I fly about 400.000 miles every year since 2002 and never, I repeat, never have I come across a flight Crew that would hand-cuff someone on charges like this. I have, however, come across a multitude of passengers that Sem to be of the opinion that with the ticket they also bought the plane. We really should hear the other side of the Story – that of the Flight Attendants.

  5. I love how everyone is so quick to pull the race card to justify their behavior there’s def more to the story. How often do
    You hear Asians pulling the race card? Not often.

  6. @Anita, where does it say she, “played the race card”? If you’re talking aboit my comment, I’m white and I see discrimination happening to people who dont have my skin color all the time. If you don’t think it’s true maybe try opening your eyes and ears to the world around you.

  7. It seems another example of crew members believing they are authorities and have the power to make other people’s life miserable.

  8. Employees of British airline employees in particular do seem to enjoy throwing their weight around.

    For example, an innocent British holidaymaker was just thrown off a Thomas Cook flight and arrested before the plane ever took off, just because crew hastily concluded he was being impertinent to them (and admittedly showing signs of inebriation), no doubt due to the class system in the still-stratified British societal structure designed to keep the “lower classes” in “their place.”

    They clearly demonstrated bias against a working-class Britisher who innocently engaged in the longstanding and well known cultural practice of getting pie-eyed before boarding a flight to a traditional holiday destination.


    Examples abound in the British press of such confrontational disrespect regularly directed against inebriated working class passengers. If it turns out he’s a member of an identifiable minority group, as opposed to being what the Brits crudely describe as a “yob,” such treatment is even more outrageous.

    There’s also a recent example in the news of potential racial bias against – yes – Asians. A female Chinese passenger wanted to use the lavatory before her flight took off. Inadequate signage and the crew’s obvious failure to direct her to the proper door resulted in her mistakenly opening the emergency exit and causing the slide to deploy while the plane was still parked at the gate.

    As a result of this simple misunderstanding by a first-time flyer, the woman was removed from the flight, her passport and boarding pass were confiscated, and she was taken away by authorities to be questioned.


    The fact that this all took place within China on a domestic China Southern Airlines flight surely does not detract from the potential racial overtones to be perceived in the way this poor woman was treated, through an innocent action that was surely no fault of her own.

    I’m actually flying to China in a few days, and I can’t help but wonder if my white privilege, had I been the one who had opened that emergency exit, would have resulted in an abject apology from the crew for their failure to assist me, as opposed to the way this innocent Chinese woman was treated.

    Food for thought…

  9. y’all should read the actual article. nhire’s story clashes sharply with the stories of others on the plane, who say that she got into a heated argument with another passenger, was visibly drunk, and went to “talk to the pilot.” it was the last one that got her restrained.

    so basically, someone picked a fight with her, and she escalated it.

  10. Apropos some of the comments re discrimination above, it is evident to me that BA FAs are leaders in discrimination on many levels, particularly, laughably, class! Probably 99.999% of the British cabin crew are from middle-class backgrounds, but once in the uniform and on-board, suddenly think they are a bit upper-class. NEWS FLASH: You are not! Just drop the attitude and bring me another champagne, tout suite!

  11. @John: You are correct about one thing. You are guessing.
    If you are referring to Conrad Hilton III, he was in fact federally charged, although E!Online isn’t a great source for information. I don’t want to do any more searching but the claim via that site is that “he surrendered to federal authorities” but it says the charges were “interfering with a flight crew.” It’s not clear if E got the story correct because Federal Aviation regulations contain a provision that states, “No person may assault, threaten , intimidate or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember’s duties aboard an aircraft being operated.”

    However , the FAR’s are not criminal law despite carrying the possibility of a jail sentence. As far as I know, there is a section of Title 18 of the US Code–criminal law–regarding the same subject.

    I don’t know any of the case law or even if the story is 100% accurate.

  12. Josh,

    I accept your evocation of equine excrement as enthusiastically as if you were screaming, “Author, author!”

    You did recognize my post was satirical, didn’t you? In other words, I was joshing you, Josh. The fact that my sympathetic portrayals of the pie-eyed yeoman yob and the woman who masterminded the Chinese fire drill blend in among certain other posts here makes the aroma all the more piquant.

    If, on the other hand, you feel I’m exhibiting a lamentable lack of sensitivity to all off the many victims in our world, I’m throwing that meadow mayonnaise right back at ya.

  13. As to the original question, BA would be subject to US law in attempting to ban Hilton from boarding in the US.

  14. Glenn t you pretentious Queen the British Airways staff is nothing but professional not to mention downright awesome there is obviously much more to this story and the class of the British Airways staff has nothing to do with this article whatsoever so get your own God damn glass of champagne

  15. I’m a black woman and I’m now re-considering flying B.A.
    Passengers are usually advised to walk as much as possible on long flights so why should that have offended another passenger???
    The crews’ response also appears extreme; I find their strapping her to her seat frightening. Then they refused her a return flight and so left her stranded in Dubai!!!
    BA’s response sounds very high-handed to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *