Celebs—they’re just like us, right? They go grocery shopping, fill their cars with gas, pick up their kids from school. But the similarities end when it comes to airline travel. Read on for the seven most legendary in-flight meltdowns, from Alec Baldwin v. American Airlines to Liam Gallagher v. the scone.
The situation: The airport security pat-down.
The celeb reaction: The year was 1999 and pop legend Diana Ross was en route to New York from London when she got stopped and frisked in the security line at Heathrow. Claiming she was inappropriately touched during the procedure, Ross (literally) took matters into her own hands by grabbing the breasts of the security officer and screaming, “How do you like it?” Onboard, she was questioned and removed from the plane, then thrown in the back of a police van #divastyle.
The takeaway: Three words: Full-body scan.
The situation: Keeping it together on a low-cost airline.
The celeb reaction: When the world’s most iconic supermodel is forced to travel alongside lesser mortals on a budget carrier, shi*t gets real, fast. Asked to lower her voice and refused a beverage on easyJet, Kate Moss hauled out a bottle of vodka from her luggage and poured herself a drink. She was escorted off the plane, but not before calling the pilot a “basic bitch.” Stay classy, Kate.
The takeaway: If your net worth exceeds 50 million, consider private air travel. Sincerely, the 99 percent.
The situation: Bad airplane food.
The celeb reaction: No one knows what drove Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher to threaten to throw a scone—yes, the lightly sweetened biscuit—at the pilot of a Cathay Pacific flight. Some say it was the shape of the scone that upset him while others argue it was because he was denied the treat by a flight attendant. The result? He was banned for life from the airline. His response? He’d rather walk to Australia than fly on Cathay again. Oy vey.
The takeaway: Are you celiac? Lactose-intolerant? Do you have absurdly high-standards for the shape, size or composition of your flaky pastries? If you’ve answered Yes to any of the above questions, consider packing your own snacks so the rest of us can eat our pretzels and cookies in peace.
The situation: Needing to use the restroom when the fasten seatbelt sign is on.
The celeb reaction: We’ve all been there. Your flight is trapped on the tarmac when nature calls. French actor Gérard Depardieu found himself in this very situation on a short flight from Paris to Dublin in 2011. “I need to piss, I need to piss,” he yelled, as he unbuckled his seatbelt and rushed to the back of the plane to relieve himself into a water bottle (and on the floor). Depardieu offered to clean up the mess, but the crew wasn't having it and he was dropped off at the terminal.
The takeaway: Pre-flight jitters? A drink or two is fine, but don’t overdo it on the Bay Breeze’s at the airport lounge.
The situation: Powering down portable electronic devices before take-off.
The celeb reaction: Stuck on the runway of Los Angeles International Airport for over an hour, Alec Baldwin elected to pass the time by playing Word with Friends on his iPhone. When the American Airlines’ crew asked him to turn it off, he flew into a blind rage, fleeing to the bathroom, beating on the wall and pounding his fists on the galley counter. Baldwin was kicked off the flight, and in response, Words with Friends launched a brilliant PR campaign against American Airlines with the hashtag #LetAlecPlay.
The takeaway: Just turn it off. Candy Crush will still be there when you land. We promise.
The situation: Wanting to fly high. No, really.
The celeb reaction: As far as in-flight fiascos go, Justin Bieber is (shocker alert!) in a league of his own. The pop star and his father caused major outrage in 2014 when they hotboxed their private plane while traveling to the Super Bowl. Bieber’s entourage reportedly filled the cabin with so much marijuana smoke that the pilots had to put on oxygen masks to avoid jeopardizing their licenses over a failed drug test. A law enforcement report described Bieber as being “extremely abusive” to the stewardess, who was forced to take refuge in the cockpit.
The takeaway: Justin Bieber is a complete and utter hazard to the world around him.
The situation: Enduring a long trans-Atlantic flight.
The celeb reaction: Downing 15 glasses of red wine, flinging yogurt across a room and mistaking a stranger for your wife is never a good idea. R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck learned this lesson the hard way after being arrested for his drunken rampage on a British Airways flight from Seattle to London, where the band member was ironically due to play a concert honoring peacemaker Nelson Mandela.
The takeaway: Car travel gets more appealing by the day.