Reasons you could be denied boarding on a flight


Advertisement reported that PM, the winner of ‘Di Asa’ reality show was denied boarding a plane to Dubai due to her size. Many people have started asking if an airline can refuse a passenger boarding after purchasing a ticket. Others are even suggesting that PM sues the airline for killing her Dubai dreams.

Unknowing to people are plenty of reasons why you could be denied boarding.

The sad part is that you won’t be entitled to compensation unless it’s because the airline has overbooked. has put together some of the reasons why people are denied boarding.

Travel documents

Travel document is the top reason why most people are denied boarding on a flight. If you do not hold the necessary permits required for your destination, you will be denied boarding.

Check if nationals of your country require visa to travel to your destination, or require a transit visa to use certain airlines of airports.

Some countries like Kenya, India and South Africa require that passengers hold Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates.

If your type of visa requires that you hold a return ticket and you show up at the boarding gate with a one-way ticket, you could be denied boarding.

If it’s evident that you will be deported, airlines will deny you boarding on a flight. Airlines are penalised if any of their passengers are deported. So if they are sure that you will be deported, they will deny you boarding. A typical example is when you are not carrying certain documents or enough money.

Some airlines do not pick passengers travelling to visa-free countries or on e-visas.

Overbooked flight

Airlines overbook their flights in case of no-shows. But what if everyone shows up? When this happens, it means some of the travellers won’t get on the plane.


When this happens, airlines try to get you on other airlines. If there are no available airlines, you will have to wait for the next available flight. In this case, you are entitled to compensation provided you checked in on time. If you arrived at the counter after check-in was closed, you wouldn’t be told the flight was overbooked, and you will be denied based on the fact that you arrived late.

If the airline fails to compensate you, you can seek the advice of a lawyer.


If you turn up at the gate drunk and the cabin crew think you will be disruptive, they reserve the right to stop you from boarding.

If you intend to drink before your flight, drink in moderation.


Most airlines require that the holder of the card used in buying the ticket appears at the counter for the card to be checked due to increasing cases of card fraud. This happens when the ticket is purchased directly on the airline’s website.

If you are purchasing the ticket on the airline’s website and the cardholder can’t show up at the airport, buy from an agent’s website.

Your health

If you have any medical condition that is likely to cause the cabin crew to deny you boarding the plane, first obtain a letter from your doctor declaring you fit to travel.

You will be denied boarding if you show up at the gate very sick and your condition is likely to affect others on the flight, or at your destination.

Plus-Size Passengers

If the size of your body will not permit you to fit in a single-seat comfortably, you will be denied boarding if you failed you purchase additional seat(s). Most airlines remind obese passengers to buy extra seats if they can’t fit in a single seat.

Weight is also of concern to pilots. Plus-size travellers should contact the airline for the necessary arrangements to avoid being denied boarding on the day of travel.

Your clothes

Airlines do not have official rules on what to wear but one mum was recently booted off a flight for wearing a low-cut top.

Check the local customs at your destination in case they have rules on clothing. Also, avoid clothes with offensive inscriptions like swear words.

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Akesse Sanza

Akesse Sanza is a Ghanaian Travel Blogger, Travel and Tourism Consultant, and Anti-human Trafficking And Safe Migration advocate. Akesse loves everything Travel & Tourism and aims to see every single country in the world.


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