Man Deboarded From Flight For Breaking Little-Known Rule

An Australian father was outraged when he was denied access to a flight because he took a photograph on the tarmac before attempting to board. Jimmy Mitchell snapped a picture of his wife and child as they climbed the stairs to the aircraft for their Jetstar flight from Sydney to Brisbane. A flight attendant immediately scolded him and called him an “idiot.”

The cabin crew member then refused to allow Mitchell to board the plane, explaining that using cell phone cameras on the tarmac is prohibited and insisting there had been a public announcement to that effect. The young father explained he didn’t hear the announcement because he was wearing noise-canceling earphones and pointed out the lack of signage warning passengers of the rule.

Mitchell posted a TikTok video after the incident, saying he was embarrassed and shocked. He was enraged by the flight attendant shouting “idiot” at him, saying he would have been grateful for a polite request to put his phone away. The Australian furthermore explained that the Jetstar staff member would not allow him to board the plane to retrieve his passport and boarding pass from his wife. “This is the worst experience I’ve ever had flying,” he declared.

Mr. Mitchell was eventually permitted to board the flight after “cooler heads prevailed,” but he stated that he wanted an apology from the airline.

Experts say that rules on photography vary from airport to airport, but new international restrictions were imposed after 9/11, and are regularly reviewed and moderated. The Department of Home Affairs in Australia frequently updates airport regulations and alters processes to prevent people from identifying patterns.

Australian law does not currently permit photography on the tarmac for several reasons, including passenger safety. Airline officials say the tarmac can be a dangerous place if passengers become distracted, but the prohibition of cell phones is also considered a national security measure. Law enforcement experts say airport security organizations do not want photos taken of their processes or operations.