John Rich likes to have a good time. You can hear it in his music and you can see it in his television appearances. And apparently you can smell it on his breath, as some employees of Southwest Airlines found out.
On Sunday night, Rich was at the airport in Las Vegas intending on returning to his home in Nashville, but he was deemed unfit to fly and was escorted off the plane before it took off.
“Our crew assessed the situation and determined that the passenger was not fit for travel,” airline representative Christi McNeill said in a statement. “Our employees are responsible for the safety and comfort of everyone on board a flight. If we can mitigate an uncomfortable situation prior to departure, it is our preference to do so, and that is what happened in this scenario.” Translation: Rich enjoyed himself a little too much while in Vegas, and carried the party with him all the way up to the departure gate.
There were some reports that Rich had gotten into an altercation with another passenger before takeoff, though Rich’s publicist denied that such an incident occurred. The airline booked him a new flight, though Rich chose to find an alternate route home. In the end, Southwest even gave him a refund. Sporting!
Rich joins a surprisingly eclectic list of celebrities who found themselves unwelcome on Southwest flights for a multitude of unusual reasons, including The L Word actress Leisha Hailey (booted for making out with her girlfriend), Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (shown the door because his pants were saggy), and film director Kevin Smith (rejected for being too fat).
Is Southwest hostile to famous people, or should these folks simply be relying on charter companies and private jets like normal everyday superstars? There’s no such thing as too drunk on a private jet, you know.
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