Avoid Offloading with these 10 Practical Tips

Avoid Offloading with these 10 Practical Tips

In the past weeks, I have read numerous horror stories about passengers being offloaded from their flights or being denied entry to their destination countries.

I want to share with you some practical tips to avoid being offloaded but first let’s define the word.


  • A person who is involuntarily barred from boarding a commercial airplane
  • A person who is involuntarily removed from the plane after he/she has already boarded
  • Baggage that is removed from a flight because the owners failed to show up or board the plane on time.

With that, let’s answer the big question – How does one avoid being offloaded from their flight? Let’s begin with some tips pre-flight.

Pre-flight tips to avoid offloading:

  1. Prepare your documents. Prepare all necessary documents before going to the airport. If it’s an international flight, make sure to bring your passport with you. This should be valid until your return flight. In case your trip needs a visa and the passport with your valid visa expired already. Bring the old passport with the visa with you. Aside from that, make sure that you have proof that you are financially capable to do the activities in your itinerary.
  2. Weigh your luggage. Be mindful of the weight of your luggage and hand carry. It is safe to have a kilo less than your maximum baggage allowance. This saves you time moving things from one bag to the other.
  3. Done bring prohibited things. You should know the things that are not allowed in the country that you are visiting. Drugs and weapons are the obvious no-nos but did you know, in some countries meat products and even religious books are considered illegal?
  4. Review the details of your flight and itinerary. Bring a hard copy and also save a digital copy on your phone. You should know by heart where you are going, staying, and when are you coming back.
  5. Look presentable. Don’t go to the airport drunk or high on drugs. For Pete’s sake brush your teeth too. You wouldn’t want to be in the headlines. You were offloaded because your breath was considered a “weapon of terror”.

Now that you’re ready to go to the airport. Here’s the next set of tips that you should keep in mind:

Tips at the Airport to Avoid Offloading:

1. Arrive on time. Be at the airport 3-4 hours before your flight. No one would care if you booked the most expensive seat on the plane. They won’t wait for you. Aside from that, there are some cases that the plane departs earlier than scheduled. Although they send info-texts and emails about this, you wouldn’t want to gamble with traffic going to the airport.

2. Avoid caffeine. Don't drink too much coffee before you go to the immigration booths especially if you’re a first-time flier. The caffeine in your coffee can make you feel jittery and anxious. Some people were offloaded because they were so nervous that they were mistaken as suspicious individuals.

3. Be honest, consistent, and confident. You don’t need to answer like a beauty contestant and you don’t have to be a jerk as well. Aside from that, avoid being too talkative, oversharing information makes you look suspicious as well. I‘m sharing with you some of the usual questions I have encountered on my trips.
  • Where are you going? Where is your destination?
  • What is the purpose of your trip? What will you do in ___________?
  • Where do you work? What is your job?
  • How long will you be staying in _________?
  • Who are you flying with?
  • When is your flight back to _________? When is your return trip?
4. Be mindful of the time. Once you finish your interview with the Immigration officer, it doesn’t mean that you are safe from being offloaded. Make sure that you don’t stray off too far from your boarding gate. If you do, be mindful of the boarding time, bring your phone, and listen to the announcements especially if you are alone.

5. Behave. On the plane, be sure to behave and listen to the flight attendants. Avoid jokes about bombs or anything connected to terrorism. You can be offloaded even if the plane is already in flight. Usually, this involves criminal charges and imprisonment in most countries.

With that, I hope these 10 tips help you feel confident about your upcoming flight. Good luck!


  1. My friend was offloaded during her flight in America. The reason? She was wearing a cap with "offensive" message. Hahahaha

    1. Oh no! Sorry to hear that. Thanks for this info, I'll make sure not to wear anything with a "statement" on it. Haha

  2. Salamat sa tip Lodi!


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