The former Hole singer lit up a cigarette in a Virgin Airways first-class lounge as she and daughter Frances Bean waited for their plane to London.
But as a result, bosses at the unnamed airport decided she couldn’t get on the aircraft and the pair had to wait for another flight.
Courtney said: “I had a cigarette in the first-class lounge – like two hits. And they wouldn’t let me on the plane with my daughter. They made out I was a terrorist or something. It was embarrassing.”
Courtney – the widow of Nirvana rocker Kurt Cobain – is not the first celebrity to get herself in trouble with flying authorities.
Last week, Naomi Campbell was told she was no longer welcome on British Airways flights after she was removed from a plane for abusing cabin crew and spitting in a policeman’s face.
A British Airways source said: “Banning her will send out a worldwide signal that such behaviour is totally unacceptable. The decision was not taken lightly. She abused our staff and the police.”