Will rising incidents of air rage mean the end of inflight alcohol?

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Air rage and violence onboard airplanes seems to be happening more frequently, prompting airlines to consider banning inflight alcohol service.

Recently, a Ryanair flight from Newcastle, England, was about to land in Spain when passengers came to blows.

One passenger claimed that a woman “had been rude to a few people on the flight and I think she was mortal drunk”.

As you can vaguely see in the video, a man argues with a woman before another woman seems to hit her from behind.

No one is quite sure what happened, but one thing is for sure, the conduct of these passengers is appalling.

A spokesperson from Ryanair said: “We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.

“This passenger has been banned from flying with Ryanair and this is now a matter for local police.

“This is exactly why we are calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol at airports, such as a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol sales before 10am.

“It’s incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights.”

Another passenger on a Hawaiian Airlines flight was recently found guilty of interfering with flight crew, after his threatening and disruptive behaviour forced a flight to New York to return to Honolulu.

The man had reportedly been drinking before the flight, tried ordering more onboard and had even drank some that he brought aboard the plane.

A US judge ruled that the man must now repay Hawaiian Airlines A$123,000 for the cost of turning the plane around. This included the cost of fuel, maintenance and ground crew, and the amount required to find passengers new flights.

The money he will repay does not include the A$74,000 in meal vouchers given to delayed passengers who were waiting for the plane in New York.

These incidents are typical of a number of similar inflight disruptions in recent years. While this behaviour may lead to inflight alcohol being banned, it won’t stop passengers already drunk from boarding.

If only drinking on a plane was this much fun …

Do you think alcohol should be banned on flights? If not, what do you propose as a way to limit air rage caused by alcohol?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 10
  1. 0

    Being a regular flyer it concerns me sometimes at the ammount of grog that some passengers put away during a flight, there seems to be a race between some people as to how quick and how many drinks they can put away in a short time, fortunately it’s not often that there are any problems, limit people to one drink with their meals even if they are paying for it.

  2. 0

    I do not see why those who can drink in moderation and behave in a responsible manner should be penalised by those morons who cannot control themselves. The cabin crew are responsible for the service of alcohol and should be adequately trained to notice and regulate the consumption by passengers before they have had to much.

  3. 0

    This is a knee jerk reaction as usual. If a minority play up or abuse something the reaction these days is to ban it.

    people who are already drunk or affected by alcohol should not be allowed to board the plane at all. Once on the plane the same responsible service of alcohol rules should still apply.

    Lets not punish those who drink in moderation because of the stupidity of the few.

    • 0

      Agree KSS, Dim and Spitfire, no need to ban alcohol on aircraft because a stupid minority. I see no issue for boarding passengers being breathalysed (similar to roadside breath tests). If they are over a specified limit (suggest 0.08) they can be prevented from boarding.
      During my working days when I travelled a lot, I have seen patrons in the airport lounges drinking as much as they can in the short time they have just because it is free. However I have never been on a flight where I have been aware of a intoxicated passenger causing a ruckus.

  4. 0

    Why should the cabin crew be the ones to control the amount of alcohol they serve, can’t see this working when someone gets abusive because they won’t give them another drink. I would like to see a ban, much safer and pleasant for all those who don’t drink. Or alternative have no alcohol areas set aside for those who want some peace and quiet.

    • 0

      The cabin crew ARE responsible because they are serving alcohol. I seldom if ever drink alcohol much less on a plane but that doesn’t mean I should prevent anyone else having a drink with their meal.
      Seems you would.

  5. 0

    Yobbos are a pain to say the least. Yes breathalise people before they get on flights. Is there going to become a time when we have security on board and possibly a designated “prison” on board which hopefully would be in the hold where they could freeze and think about their behavior.

  6. 0

    Here we go again! Why is it in Australia that the loudest protesters with the least numbers demand change of everything because they don’t like it. About 3% of Australians are gay (pick any letter of the alphabet here) and they demand same sex marriage. About 3% of Australians claim aboriginality and some of them want to change Australia Day because they don’t like the date that the other 97% are comfortable with. Now we are expected to endure hours in a plane without alcohol because a very small number of passengers can’t handle their liquor. Ban the drunks from flying and let the rest of us enjoy our holiday in peace.

    • 0

      About 44% of Australians consume alcohol and about 13% of them are alcoholics. How do we sort out the drunks to ban them?

      I like a G&T and/ or a glass of wine with a meal on a plane but if banning alcohol on planes means I am going to have a safer, quieter journey I am all for it.

      Today Your Life Choices has just told us how to fill up little bottles of the stuff to get it onto a plane, so if you need that drink so badly that you are going to get the shakes without it, you know what to do, although you probably would not get away with too many little bottles!

  7. 0

    I like to have a drink especially with a meal on an air flight but if they banned it its wont be the end of the world.Surely one can abstain for the duration of a flight albeit for 3 hrs or 17 hrs & maybe everyone will enjoy the flight



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