Too Boozed Up To Fly
Well folks summer’s not far away and now’s as good a time as any to start booking your holiday. For me the most important thing when booking my holiday is family friendly flight times, for some it’s the dream of a secluded beach or a bustling city weekend break. Others are attracted to the bright lights of clubbing Meccas, especially those off to celebrate on long awaited stag and hen dos.
Whichever it may be, most of you would agree, the holiday starts after you’ve checked in, battled through the security queues and found the airport bar toasting to the start of your holiday that you’ve been looking forward to for so long.
It is very easy to get carried away in the spirit of everything; however it is important to give a thought to how many drinks you have in the bar before your flight…
Scared of flying and wish to calm your nerves with a few cheeky tipples before take-off? But are you aware of the consequences excessive drinking may have before your flight?
Did you know it is illegal to be drunk on board an aircraft? As cabin crew we are obliged to ensure passengers do not drink their own alcohol as well as controlling the amount consumed on board a flight.
To ensure we protect our customers and staff at Monarch we adopt a zero tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour. All of our cabin crew are trained and receive regular refresher courses on how to deal with confrontational situations.
Prior to boarding, ground personnel keep the Captain and crew updated whilst keeping a watchful eye out to stop any potentially drunk or disorderly passengers from passing through the gate to the aircraft. At times individuals have managed to slip through the net, which is where our crews’ vigilance is imperative.
Everyone is entitled to have a safe and comfortable flight; have a bite to eat with a drink or two, watch a bit of onboard T.V, or have a snooze. Nobody wants or expects to be sat next to a loud and obnoxious drunk who’s clowning around and generally being a nuisance or at worst is aggressive and abusive.
Believe me throughout my 23 years of flying, I have had lots of fun and many laughs with passengers… but unfortunately I have also experienced the worst kind of behaviour in particular when a fight broke out between three men onboard. As this happened on the descent, after calming the situation the challenge for me was liaising with the Captain, trying to get the offenders names and passports, swapping other passengers around to split them up and relocate them for landing. We then needed to hold all the passengers on the ground whilst the police boarded to identify and remove the offenders from the aircraft. It was a long time ago, so I can now smile about it… but at the time it was quite scary for me and the other passengers onboard.
What might seem like innocent fun i.e. singing, cheering, flirting can sometimes be quite the opposite experience for another person. The role of cabin crew requires tact, diplomacy and patience. Believe me it can sometimes be quite a tricky job to strike the right balance to ensure everybody understands your request but remains happy and enjoys their flight.
If a situation threatens to continue then a proactive approach of de-escalation is usually the way forward, however if an individual ignores warnings from the cabin crew for whatever reason we can then issue them with a copy of a written notice that we carry onboard. If unacceptable behaviour continues we can then call the police to meet the aircraft who will then remove the person(s) and deal with them accordingly, if this happens on the outbound flight the offender will be refused travel home with Monarch.
In the absolute worst case scenario where a passenger is aggressive and violent (which thankfully is still a rare occurrence) the crew can (with the Captain’s permission) apply the restraint kit, which comprises of two body restraint straps and a pair of quick cuffs, designed to immobilise an individual.
Over the past four years the passenger restraint kit has only been used on three occasions; which is a fantastic achievement considering how many passengers have travelled with us. It’s also indicative of the level of cabin crew competence in this area; you are definitely safe in our hands.