Shocking footage of a drunken brawl between three passengers on board a Ryanair flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife has led some MailOnline commentators to call for a ban on alcohol on planes.
The video showed two men fighting and spitting on each other. Passengers said they endured hours of abuse on the flight to Hispaniola Island, in a fight that appeared to have started with the two men, supposedly brothers, arguing in the aisle.
Things turned violent after other passengers got involved. Footage showed a third man being shouted at before a woman launched an attack on another passenger.
Passenger Hannah MacDonald, who filmed the fight, said the two brothers and one of their girlfriends had been drinking heavily.
The footage has sparked controversy among MailOnline readers. ‘If about the lakes’ he said: ‘It’s time to ban alcohol in airports.’
Footage of a drunken brawl on a Ryanair flight from Edinburgh to Tenerife has led MailOnline commentators to call for a complete ban on alcohol on flights. Passenger Hannah MacDonald, who filmed the fight, said the two brothers and one of their girlfriends had been drinking heavily.
‘Pingu21’ agreed: ‘There needs to be a breathalyzer at the boarding gate with a maximum blood alcohol level. Too many people head to the bar as soon as they arrive at the airport and have a few pints.’
‘Oldblueboy2’ thought the answer was simpler: ‘Don’t sell alcohol in airports or on flights.’
However, not all commentators were interested in the alcohol ban. ‘Kim Rong Un’ replied: ‘Of course, punish the millions who can control themselves because there are a handful of fools who can’t.’
‘Yorkypud’ agreed that alcohol should not be banned: ‘I think just permanently ban idiots like this from flying again. It’s not fair to those who like to have a drink to relax as part of their holiday before catching a flight.’
MailOnline has contacted experts in the travel industry for comment on the ban on alcohol on flights. Most agreed that it was not a viable solution.
Gilbert Ott, frequent traveler and travel site founder godsavethepoints.com, stated: “Bans only encourage increasingly uncontrolled behavior, such as hiding drinks in sinks or in glasses that are not visible.” This would only make it more difficult for cabin crew and authorities to control alcohol consumption.’
He called for stricter enforcement of the law: ‘The current pats on the shoulders of disruptive criminals are pathetic. Drinks should flow as freely as ever, but offenders should receive harsher punishments.’
Marika Mikusova, author of Diary of a Flight Attendant, agrees that an alcohol ban would lead to covert consumption: “If alcohol were banned on flights, some anxious people would be forced to buy alcohol at duty-free and then drink it secretly on board.’
However, it acknowledges that drinking on flights can be problematic, resulting in “aggressive passengers” or people inadvisably combining drinks with their medications and then requiring medical attention.
For one flight attendant, she says a ban would have one big benefit: “The less we serve, the more free time we’ll have to just do nothing.”
Offering his thoughts, Rob Burgess, editor of the frequent flyer website headforpoints.comsaid: ‘There are already many rules and laws regarding drunkenness in the air, including denying boarding to anyone who appears to be intoxicated while boarding a plane.
‘Some airlines also take steps to mitigate problems that occur, such as not serving alcohol on some routes, such as stag do’s.
‘Dry airlines exist and, by default, they are not that popular with UK travelers. Not serving alcohol would have a significant impact on food service, particularly in premium cabins, making it a less premium experience for those who enjoy a drink or two with their meal. It would also encourage greater terminal alcohol consumption and related consequences.’
Jay Robert, a flight attendant who runs the popular Fly Guy cabin crew lounge network, believes the problem is pre-flight alcohol consumption, not alcohol on flights. He said: “Cabin crew are trained on how to serve alcohol properly and we know that if we don’t follow procedures we will have to deal with the situation.”
“Personally, I never had a big problem with drunk passengers because we follow the airline’s established procedures… I think the problem is that passengers pee in airport bars, where the waiters and waiters care more about sales “. They properly serve alcohol because they know passengers will stumble away.
“I think having a drink above the clouds is one of the last remaining pleasures from the golden age of flying, and I don’t think the majority should be punished by a few who can’t drink responsibly when flying.
“But airlines and airports need to make adjustments to the current culture of drinking as much as you want before flying.”
Jay Robert, a flight attendant, believes the problem is pre-flight alcohol consumption, not alcohol on flights. He said: “Cabin crew are trained on how to serve alcohol properly and we know that if we don’t follow procedures we will have to deal with the situation.”
Top-Notch Etiquette Expert William Hanson agrees that a restriction, rather than a blanket ban, is required, but believes it should be extended to full effect. He said: “Alcohol consumption on flights should certainly be reduced as alcohol appears to have a different effect on people when they are at altitude.”
‘Two drinks should be more than enough and perhaps one closer to landing for long haul flights. Not everything in life has to be an excuse to have problems!’
Nicky Kelvin, managing editor of The boy with the points agreed: “Instead of an outright ban, airlines and regulators could work together to build an agreed framework to address these issues and agree on a standardized approach.”
Diana Gottsman, a national etiquette expert at the Texas Protocol School, doesn’t think restrictions are necessary. She said: “I think it is the responsibility of the passenger to use good judgment and monitor his intake.”
And binge drinking is not limited to events that occur during flights, he argued: “It happens on flights, it happens at parties, it happens in bars, so banning alcohol is not the answer.”
Tour operator Rob Burley expressed concern that an alcohol ban would hit business.
He said: ‘Many customers expect to have access to drinks as part of the onboard service we promote. “Eliminating that would detract from the travel experience we aim to offer.”
However, one travel industry respondent strongly favored a ban.
Founder of TravelSpain24 Timon Van Basten believes incidents of drunkenness on airplanes are increasing at an “alarming rate.”
He said: “Given the escalation of the situation, the once extreme measure of banning alcohol now seems a necessary step to ensure safety.”
‘Partial measures and reactive policies have proven inadequate to curb the problem. Simply cutting off disruptive drinkers does nothing for passengers who were already intoxicated before takeoff.
‘Relying on the crew to identify deficiencies is an unfair burden that delays response times. Technologies such as breathalyzers remain unreliable for mass controls and do not take into account deceptive consumption.
‘Some argue that a ban infringes on personal freedom or harms airline profits. However, the first responsibility is to protect the fliers and the crew.
‘Given that alcohol is a major factor in many disturbances ranging from verbal abuse to physical violence, its elimination is prudent to reduce high-risk situations in real time. And given that most incidents are due to irresponsible excess rather than casual alcohol consumption, the economic impact may be exaggerated.’