These days it seems it’s almost a daily occurrence. Be it helping themselves to their duty free stash or just taking advantage of the airlines generosity, passengers are confusing the cabin with a public bar and acting accordingly. With an unruly passenger onboard, and cabin safety of paramount importance, the resultant diversion comes at great cost to the airline. It is also often a significant inconvenience to the other passengers.

Last week came news of passenger who was thought to be so desperate for another drink; they were able to break off their plastic restraints three times in flight! When that news broke, it came as no surprise for many of our regular flyers. And they certainly had a thing or two to say about such behaviour.

The sooner authorities start throwing the book at these idiots the better! An aircraft is not the place to be paralytic and crew and other pax deserve some respect. I personally hope he does cop a jail term… But not 2 years.

On the basis that prevention is better than a cure, airlines have already started to change the way things are done on some routes. Many of the flights carrying mine workers in Western Australia have seen ugly alcohol related incidents in the past, as the odd passenger does tend to make up for lost time after weeks in a dry camp! As a result, on intra Western Australia routes, most airlines have removed the spirits and full strength beer, replacing it with a light alcohol option or just stocking soft drinks.

Another course of action is to increase the screening of passengers pre-flight. Chances are in many cases, the aircraft is not where the first drink took place.

I don’t know what the answer is, but quite clearly, the reports are that he was drunk. If he was also on medication and also had other issues weighing him down, turps is the last think he should have been on and flying in that state is also a no-go. The only question I have, is who is responsible for assessing the ability of a pax to fly without placing an aircraft at risk?

Some of our members were also quick to point out that we only had one side of the story at the time the news broke. While alcohol was involved, it’s possible it may have not been the cause of the issue.

And this shows that there is always more to the story than is published. Sadly in this country (and many others) mental illness is often treated as a criminal offence rather than a medical issue. Timely and appropriate treatment would decrease the number of incidents and be better for society as a whole.

Whether its alcohol or other issues, clearly air rage is on the rise, affecting more and more passengers. Have you been a witness to a similar event, or suffered inconvenience as a result? Why not have your say on what should be done HERE.


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