View Full Version : Air Rage Yob Jailed

18th Apr 2001, 15:19
Just been announced that Steven Handy, who bottled the Airtours girl has been given a four years sentence in a Spanish prison and ordered to pay several thousand pounds compensation (6000). His defence was that 'he was so drunk he shouldn't have been allowed on board'!

Congratulations to the court, but commiserations to the Spanish folk who have to keep this animal locked up at their expense!

[This message has been edited by Flickroll (edited 18 April 2001).]

18th Apr 2001, 15:31
This is Good news !

Now he will be able to devote his time learning more about his recently aquired thirst for biblical knowledge.

I hope the lady in question receives all the support and friendship she needs to help her come to terms with the trauma that must still live with her as a result of this vicious attack.

The compensation is a token gesture that will pay for a holiday. Nothing will ever "compensate" her for this experience.

18th Apr 2001, 15:50
Very good result - hope he doesn't get transferred to a UK jail & get an "automatic" 1/3 off his sentence for good behaviour.

18th Apr 2001, 16:28
VIVA Espania!

18th Apr 2001, 16:28

Hanging's too good for him.

I wonder what the outcome would have been if he was tried in a British court?

18th Apr 2001, 17:16
Hopefully he'd have got the same treatment. Nobody has the right to assault someone with a bottle.

If you can't hold your drink, or don't know when to stop, or just "get violent" after a few bevvies, go on the wagon :mad:

Hosties, bus conductors, shop assistants, quiet drinkers and barstaff in the local pubs deserve protection from this sort of thing.

What goes around . . .
. . often lands better!

Tricky Woo
18th Apr 2001, 17:45

18th Apr 2001, 18:23
What extremely good news.
I wouldn't go so far as to hope that someone does the same to him in jail, but it might happen? He could reflect on how it feels to be assaulted.

I'd rather
18th Apr 2001, 19:33
Excellent news. Let's hope 4 years MEANS 4 years in Spain and no early parole - that should give him time to reflect on what he's done.

Let's hope the lady concerned can put this behind her and get on with her life now, with as few mental and physical scars as possible - I'm sure all Ppruners wish her the very best.

Stiff Lil' Fingers
18th Apr 2001, 19:52

An airline stewardess has spoken of her delight after a drunken British tourist who smashed a bottle into her face was jailed for
more than four years.

Fiona Weir will now sue travel company Airtours International and legal proceedings are expected to get under way in the next two weeks.

Steven Handy, who was originally from London, was jailed for four years and two months and ordered by a court in Malaga to pay 6,000 to his 33-year-old victim.

He left Ms Weir, from Wimbledon, south-west London, lying in a pool of blood after the assault on an Airtours flight from Gatwick to Malaga in October 1998.

Ms Weir said that she would now concentrate on continuing her career in the travel business. "I am delighted by the sentence," she said.

"Steven Handy's conviction and prison sentence sends out the strongest message to date on behalf of passengers and air cabin crew that criminal behaviour on board an aircraft will not be tolerated and will be dealt with by the full force of the law.

"The last two and half years have been an extremely traumatic experience for me and I have suffered both physically and mentally, as well as financially as a direct result of the attack by Steven Handy on me while I was working as a member of the senior cabin crew for Airtours in October 1998.

"Although I tried to return to work after the assault the emotional and physical scars caused by the attack are still healing."

She continued: "I call for all airlines and governments to cooperate and establish methods to ensure that no air crew or passengers' lives are put at risk like this ever again.

"I hope now, with this criminal case behind me, I can go on to rebuild my career and campaign to ensure that the threat of aterrifying incident like this never happens again. I can now concentrate on my civil legal case against Airtours."

18th Apr 2001, 20:04
Good news re. Mr Handy!
But what exactly is miss Weir sueing Airtours for?

Sleeve Wing
18th Apr 2001, 20:05

When will the Brits, who are supposed to have the fairest justice system in the world,get the message.
Its the perpetrator who deserves the sentence - not the victim.

Come on, Jack Straw. Get your finger out.

[This message has been edited by Sleeve Wing (edited 18 April 2001).]

18th Apr 2001, 20:23

You read my mind, Why should Aitours be sued?
Did they smash a bottle in her face?
I think it is a crying shame the employer gets hammered again. May this case have something to do with Airtours having more money than that disgusting little retard (Mr Handy).
Should have tried to get him for terrorism ( taking control of an aircraft with menace or violence) - now that would have been a laugh...Life sentence - no parole.


18th Apr 2001, 20:41
Pity it's only 4 years!

I was just wondering, as this attack happened on a UK flagged aircraft( I presume), why has ths CAA not brought this idiot to court as well, under the Act, something like endangering the safety of the plane, being intoxicated etc, etc, and throw the book at him when he is released from the spanish jail.

I wonder how much it would cost to bribe the spanish to accidently lose the keys to his cell.

Tartan Gannet
18th Apr 2001, 21:28
Like all law abiding passengers I am delighted that the Spaniards have given this scumbag 4 years. As I understand it their prisons are NOT the holiday camps some of ours are but spartan establishments without colour TV, gyms etc and four years mean four years there. Jolly good, I hope he lives out all the experiences his foul behaviour towards the Stewardess has earned for him, (what's the Spanish for "shower love" por favor?). I saw his picture on the TV, he looks a thug, the sort of thing better found in the bottom of a toilet methinks.

18th Apr 2001, 23:01
He deserves all he gets....hopefully he will get 'bottled' himself in his new found home.

Lets hope so....!!

18th Apr 2001, 23:20
While I whole-heartedly support the Spanish court, and the unfortunate Hostie who suffered having a bottle broken in her face, 2 questions:

Why did it take over 2 years for the court procedures (and will the 4 years sentence be reduced by this time?)

What did Airtours do wrong, to be taken to court for this? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif

If any of us sees (as pax) this sort of thing developing, hopefully we'll be supported in "assisting to restrain the nutter" :mad:

What goes around . . .
. . often lands better!

18th Apr 2001, 23:40
A good result for CC everywhere.
But my sympathy for the lady in question diminished greatly when I read <font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">"I can now concentrate on my civil legal case against Airtours."</font>

Here we go again. :rolleyes:

19th Apr 2001, 00:06
I have no idea what the facts are in this case however I presume that any civil action would be on the basis of legal advice.

If this criminal behaviour had been perpetrated on another passenger, I would imagine a suit would have been brought against the carrier on the basis that it had a duty to protect the passenger (victim) from harm. I imagine the employee can expect similar protection.

There is little doubt that this lady has suffered trauma. Why is she not entitled to seek financial recompense in accordance with the advice she receives ?

Sick Squid
19th Apr 2001, 03:31

I've flown with Fiona about 18 months ago; choosing my words extremely carefully, can I add that she left Airtours very shortly after this incident, and from her side of the story may have legitimate grievance with the way she was handled by the company post-incident..

I can't write any more, as it will be sub-judice, but am 100% behind her on this legal course of action, and would do exactly the same were I in her position. As, I suspect you would too if you heard the details from her perspective.


[This message has been edited by Sick Squid (edited 18 April 2001).]

19th Apr 2001, 11:30

So when you're injured at work and your solicitor suggests your employer has a 'duty of care' and you should make a claim against said employer, you will both politely refuse? NOT.

[This message has been edited by squeakyunclean (edited 19 April 2001).]

19th Apr 2001, 13:10
"Sub Judice" - fair comment, we'll have to wait for it to come out during/after any court action.

Just hope the pratt serves the full term for a blatant and repeated assault - hit her with the bottle, breaking it, and then dug the broken glass into her face :mad: Hope the pax who overpowered him gave him a bl00dy good kicking in the process!

What goes around . . .
. . often lands better!

19th Apr 2001, 13:22
Sorry, but I think there's a touch of double standards here.Very few people sue without legal advice, so that point almost always applies.
When we read some of pax on the 'Kenyan Student' flight were looking to sue the airline, many of us poured scorn on the 'let's sue' culture which the UK seems to be copying at speed from the US. Now that it's 'one of our own', some of us seem to be more sympathetic.
The incident was dreadful, and the attacker deserves every day of his sentence, but the lady's claim that she has suffered two and half years of trauma, "physically and mentally" as a result of the attack etc is OTT, and "Although I tried to return to work after the assault the emotional and physical scars caused by the attack are still healing" smacks of setting up for a legal claim.
It's almost inevitable that my comments will be misinterpreted but, let's be realistic - people often get assaulted/mugged etc, but they still have to go back to work.
She says "I call for all airlines and governments to cooperate and establish methods to ensure that no air crew or passengers' lives are put at risk like this ever again." That's a great ideal which we'd all support, but totally unrealistic - unless they can 'establish methods' to end all crime whilst they are at it.

[This message has been edited by virgin (edited 19 April 2001).]

19th Apr 2001, 13:26
Excellent news

.. should act to deter other animals
of similar ilk

no sig
19th Apr 2001, 13:35
Don't be too quick to condem the course of action the cabin crew member concerned is taking against her employer. Until you are completely aware of the level of injury, the facts of the case etc. it is wrong to presum that she has no claim against the Company. Where I too hate the notion of a 'sue them' culture, Business have insurance to cover these events. 6000 may not be a very large some of money for the injuries involved and where else might she recover costs.

I'd rather
19th Apr 2001, 13:52
Virgin: I think there is a significant difference between the air hostess and the people on the plane in Kenya - put simply, she was hurt, they weren't. They had a lucky escape, and in their position I would like to think that I was simply grateful to be alive, rather than looking around for someone to sue.

You say that many of us get mugged and then have to return to work - sure, but how many of us get mugged AT work? When I come into my office in the morning, I expect to be safe. Ditto, I imagine, when you perform your pre-flight checks - you don't walk around the aircraft in fear of some nutter jumping out at you.

If you're mugged in the street and returning to where it happened distresses you, you can do something about it; avoid it, take another route. This air hostess, in order to do her job, has to put herself back in the same situation where the attack happened - that must be stressful. It must take a great deal of self-control for her to do her job without looking at each passenger and thinking "will s/he be the next one to attack me?"

19th Apr 2001, 15:06
OK Guys a Couple of points.

I think we can all agree that the Spanish court was spot on. The prat was a thug, was found guilty and was sentenced to more than 4 years. All good! However the court also ‘ dismissed her claim that she had suffered psychological damage’. (Referring to Miss Weir) We may not have the full facts but I assume the court in Spain did !!

Squeakyunclean In answer to your question. While on duty as aircrew I had the misfortune to break my arm through no fault of my own. Did I sue my airline ? NO! Despite their ‘duty of care’ what would it have achieved ? Made the pain go away ? Made the arm mend faster ? Sure it would have put some money in my pocket ( and a lot more in the pockets of the legal men.) But I fail to understand, unless you are unable to afford medical treatment, what relevance money has to psychological or physical injury.

19th Apr 2001, 15:18
If the news coverage of this incident is to be believed
"the passenger was drunk and abusive prior to boarding the flight"

A question must be asked of the ground staff as to why he was allowed travel.
It may be easier to board the passenger rather than risk confrontation at the gate but, as has been demonstrated the results of putting a drunk abusive yob in a confined space for a protracted period of time, risked the life of a member of the crew. Had he in his rage reached the flight deck who knows what the result would have been.
Its time to take action at the boarding gate and not allow the possibility of anyone who is drunk to board. If it is suspected that by taking this action a fracas may result, the authorites are only a phone call away.
Lets keep the trouble on the ground where its easier to deal with.

19th Apr 2001, 16:13

It is most certainly not "OTT!" to claim 2 and half years of trauma after such a serious attack. Many victims suffer a lifetime of trauma. For a woman especially facial scarring can cause depression that may actually get worse with time. Sometimes the full effect of an attack can take years to even manifest itself. The physcological needs of the victim may be casually addressed after the event, but will certainly fall on the victims shoulders(financially) in later years when they might actually be required. Private operations for scar reversion treatment dont come cheap either.
Money is needed to pay for treatment and unfortunetaly money is the only form of compensation that is ever on the table. Nothing can adequately undo the damage or turn the clock back.
You are right people are attacked and return to work. Not everybody can though. Again imagine being a woman and having to face the public in a high profile manner with serious scarring. Can you even imagine how that must feel ? Insurance companies get rich selling policies to protect employers from claims from their employees so I wouldn't shed too many tears for them.


You say the Spanish court "dismissed" her claim for psychological damage". I don't see how that matters. This was a criminal case not a civil damages action. I would not have thought it was the correct forum to bring a claim for civil damages, and even if it was the claimant and the defendant (the employer) are properly in the jurisdiction of the English courts not the Spanish ones.
It is worth not overlooking the fact that legal claims are not automatically guaranteed success. They are usually very long winded and very expensive actions that probably depress the claimant to the point they wondered why they ever started the action. You are right the injury has no relevance to the money but unfortunetaly in our society that is the only measure of compensation.

19th Apr 2001, 16:30
Great news.
Its just a shame that plane wasn't heading for Saudi Arabia !

[This message has been edited by Tigereye (edited 19 April 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Tigereye (edited 19 April 2001).]

19th Apr 2001, 16:43
Good to see the yobbo in jail!!

We'll have to get Lord Longford to make an impassioned speech about his newly-found Christian beliefs!!!!! :) :) :)


Re the FA, I personally am not going to comment on her action if there is a court case pending. IMHO, so should everyone else!!

As a solution, would it not be poss to make all a/c fully DRY places?

No alcohol on board, end of. (or PERIOD, for our U.S. friends!! :) :))

All crew/pax breathalysed before boarding - any amount of alcohol: they don't fly!!!

Possible?? Or, too draconian??


[This message has been edited by swashplate (edited 19 April 2001).]

19th Apr 2001, 16:52
I suspect that the decision by Fiona's Lawyers to pursue an action against Airtours may be based on there being as much chance of Handy having six grand to pay her as he is to seek ordination into the priesthood when he gets out!

If such an action is filed, it will be interesting how many other Operators support Airtours' defence - otherwise the long term implications could be very interesting for the industry.

19th Apr 2001, 19:20
Swashplate: A superb idea, especially in light of the repeated warnings about drinking alcohol on long-haul flights leading to dehydration. I can just imagine the outcry from some quarters! Would it have any effect on travel prices?

ExSimGuy: Ex which sims? Military or civil? E-mail me if interested!

20th Apr 2001, 01:59
Here, Here...I agree with all the other comments posted on this subject.
Iam absolutely delighted that the cretin who assualted the AIH F/A has finally been put behind bars...hopefully this will act as a deterent to the small minority of idiots out there who make travelling dangerous for the majority of normal people.

22nd Apr 2001, 17:04
Hope the mericos in the Spanish jail make his life a living hell!

Four years of that will sort him out,maybe?

22nd Apr 2001, 22:46
As far as I'm concerned, the decision made by Fiona to sue Airtours is absolutely correct.

While it is great to see that the sub-human who attacked her is now behind bars, the fact remains that too many flight attendants, (and indeed other passengers / aircraft), are put at risk by ar*****s who are ALLOWED to get on an aircraft pi***d out of their brains.

Airlines must start to take some responsibility for the working environment of their staff: One way to do this would be to make absolutely sure that drunks, (or anybody who APPEARS to be drunk), board aircraft. Working in this industry myself, (I am cabin crew), I see at least one inebriated person allowed to board on a weekly basis.

It is no good individual companies stating that they will support flight staff when they refuse to serve pax alcohol because they appear drunk, and are becoming abusive - the initiative must be taken earlier on. Prevention is better than cure.

Good luck to Fiona Weir - she will need it, both to see through a potentially difficult litigation, and to come to terms with what has happened to her.


22nd Apr 2001, 23:09
Good point about prevention WCF, agree with you totally. Easier said than done though, alas.
Made a flight last week to a destination well known for the alcohol intake of it's pax and the trouble they tend to cause.
2 hours before boarding was supposed to start, I contacted the company's security department. Explained which flight I was going to do, explained that ground staff is generally understaffed and too busy with getting the numbers to agree to screen out the drunks. That I, standing in the door of the A/C, only see each pax for about 15 seconds, and that that does not give me enough time to evaluete their state of inebriation, especially since the catering tends to reload during boarding, hand-luggage has to be taken in and lowered via the catering door etc etc.
Could Security Services please spare me a bloke for 30 mins?

Well, the guy I spoke to did not quite laugh in my face. But that he thought the request was ridiculiou was pretty obvious, and of course nobody showed up at boarding time.

During the Flight Safety demonstration the FA's noticed many pax drinking from their own bottles. So instead of reporting "cabin ready" asap to the cockpit, I asked the pilots if I could have another 5 mins?

Luckily the captain trusted my judgement and asked atc for some more time. I then forcefully and in a hurry collected 27 opened bottles of booze from the laps my esteemed pax. They were pretty mad and I was scared as hell they would start beating up on me, but apparently I looked fierce enough to stop that idea in it's tracks.

After take off I went and talked to all the pax whose bottle's I had taked and explained why I'd done it. Doled out our own free booze at 30 min intervals after that, and the pax behaved like lambs. But I shudder at the thought of what that flight would have been like if they had jointly emptied those bottles in-flight.

My company operates that route every day of the week, and all the cabin crew, pilots and management know what the problems are.
I guess an FA will have to be severely injured before notice is being taken. And my biggest fear is that it's gonna happen on my watch.

23rd Apr 2001, 02:06
Hopefully, the yobbo responsible for this cowardly attack will reap his just rewards in prison.

Good luck to Fiona in the future


Ignition Override
23rd Apr 2001, 09:14
Flaps Forty: Your actions required some nerve. Well done!

If that barbarian had been jailed in Mexico, the prison would give him no food-nada. Relatives must do this and it must be a grim place. My parents live in a very nice colonial Mexican city.

It's bad enough what the flt. attendant must deal with and I hated to read about it-that animal could have caused her brain damage.

23rd Apr 2001, 15:31
Okay Flaps,

After a realy hectic last several weeks at work (as an expat) I'm heading home for a vacation later this week. I have a short sector and then a long sector to fly, possible with quite a few hours transfer time in between.

Now you wouldn't want me sitting in a boring airport, getting all irritable about long transfer times, I'm sure, so I'll probably spend the time with a paperback in the airport bar. Let's say the transfer time is five hours - I'll probably have half a dozen or so cans of beer or the equivalent in spirits in this time. If you were to breathalise me getting onto your flight, you'd get a reading of "well over the driving limit", so would you let me on?

When I get on the second sector, about a 6-hour one, I will, as usual, check exits and doors (especially if it's equipment I haven't been on recently) and then settle down to relax with my book or the movie for the flight - and I'll probably appreciate a few drinks (!) which I don't really mind too much if they're free or if I have to pay for.

Point is, I'll have had maybe a dozen or so beers in the 12 hours of transfer and flight times - but I won't be steaming drunk and I most definitely won't have the urge to get pugilistic with the cabin crew.

How can I guarantee this? Because I've been doing it quite a few times a year for the last 14 years, and never even said a rude word to an FA, let alone get nasty!

So while I really care for your safety, and I'll be the first to come forward if any drunken yob tries to take a swing at you, please don't spoil my flights because some fool can't hold his drink without getting violent!

Fly Safe :)


What goes around . . .
. . often lands better!

23rd Apr 2001, 15:57
ExSimGuy, you have missed the point. None of my comment here is related to the fact that I know flaps personally, and that I would trust her judgement every time.

That aside, the point is that we are trying to avoid trouble occurring, to be proactive on safety. You may well be able to hold your drink without getting violent. Personally, when I get drunk, mostly I just fall asleep. However, there is a significant minority out there who do get violent.

So, how do we separate the differing types? Answer is - we can't. And we don't want to wait until someone does load themselves up to find out. Because then you get hosties having vodka bottles broken over their heads and being repeatedly stabbed with the broken end. So the simple answer is, the drunks don't fly.

The UK ANO states that it is an offence to be on an aircraft whilst drunk. End of story.

There are numerous problems with this. The first is with Duty-Free booze (or tax-free booze) being on sale at airport of departure. This system should be changed so it is picked up before clearing customs at the destination. Less chance of pax getting slammed in-flight, less weight to carry, less chance of a bin filled with flammable liquid showering the pax in an accident, less glass around.

Next is the airlines' habit of selling duty-free on board. This is, quite simply, a total abrogation of their responsibilities to flight safety. Yes, they make money out of it, yes, that reduces the ticket price. So what? Why should they be permitted to put profit ahead of safety?

Another is that airport authorities don't like having drunks wandering around their terminals creating trouble. Easiest is to get them out. So instead of sending them out landside in the company of the local constabulary, they send them where they want to go - out onto the aircraft. Security staff at airports are either airport employees, so they do what they're told by the airport, or work for a company contracted to the airport. Not a good state of affairs. Airports try to palm off their drunks on the airlines.

We will not find the solution to drunken air rage cases until everybody, including the police, airport authorities and airlines alike face up to their reponsibilities to their staff and passengers, stop following what appears expedient at the time or makes them most money, and adopt a zero-tolerance attitude.

[Edited for fat-fingered typing]

[This message has been edited by HugMonster (edited 23 April 2001).]

23rd Apr 2001, 16:11
Mr HugMonster makes excellent point about 'Duty frees in o/head bins'.

I seem to remember that the AAIB report into the B737 fire @ Manchester 1985 said much the same.

Apparently, the booze FED THE FLAMES!!!

What a ghastly thought...........

Still think my idea of 'Dry A/C' is the best, though.

If SLFs don't like it, they can always walk!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally, I'd rather look at the view/cloudscapes...........

23rd Apr 2001, 22:28
ESG, I totally agree; you're a most pleasant bloke when under the influence of a certain amount of beer! And I do have fond memories of your generosity when it comes to sharing the last precious remaining cigarettes as well :)

However as Hug says; no way in the world can I or my colleagues tell what an amicable fellow, drunk or sober, you are in the 15 seconds at our disposal while you board our aircraft!!

"So while I really care for your safety, and I'll be the first to come forward if any drunken yob tries to take a swing at you, please don't spoil my flights because some fool can't hold his drink without getting violent!"

I don't for a second doubt that you would come to our rescue, but allow me to phrase it from [my point of view.

Does the fact that you and many others are pleasant drinkers mean that cabin crew simply have to accept the risk of permanent disfugerement at the hands of a less balanced drinking passenger as part of their jobs?

And please do not tell me that the risk is insignificant. Fiona Weir and many others are proof of the opposite being the case!

Hug, if your suggestions were taken up by airlines and airport authorities the world over, we would achieve a significant reduction in the risk of passenger transport by air.

But money, inertia and a fierce love for western society's only legal party drug are stronger forces than common sense......... http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif


23rd Apr 2001, 23:27

I know you have a very personal interest in the subject - and believe me, I'm with you in looking to the safety of the crew (I once had a very dear friend who was BY c/c). As you can see from the post above, Flaps knows me too! (don't remember the bit about the fags - I can guess, but I was p1ssed at the time - and not aggressive http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/tongue.gif) )

Whilst not in any way condoning the (lager?) louts that make everyone else's lives a misery, why make air travel a less pleasant experience for the average punter because of these cretins? Your employer, and the airport authorities could reduce the stress on the travelling public, I suspect at quite a low "per ticket" cost, by speeding up check-in and security checks at airports. Maybe - just maybe - this would improve certain SLF's attitudes; certainly "going dry" would just encourage a few more drinks in the airport bar (ever seen the bar in BAH just prior to a Saudi departure http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif check it out :mad: ?) or the nearest pub if the airport was dry. Probably more "smuggled on" bottles as well.

I'm right with you all in aiming at the target; I just don't think the right target is being aimed at! My very-much-loved oldest daughter is Cabin Crew, so I have the interest of the industry in mind!

I think that courts taking "in-flight assaults" very (JP Justice - your comments?) seriously will help. I also think that airlines and airport authorities can make the effort to reduce the stress level of air travel, so that those "inclined to" get nasty maybe will be less "wound up" when they board.

I know it's a serious problem and I'm very, very glad that it's getting an airing!

Yes, Flaps, I enjoy partaking in the "Western legal drug" (as you well know!) and have to suffer most of the time in a society where it is not permitted, but it doesn't make me attack people - if only science could work out what does that to people, and invent a "antidote drug" for that "illness" it would be a wonderful world!

JP Justice
23rd Apr 2001, 23:42

I have nothing to say about any current or past case, but I can say that misbehaviour on aircraft inbound to the UK , be it drunkenness, abusiveness, or physical violence, is likely to be sent to the Crown Court for sentencing.

The judges often conclude that custody is inevitable.

There are guidelines from the higher courts that lay down clear principles about sentencing, and those guidelines are not lenient.

24th Apr 2001, 01:00
The Police at MAN have set up an excellent protocol, which includes guidance to bar staff, shopkeepers, etc, in an effort to curtail the booze problem before pax get onboard. I can't do their efforts justice here, but suffice it to say, that they have worked exceptionally hard to reduce the problems ex-MAN. Inbound, now that's another problem!!

24th Apr 2001, 02:34
Pros & Cons :
1/ Ban terminal and in-flight booze sales.
Pros : In theory no-one is drunk.
Cons : They get pi**ed before they check in.
They smuggle their own booze on - back to square one.

2/ Set an alchohol limit prior to boarding, say double the driving limit.
Pros : They are reasonably sober on boarding.
It could be enforcable.
Cons : They smuggle on their own booze -
back to square one.

3/ Arm all c/c with cattle prods.
Pros : Problem solved.
Cons : It's illegal

Let's face it, as has already been said, airports and ground staff see the easiest solution to a potential 'problem pax' as passing the buck to the crew to deal with.

If a person gets out of control in a nightclub, or restaurant or any other public place, then there are bouncers or security or the police to deal with the situation. If it happens at 35000' then there are half a dozen or so young ladies ( young gents excluded to make the point, no offence ) to deal with the problem. If they are lucky, a few plucky 'blokes' might, and I say MIGHT lend a hand. If not........

So it is about time the Airlines and the government stareted getting REALLY serious about this issue.

Talking Telly - if you are reading this then this is a story you should follow up.

Of all the TV 'Airline' type programmes, not one has stated that IT IS ILLEGAL TO BE DRUNK ON AN AIRCRAFT.

Good luck Fiona.

24th Apr 2001, 06:55
how in a spanish jail do you say...."do you want to be the papa,or do you want to be the mama tonight?

24th Apr 2001, 07:25
I would get very worried about passengers being willing to "lend a hand". All you are likely to end up with is a free-for-all, and the end result of that is the incident where a passenger was killed, allegedly by another passenger jumping on him from the adjacent seat.

My company has been assessing a fairly impressive passenger restraint device, which flaps' company has also been looking at. Using it, effectively solo, in trials, a 5' girl managed to restrain, and put on the deck, a 6' square ex-marine.

When we looked at it, I played the part of a disruptive passenger, and I was fighting HARD. To no avail. It safely restrains people really quite nicely. I would much prefer to use that than have to ask assistance from another passenger who, let's face it, may either be gagging to punch the guy's lights out, quite possibly putting the airline in court, or he may be his mate, and playing along until he can punch out the hostie.

Even if this helpful soul is a genuinely helpful passenger, the chances that they are at all trained in what they are about to do are slim, whereas the cabin crew are (hopefully) well-trained in calming techniques and restraint as needed.

Re pax smuggling their own booze on board, I would make it an international offence to do so, penalty to be decided, but sufficiently draconian to deter offenders. It is, after all, a flammable liquid, and we don't allow them to have even small cans of lighter fluid, so why a whole litre of overproof vodka?

Another device that is sorely needed is an IATA-run blacklist of disruptive passengers, with details available to airport check-in staff, travel agents and airline booking agents. Alternatively, or in addition, on conviction their passport should be surrendered for a period set by the court. And before I hear comments about domestic flights, I would make it a requirement to show passports for those as well.

Ignition Override
24th Apr 2001, 09:05
How much profit does a major airline, i.e. United, AA or DAL make from one year of onboard liquor/beer $ale$? How about KLM, BA, Air France, Lufthansa...? Are these revenue/profit figures more classified than the previously 'confidential info' in a Tom Clancy novel ("Hunt for the Red October"...) or gadgets on the US Navy EP-3?

This is the main problem and the US FAA is merely a collaborator-they don't want to figure out how to partially or reliably enforce the FAR which refers to intoxicated passengers being verboten, not that there is a simple solution without gate agents finding time for breathalyzers with a large airport policeman watching each result in case of an arguement.

24th Apr 2001, 13:05
Iggy, my mob does not charge for alcoholic beverages in any of the classes, and I believe the same holds true for the other European majors. (Anyboby deny or confirm?) So there is no source of revenue there.
But as far as I know they do have a substantial amount of shares in the Tax Free shops of our home airport. :rolleyes:

Hug, management in it's boundless wisdom has decided not to buy the device you're referring to. Or so I was informed by the head of the same department that couldn't spare me a bloke to check on the level of drunkenness of my pax last week. :mad:
Still waiting for an answer from our union on how much they were involved in the testing of it, and what their thoughts on the matter were.

1st May 2001, 19:24
FF & Huggie:
Very interested to know more about this restraint device. Could you post info here or perhaps email me?
thx T.

1st May 2001, 22:26
I was so glad to see this creature jailed and for the event to be made relatively hi-profile media wise ,hopefully as some form of deterrent,though i doubt his type are no big fan of current events.

I hope that some recommendations will soon follow to airlines/airport authorities .
Glass duty free bottles should NOT be allowed on-board the aircraft , they certainly have the potential to maim if not kill someone.

Though I hope (in vain),that there is no repeat of this kind of air-rage , I hope that the relevant authorities will come down as hard ,if not certainly harder on the individuals involved.
A strong and consistent message has to be sent to those who choose to display this kind of behaviour, to quote- 'zero tolerance'.

As I'm sure has been said before you will not get any emergency services,or much back-up at 39,000 feet,and to protect yourselves from the strength and anger some of these people exhibit is more than a mean feat.

Perhaps they'll teach this REM guy a lesson and demonstrate to a wider audience the implications of air rage attack.

2nd May 2001, 17:14
Regulation of airlines is split in U.S. FAA regulates operational/technical stuff and the Department of Transportation regulates consumer type stuff (This is a rough and gross approximation, so don't get you keyboard in an uproar). Where the interests of safety or orderly operations (i.e. no drunks down back) runs up against the economic interests of the carriers or the consumer regulation by DoT there is friction. These contests in the past have been won by the airlines and DoT in general, and the FAA doesn't fight them unless there is a safety or operations component, there is no percentage in it.

2nd May 2001, 17:32
Whilst even one incident of 'air rage' cannot be tolerated, aren't we over-stating the problem just a little?
The number of violent pax is minute - it's not really a frequent or widespread problem, is it?

2nd May 2001, 17:43
Hoverman, I don't understand your post - on the one hand you say that even one cannot be tolerated - on the other you say we're overstating the problem... http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif

You're right that not even one can be tolerated. However, this is a serious problem when you examine the statistics that the various safety bodies come up with. It is also one that is growing.

How do you overstate the severity of a hostie having a vodka bottle broken over her head, then repeatedly stabbed and slashed with the broken end, being left on the tarmac, bleeding profusely, but surviving to be so traumatised that even flying is a nervous trial for her? Or how do you overstate the severity of a nutcase breaking into the flightdeck, trying to seize the controls, sending a full passenger jet partly inverted and giving the F/O significant problems in recovery?

3rd May 2001, 01:41
Quite simple really - think sledgehammers and nuts.

3rd May 2001, 06:12
So you believe that this problem is merely so small that the measures being taken are an over-reaction, and that we don't need to carry passenger restraints, don't need to have police protocols at airports...?

Tell us - how do you see the problem, and what would you do to tackle it?