View Full Version : Woman jailed for air rage

28th Jun 2002, 10:58
From news.bbc.co.uk

A Sunderland woman has been jailed for four months for being drunk on an aircraft.
Charlotte Davies, 31, was on a holiday flight from Newcastle to Tenerife when the pilot diverted to Portugal after she swore and was abusive to other passengers and crew.

Armed police arrested Davies when the JMC charter flight landed at Faro Airport in November 2001.

A spokesman for JMC said the decision to jail Ms Davies was 'exactly right'.

28th Jun 2002, 11:02
Oh dear, when will they learn.

callsign Metman
28th Jun 2002, 11:22
Apparently she downed her duty free booze BEFORE getting on the aircraft because " she has a fear of flying."

How many times will we continue to hear this lame excuse.

My solution :-

DO NOT allow passengers to buy duty free alcohol before or during the flight. Instead make duty free alcohol available at arrivals (prior to the custms desk!) in the destination airport!

Seems simple to me.


28th Jun 2002, 11:36
Perhaps other passangers need to realize of direct dangers and uncomfort that an intoxicated person on a flight can cause them. Complain if necessary. Then there will be more support for airlines to refuse to take intoxicated passangers (passangers may also refrain from getting so drunk in the first lace.) Otherwise, airlines will continue to not want to upset drunk "customers" and let them on the aircraft.

Mr Angry
28th Jun 2002, 12:10
Lost count of the times I have watched TV shows like Club Reps and seen passengers accepted at check-in, when they are absolutely bladdered, and are clearly unfit to fly.

Then its down to the poor old Cabin Crew to either reject or accept/deal with them. Thiese people shouldn't be allowed airside.

Roger de Rofton
28th Jun 2002, 12:24
Had our crew trained not to let anyone who was ratted on the plane in the first place. A good policy and we never had any alcohol induced problems.


28th Jun 2002, 13:15
Apparently her big mistake was being a care-worker and not a rock-star.

28th Jun 2002, 13:57
Full story here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_2071000/2071826.stm). Although I agree with RThunder's comments about Peter Buck (edited in embarrasment!) to a certain extent, these idiots need to be sent the right signal. This is undoubtedly it.


28th Jun 2002, 14:01
I can confirm I had nothing to do with it !

28th Jun 2002, 14:07
Yet another case to ban alcohol on aircraft.

Remove the temptation solve the problem

Big Tudor
28th Jun 2002, 14:22

Valid point, but it doesn't stop people having a skin full in the bar before the flight.

28th Jun 2002, 14:31
Just to put WeatherJinx right, it was Robert Buck of REM that went ape, and not Stipe. But I also agree that he should have had the book thrown at him.:p

28th Jun 2002, 14:41

Agree but drunks can be prevented from boarding either at check-in, the gate or by the meet and greeters at the aircraft.

But if all this fails it is still in the best interest of all concerned not to fuel the fire whilst on board

28th Jun 2002, 15:10

I think that would be Peter Buck".

28th Jun 2002, 15:21
The different between a care worker and a rock star


and it is said justice is blind but alas the scales can be tipped

call me cynical

28th Jun 2002, 15:32
Metman's idea has the further advantage of fuel savings from not having each passenger carting a litre of booze with him (trivial amounts per flight, but across the industry it would certainly add up). But it'll never be done as the airport operators won't stand for it. Departing passengers are captive for a couple of hours during which they can be separated from their money - arriving pax just want to get out of the airport as fast as possible, so they'd spend much less - meaning less profit for BAA et al.

28th Jun 2002, 15:54

Thanks for the correction - never liked 'em anyway...have edited the post


28th Jun 2002, 16:25
Bean bag - took the post right out of my keyboard - and you are absolutely right. Anthony Smith wrote a piece in Flight about this subject years ago and, as I recall, he came to the same conclusions you did. He also commented on idiots taking their duty free booze with them during emergency evacuations, and leaving a pile of broke glass at the bottom of the slide! Don't know whether that has ever happened...


28th Jun 2002, 17:13
I have every sympathy for flight crew who have to deal with drunk, rude or otherwise obnoxious passengers, but I take exception to the current tendency to believe that every ill in "society" can be fixed by implementing a new rule. Every time something bad happens, people think that there is an immediate fix available through regulation.

This whole philosophy leads down a path that I think no one wants to go if they sit back and look at it in perspective. Banning the sale of alcohol in duty free shops may sound like it will stop the problem, but as other posters before me have pointed out, that still leaves the people who get tanked up in the bar. What do we do then? Prohibit sale of alcohol in airports at all. What then if people turn up straight from the pub after sinking a skinful? Require every passenger to take a breathalyser test at check-in? What then if people have downed any of the other drugs which might make their behaviour unpredictable? Should all passengers be screened for drug use by taking a urine sampe a week before flying?

Even if we did manage to stamp out every possiblility that a passenger might behave erratically or dangerously during a flight by implementing such draconian regulation that it becomes almost impossible, and certainly unprofitable, to run airlines and airports - is it really fair on the other 99.9999% of the travelling public who cause no trouble at all?

People get drunk, people go mad, people do stupid things; that's just life. Sometimes it's irritating, and sometimes it's downright dangerous, but we can't expect all our problems and risks to be solved by legislation.

The real issue here is people (or "society" if you want to use that word). Maybe we need to start looking at the root cause of air rage (or any other "rage" for that matter). It certainly isn't alcohol, because that stuff has been around since the dawn of civilisation. The different "rages" are a relatively recent addition to human behaviour, and they're appearing everywhere regardless of any drug inducement.

28th Jun 2002, 17:37
To the MD of jmc airlines:

Dear Mr El Borai,

Is this lady still a valued guest? Or is she really just like a number of valued guests we fly on your pristine aircraft on the all too frequent occasion?

Perhaps you could be so kind as to put a picture of you throwing away the key to her cell in next month's jmc airlines "let's talk trash .com" mag?

That would give us all a morale boost. Hopefully you may have locked yourself in too.......(tongue in cheek,maybe)

Am I sacked yet sir?

Yours cynically etc etc.....

28th Jun 2002, 18:20
What is it that makes people make complete fools of themselves on aircraft? 5 hours into my most recent flight (BAH/BKK) an elderly gent (a Brit) began ranting about Mrs Thatcher and related garbage mostly to do with the Inland Revenue.

Now I happen to agree with much of what he was on about but that wasn't the point. In a packed A340 it is very unnerving to hear someone carrying on like that and quite out of the blue. The cabin staff (mostly third world) were just as embarrassed as we were but seemed unable to shut him up. So we were subjected to sudden and random, quite uncalled for political invective for the remaining 2 hours of the flight.

Now I know that this could not be called "air rage" in the true sence of the word but the incident was obviously booze related and was extremely annoying if not unnerving.

The flight in question is a late evening departure arriving at BKK around 9 am the follwing morning. Most people on such flights (and I'm one of them) like to have a couple of drinks and a glass of wine with the meal and then settle down as best we can for the night given the available legroom.

Posts on this subject have suggested that flights be made dry. That is unfair. There were 300+ people on that flight all of whom were well behaved, quiet and no problem to the crew with the exception of that one asshole who managed to unsettle all of us to one degree or another.

On arrival and during disembarkation, the same asshole expressed his hope that we had enjoyed his comments during the flight and wished us a happy stay amongst the whores of Patpong. At that point I began to wonder whether he was as pissed as he made out to be and whether the whole thing was manufactured for his own entertainment during the flight.

Rather than issue guns to flight deck crew (as has been suiggested) perhaps the Purser should be issed with a good quality rolling pin.

Long distance flying is BORING and very uncomfortable. Take away the bar trolley and people will begin to seriously consider travling by sea again! The answer is to limit the amount that individuals are allowed to imbibe during the flight and for ground staff to be more vigilant during boarding.

Ranger One
28th Jun 2002, 18:43

I've always been uneasy about duty-free on board, far more so since 9/11. I can't believe FAA haven't taken some action:

1. A bottle of high-proof spirits IS a deadly weapon. Broken it's as bad as a knife, unbroken it's a potential Molotov cocktail. It's lunacy to keep selling the stuff, or allowing it on board. Confiscating granny's nail clippers but allowing anyone glass bottles of Vodka... lunacy!

Doesn't anyone else see this? I'm astonished how little discussion this issue has had. Who needs bombs? Three or four willing martyrs on a flight, coordinated action each with a couple of bottles of spirits (and if they've brought them on board, the actual contents of the bottles may well be something even deadlier and more incendiary than the purported contents) and you have perhaps eight simultaneous fires in the cabin. I wouldn't bet on a good outcome...

2. It's a lot easier and less confrontational to stop serving someone who's had a skinful than it is to take away a bottle they already have.


3. Prohibit pre-boarding duty-free sales.

4. If prohibition just won't fly, collect it from the pax as they board, return it as they disembark.

5. If in-flight duty free sales are to continue, sell the stuff but don't hand it over to the pax until you're on the gate.

Just my $0.02


28th Jun 2002, 18:52
I have to agree with X
I have to travel a great deal as SLF as well as with my other job. There are those of us who do like to have a few quiets on the flight. Prehaps there should be more high profile restraints.

I have been in the unfortunate position several years ago that a passenger set fire to the bin in the aircraft, after smoking a crafty fag.
If the aircraft had diverted and the passenger removed I would have been happy with the delay to our flight. Many of the airlines pass on too many idle threats. Unfortunately there is little substance to their threats of prosecution.

The situation became more dangerous as there was a lynce mob starting on the flight.

This was as frightening as the fire.

Apologies for the spelling . . feeling a little tipsey.

28th Jun 2002, 19:01

Personally agree with you about on-board duty free. But the reasons you gave (i.e. terrorism) are very different from the air-rage ones that are the subject of this thread. It is a very valid point to raise the possibility of using high proof spirits and the bottles as weapons (post Sept 11), but I don't think this relates to air rage and drunkenness on flights.

IMHO, on-board duty free is a waste of time anyway. Most people don't use it because the choice is extremely limited and the prices are (usually) higher than in the airport. It seems to me it's just a way for the airlines to get in on the duty-free action.

Given the amount of revenue raised by duty-free sales at airports, I don't think an already stretched air transport industry would be willing to give them up altogether. A compromise may be able to be reached along the lines of what you suggest where duty-free sales are transported directly to the hold and redeemed upon arrival at the destination. This isn't too different from the system used at most US airports, except that currently you get your baggy when you embark.

An earlier suggestion by another contributor that duty-free shops should be at arrival rather than departure is unworkable, because the whole point about duty-free is that it is exempt from duty in the country in which it is purchased because it is intended for immediate export.

[Edited to add the following]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that current legislation prohibits duty-free (which is sealed for a reason) from being opened before clearing customs at your destination in any case. So there is already sufficient legislation to prevent the situation that is the subject of this thread; apparently it just needs better enforcement.

28th Jun 2002, 19:54
If you can ban smoking on flights where is the problem in banning alcohol?

28th Jun 2002, 20:01

There's no problem, but what we are talking about is establishing a need.

Surely your only criterion for introducing a ban on something is not simply that there is no problem in doing so?

28th Jun 2002, 22:21
Anybody seen my girlfriend?

28th Jun 2002, 22:31
Anyone who has been involved in the usual annual failed pyromania involving Christmas pudding, brandy and matches will know that a bottle of duty-free booze (apart from Bacardi 151) is not a particularly useful Molotov substitute.... The result is usually cold Christmas pud, burnt fingers and a cloud of hissing vapour which refuses to light!

29th Jun 2002, 02:21
Here's the trick.

Warm the brandy, seriously warm, but only warm.

Pour into a shot glass.

Set alight,

Pour over the Xmas Pud.

A hit always, especially in a semi-darkened dining room.

Now, how to sabre a bottle of champers.;)

29th Jun 2002, 10:55

Great post....

..another tip is..if you inject a Christmas Pudding with copious amounts of brandy just prior to the flaming ceremony, the resultant vapour ignites very nicely! ;)

Ignition Override
30th Jun 2002, 04:18
Ranger One: The FAA must have lots of broken bodies in order to create a new regulation. The cause must be something which results in shocking headlines and Congressional action, as with Valuejet near Miami (no more oxygen generators shipped as cargo).

The NTSB never pointed to fatigue as the primary cause for any air carrier accident until a cargo DC-8 cartwheeled in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after a long night duty period with very little rest beforehand, and the NTSB could or should have pointed to fatigue as the primary factor in so many other airline accidents. After the MD-80 landing accident in Little Rock after a long non-stop duty period, which killed passengers instead of "only" freight pilots with few if any non-revenue passengers, the FAA finally ruled for the first time EVER, that pilots on constant 24-hour reserve/standby for consecutive days in a row must have a pre-designated uninterrupted rest period (eight hours, maybe 1200 until 2000).

Knowing how the NTSB makes definite recommendations while the FAA mostly delays or ignores so much of this input, it is not at all surprising to most or all US airline pilots that the FAA refuses to acknowledge the danger from selling or giving alcohol to passengers. And this is in clear contradiction of the Federal Air Regulation which prohibits intoxicated passengers from boarding an airliner.

Believe it or not, ALPA in its early years initiated the very creation of the FAA, because pilots were pushed very hard by their employers to fly through serious icing and other weather conditions, or else no job.

30th Jun 2002, 06:06
It may have already been covered....but.....in terms of a further safety aspect of Duty free grog onboard, and reasons for it not to be available until the destination might include that in incidents inflight such as turbulence or landing overruns etc, where the overhead lockers are subjected to greater loads than normal, bottles of alcohol can come out, becoming missiles....not only doing serious damage when hitting various objects (pax heads..) but potentially becoming a nice little inferno when the alcohol comes into contact with an ignition source.

My understanding in the Korean Airlines jet that came to grief in Guam several years back was that some of the onboard fires after the accident were attributable to the duty free grog coming crashing out of the overhead lockers.

30th Jun 2002, 08:43
We used to have plastic litre bottles of gin on our duty free carts, but only the gin all the others were glass and we used to get loads of breakages. I can't remember when I last had a drinking related problem on a flight and I don't know how you can draw the line because some people on flights have had quite a bit to drink and be perfectly pleasent and lucid. Myself on the other hand, two pints and I'm anybody's.

Don't spoil things for everyone for the sake of a few ars...s.

The causes of airrage seem to be far more complex than merely banning alchohol. Most aggro I get on flights is due to delays, maybe airlines should ban delays!

People seem to have a lot of deep seated anxieties about flying. I think a lot of time the aggressive people feel they are regaining control in their lives after having the last few hours totally controlled by public transport, airport staff and airline staff.
Just my thoughts.

30th Jun 2002, 09:38
I agree the best solution is no duty-free on departure.
This could be for booze only. Whowants to lug rattling bottles around the airport and on the flight if they were available on landing.
The sooner airlines stop turning a blind eye to pop-stars regarding their behaviour and dress, then perhaps all passengers will get the message.:(

30th Jun 2002, 12:49
The pax that is quietly drunk, overcoming fear of flying or just plain bored with the flight, is no problem as long as they realise that their chances in a 'crash and burn' situation are minimal.

Its the person that can't hold their drink and would be prone to loss of self control if exposed to stress or provocation in any situation that are the problem. Flying is a dicipline for pax as well as crew.

In vino veritas.

1st Jul 2002, 19:52
My family are too poor for Brandy and Christmas pudding.

Although Turps on a tangerine has kept us entertained for years.

2nd Jul 2002, 02:42
No need to ban alcohol. Just VERY stiff, public penalties for being disruptive and interfering with aircrew. Four months in the slammer with big Pierre as a cellmate should convince the lout that getting drunk and being an ass was a really bad idea. Maybe he'll tell his yobo friends, too. When the punishment gets bad enough, word gets around.

2nd Jul 2002, 14:07
Roadtrip! I finally agree with you about something! :D