View Full Version : How is it decided if a drunk passeneger should be denied boarding?

radio ears
29th Dec 2017, 21:06
I recently flew on a late Ryanair flight from Murcia to Standstead, it was due to leave about 20:50 local but due to snow problems at STN it did not leave Murcia till 23:00.

I arrived into the departure lounge at about 18:30 and became aware of a passenger who was distressed, drinking a large amount of beer and popping pills. She was coming up to various passangers and explaining that she was a scared flyer and making strange statements about how easyjet had let her into the cockpit and so on..!

I had a quiet word with the security screening staff at Murcia who said they were aware of her condition and the pilot may decide not to let her fly.

She did board the flight, had two "panic" attackts on the flight where two flight attendants had to walk her down the isle. As we were approaching the isle of Wright the PA call "could any medicaly trained staff please make them themselves known..." the flight did continue to STN where we had to sit and wait for the fire service and police to attend. This put an extra 45 min delay. One hour later she was seen walking round the baggage hall with no issues.

This does also raise the question why there couldn't be an set of steps to the rear door?

radio ears
29th Dec 2017, 21:36
In the case mentioned above would it have been usefull to have also mentioned it to the crew? It was explained to me that the local staff had been wanting to get home after 21:30 and that might have been a factor. My flight was the last one out.

29th Dec 2017, 21:49
Long time ago i was coming from AMS to HUY with KLM the flight was full and i found i was sitting next to a guy who was absolutely paralytic smelled foul and had no idea what he was doing. i made a complaint and said i didn't want to sit next to him, i was told i would have to because the flight was full. I then said i would get off then because i wouldn't sit next to him. The captain came and said i would have to sit next to him, i said I would get off then. At this point the chaps mate who was sitting elsewhere and sober said he would swop seats with him, that was ok for me but not for the chap he was going to sit next to. He was moved to the other seat, had to be helped because he could hardly stand. We took off and about halfway to HUY he stood up and was sick all over the passenger sat in front of him, and then passed out in the aisle. I was surprised that he was even allowed to board and i do believe that i would have been allowed to get off rather than make him get off if his mate hadn't intervened.

Metro man
30th Dec 2017, 00:41
There are many different kinds of drunk; happy, sad, quiet, exuberant, aggressive etc. Iím primarily concerned about them impeding an emergency or bothering other passengers.

If someone canít put a mask on during an emergency descent or open their own seat belt during an evacuation they need an attendant or shouldnít be onboard. The cabin crew have other important duties such as manning the doors.

A drunk on television is funny, one in the same room as you isnít.

Anyone beyond slightly merry and compliant can stay behind and sober up as far as Iím concerned.

30th Dec 2017, 10:16
This does also raise the question why there couldn't be an set of steps to the rear door?

What logic does this statement have :confused:

Passenger could be in any part of the aircraft. A whole multitude of other factors come into it too, always shocks me the trite comments from pax around me on any inbound flight, as if the world revolves around them. It doesn't.

radio ears
30th Dec 2017, 10:26
The issue is you have an ill passenger in the middle of the aircraft. If the rear steps had been provided then the disembarking passenger don't need to pass the person in medical need.

30th Dec 2017, 10:53
I’m another one who doesn’t understand this observation. If you have a pax in need of medical attention for whatever reason the priority for the crew will be dealing with that passenger, and that might mean not expediting disembarkation, perhaps asking everyone to stay seated, and also perhaps a low priority may be placed sparing the sensitivities of those leaving the aircraft.

FWIW there are airports where disembarkation via rear steps isn’t allowed, and there can be medical problems on arriving flights on many aircraft where rear steps aren’t an option or aren’t going to help. Fundamentally It is something for the crew to manage on the day...

30th Dec 2017, 14:31
As I understand it Ryanair's sobriety test is that if you can make it up the steps unaided you can fly.
The rear steps are not used in ice or snow/slush due to slip hazard.

30th Dec 2017, 19:17
The rear steps are not used in ice or snow/slush due to slip hazard.

There are wide, gently gradient, side protected clean mobile steps; and then there are narrow, steep, open sided, clean a/c inbuilt steps. Which are safer?
I used to be amazed paramedic crews sometimes used the front steps rather than the rear ones. Seemed daft to me and dangerous. Some airports provide the wonderfully designed 'tractor track' wheel chair. And they still use the front steps?

30th Dec 2017, 20:07
Sitting in the cockpit at LCY one day when a passenger tripped his way to the aircraft carrying a glass, plastic or not, of amber liquid. When asked, cabin staff expressed the opinion that pax was sheeted and that the liquid was neat whisky. A call to Ops elicited the furious response from the airline ownerís wife, she who ran the show, that the passenger must be taken, the crew had no business questioning his condition and that he was a personal friend. So we took him.
I sometimes wonder how often on small airlines, the crew have been implicitly threatened with a firing if they question the condition of certain passengers.

31st Dec 2017, 00:39
....... it never gets any further than the Captain..

I was returning to the flight deck on a transit when the pax. started to re-board and an obviously drunk pax. boarded and said to the welcoming steward - "and I'll :mad: you for a start." I motioned to a local policeman, who happened to be standing outside the door and it was Left Right, Left Right ... and we never saw him again. Apparently he had been consuming more than he should on the inbound sector and the crew had cut off his supply, tho' they hadn't considered him a threat at that stage, but the extra booze at the terminal bar during the transit had tipped the scales. I wonder how he got on having been offloaded mid-trip at a foreign city ? No questions ever asked of me

the crew have been implicitly threatened with a firing if they question the condition of certain passengers.

Not threatened with firing, but a demand, on an unscheduled weather diversion to Manchester v.v. London, that as a "Personal friend of the Chairman, I ring our Ops. Control and get them to locate his chauffeur waiting at Heathrow and get him to drive the Rolls up to Manchester" Yeah ! Right !

The same pax. asked why I hadn't informed them earlier ( i.e. mid-Atlantic ) that it was foggy in London ? It wasn't, I said, and what would you have done, got off ?

Impress to inflate
31st Dec 2017, 23:44
The ANO states:-

"Drunkenness in aircraft

242.ó(1) A person must not enter any aircraft when drunk, or be drunk in any aircraft."

Its very clear and not ambiguous at all. I wish more airlines would act on this regulation.

1st Jan 2018, 00:28
Given that the ANO doesn't define "drunk", nor is there any universally accepted criterion for the state of drunkenness, I'd say that it leaves a considerable amount of wiggle room.

It's neither clear nor unambiguous.

1st Jan 2018, 02:18
Invest in breathalysers. Anyone who blows twice the legal drinkdrive limit isn’t loaded. No exceptions and no refunds. Every offload will cry to social media and daily mail will express their shock and horror. Problem solved.

You would only have to do a small percentage of flights.

Heathrow Harry
1st Jan 2018, 09:10
Agreed - but like enforcing carry-on limits it would have to be taken away from the airlines and their agents and handed over to the lovable Security folk.

surely not
1st Jan 2018, 21:56
For all those bemoaning the ground staff not being more proactive in preventing boarding of passengers who are showing signs of having had too many drinks, please consider that most Handling Agents are independent of the airline and therefore they do not have the complete authority to offload an airlines passenger without the airlines permission. If the airline have a Station Manager/Duty Manager the situation should be referred to them, if not, the Captain of the aircraft has the final say.
Sadly one crews drunk passenger and 'do not board them', is most crews 'they don't look too bad, will probably go to sleep once airborne'. After awhile the ground staff don't bother referring anything but the very worst cases as they pretty much know that the crew will accept the passenger.
If Jet2 are being consistent in refusing drunk/inebriated passengers from travelling then that is a big positive and the Handling Agents are clear they will be supported by the airline when the inevitable complaints come in weeks later.

2nd Jan 2018, 05:47
Agreed, Surely Not. It is always the application of control, as with the correct boarding sequence. Happily, the low cost of CCTV makes the monitoring of pax checks simple. If there is a record of the pax being stopped and questioned, it would go a long way to stop the complaints. The emergency services staff who wear body cams have found them very helpful in this regard.

The suggestion of a breathalyser is VERY good.

5th Jan 2018, 12:49
A few airlines such as Jet2 are taking a very public very strong stance on the issue which I think is great.
I really like flying with Jet2 and agree with their Onboard Together policy but it is undermined somewhat when they then offer discounts on beer and wine (of which I often avail myself).

5th Jan 2018, 22:57
The issue is you have an ill passenger in the middle of the aircraft. If the rear steps had been provided then the disembarking passenger don't need to pass the person in medical need.

This past summer I flew WizzAir from Bergen, Norway to Gdansk, Poland. The plane boarded and exited via both the front and rear doors. The bizarre part was at Gdansk, coming down the stairs from the plane onto the tarmac and there were no signs, crew, or other indications for us pax to know where to walk to the terminal entrance. My companion and I just ended up following the general drift of people, but there was a lot of ground vehicle traffic we had to deal with and no clear indications of who had the right of way at any particular moment.