Airplane Horror Stories Reveal Why Alcohol Shouldn’t Be Served on Airline Flights

In recent years, incidents of alcohol abuse on commercial airlines have skyrocketed. And these stories prove that something needs to be done about intoxicated passengers on airplanes.

Just how much have drunken passenger incidents increased in the past 10 years? Check out page 6.

A Frontier Airlines passenger recently was so intoxicated that he urinated on the seat in front of him

A person holding up a cup while on a plane.

A good way to horribly ruin the flight for everyone on board. | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

A 45-year-old man was arrested on a flight in May 2018 after urinating on the seat in front of him. The man was first forced to change seats when the woman next to him alleged that he’d been touching her without her consent. The passenger was moved but was so intoxicated that he went to the bathroom right in his seat. He also reportedly verbally assaulted a second woman on the plane. He was arrested when the plane landed.

Next: This American Airlines passenger made serious threats while drunk. 

A passenger on an American Airlines flight threatened to kill another passenger

Cups on a plane.

One man got very drunk and violently threatened a flight attendant. | ChristiLaLiberte/iStock/Getty Images

A man on a flight from St. Croix to Miami drank too many beers and became violent. A flight attendant told him that he would not be served anymore because he was clearly drunk. The man then took his anger out on a passenger. He allegedly spat blood at the passenger and threatened to kill him, and the two exchanged punches. He then locked himself in the bathroom and verbally abused the flight attendant who tried to detain him.

Next: Sometimes passengers are even too drunk to be arrested. 

One passenger was so drunk he couldn’t stand up to be handcuffed

A person drinking beer on a plane.

This person didn’t realize he had hit his limit. | NLN/iStock/Getty Images

A man was arrested after getting seriously intoxicated on his flight to Majorca, Spain. But when the plane landed, he couldn’t even stand upright. A fellow passenger helped the man off the plane, but his knees kept buckling when the police tried to handcuff him. Passengers were fed up with the man’s behavior, and his arrest created a scene at the airport. The president of the Professional Police Union, which covers Majorca and Ibiza, called for stricter alcohol laws on planes.

Next: Intoxicated passengers affect everyone on the flight. 

Drunk passengers can result in major flight delays

Airplane seen flying above.

Don’t even think about asking your flight attendant for another drink. | isfineday/iStock/Getty Images

A flight from England to Egypt was forced to divert to Greece after a drunk and disorderly passenger became abusive and threatened the cabin crew, Mirror reported. The captain and crew members seized the man’s passport and restrained him until the flight landed. The captain and a crew member then had to go to the police to make a statement about the passenger. The process resulted in a three-hour delay since the flight diverted rather than arresting the passenger at the destination.

Next: Despite what you’ve been told altitude won’t affect your actual blood alcohol level. 

Altitude doesn’t actually affect your blood alcohol level, but it can make you feel more drunk

Drinks on a table.

Stick to one or two drinks. | MiraiZ/iStock/Getty Images

Despite popular belief, drinking alcohol at a higher altitude does not affect how much alcohol gets absorbed into your system. But there is a difference between drinking on the ground and in the air, and it’s due to something called hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when there’s a lack of oxygen to the brain. Since planes are pressurized for 10,000 feet above sea level, your brain generally gets less oxygen on plane than it would on the ground. This can cause you to feel more drunk in the air. Plus, airplane air is not humidified, which can make you more dehydrated.

Next: Here’s how many drunk passengers airlines have seen in recent years. 

The drunk and disorderly passenger count spiked by 2,000 in 2017

A window on a plane with the shades up.

Drunk passengers can be difficult to deal with. | Tisha85/iStock/Getty Images

In recent years, the number of drunk and disorderly passengers has been on the rise. In 2007, there were only 500 incidents of intoxicated passengers reported to the International Air Transport Association. But by 2016, the number was up to 6,000. And 2017 saw an all-time high of 8,000 reported incidents. Some airlines have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of passengers, such as sending out an email prior to the flight to let passengers know what could happen if they become too intoxicated. But overall, airlines haven’t done much to make a change.

Next: The British government has proposed new laws to reduce the drunk passenger count.  

Getting too drunk on a plane could soon lead to a hefty fine

Airplane food on a tray.

You might want to order plain orange juice instead of that mimosa. | Aureliy/iStock/Getty Images

In an effort to cut back on the number of drunken passenger reports, the British government has considered imposing a fine on those who become too intoxicated while flying. The government is also considering making all duty-free alcohol be sold in sealed bags that can’t be opened until the plane reaches its destination. Right now, a person could face up to two years in prison for drunk and disorderly behavior on a plane, but many passengers are unaware of such a punishment and often only get a small fine.

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