Drunk Passenger Swings and Misses at Flight Attendant After Being Accused of Smoking in the Lav

On Thursday a Belgian flying from Istanbul to Manchester stepped out of the lavatory on the flight. He had already had four gin and tonics. A flight attendant came over to him, and he asked for a fifth one. I can’t imagine the gin was that good. It’s not like the new British Airways gin in the London Heathrow Concorde Room. It’s unclear whether he intended to enjoy it back at his seat or in the lav.

Of all the special places to truly relax and drink, I’ve certainly never considered an airplane lavatory.

Complimentary ‘Sundowner’ Cocktail at the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives

She asked the man if he had been smoking in the lavatory. He said he hadn’t.

He returned to his seat, where he reportedly “started arguing, shouting and became abusive before getting out of his seat and moving to the rear of the plane.”

That’s where he sat down by the flight attendant who confronted him about smoking and is alleged to have said, “Do you know what I’m going to do to you? You’re f***** up.” The man then “threw a ‘glancing blow’ at the stewardess but missed as she put her hands up to her face” while a nearby passenger “rugby tackled the [passenger] and knocked him to the floor.”

The passenger was arrested on arrival in Manchester, charged, and pled guilty in exchange for a 6 month suspended sentence and US$1146 in fines and costs.

I wonder what prompted the initial altercation. Perhaps there was more than just the four gin and tonics at play (certainly his taking the flight to attend a funeral helped mitigate the consequences).

It’s not always a dead giveaway that a passenger is drunk, such as urinating at your seat and then passing out on the lavatory floor.

American Airlines Premium Economy Lavatory, Boeing 787-9

Meanwhile let this be a lesson that swearing at crew and taking a swing never ends well.

Oh alcohol and altitude

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. BA flight attendant in first class said to my traveling companion : “Dont you think you’ve had enough gin and tonic?” after 4 of them on a 9 hour flight.
    His response was priceless: “Yes , you’re right. I’ll have a vodka and tonic”

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