Man Thinks Airline Flight is BYOB, Urinates on Fellow Passengers

A man who was seen drinking how own alcohol onboard an easyJet flight from Copenhagen to Edinburgh this week “has been charged by police after he urinated on fellow passengers.”

The strangest thing is it doesn’t appear to simply be the case of a drunk guy who either couldn’t make it to the lavatory or who didn’t know the difference between his seat and the lavatory. Instead, it appears to have been retaliatory in a misplaced-aggression sort of way.

The 26-year-old had tried to disembark from the plane shortly after it landed at the city’s airport but had been told by cabin crew to return to his seat.

Instead, the customer unzipped his trousers and proceeded to empty his bladder onto people sitting in nearby seats.

While little comfort to the affected passengers, the man was taken into custody.

This is the fourth such recent incident I’m aware of.

The JetBlue passenger made it into the New York Times. Now it seems so de rigueur as to barely merit a mention.

Although it cannot be emphasized enough not to bring your own alcohol onboard to drink. That almost always ends badly unless you’re flying Alaska Airlines.

Unfortunately, with 3 billion people flying each year, some of them are awful or at least awful seatmates. And of course these stories almost always involve alcohol even if only 4 people drinking onboard actually did this in the past year.

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, 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. I think you can bring alcohol to drink on the plane but you must ask the flight attendant to serve you.

  2. The answer seems simple enough; don’t serve or allow alcohol on flights. Would it be so difficult to abstain for the few hours of a flight? Of course, our alcoholic friends would object, but isn’t passenger safety of greater concern?

  3. Generally, no . . . even before 9/11, when you could still bring (e.g.) full-size bottles of wine onboard and stash them in the overhead, most airlines had rules against serving a passenger his or her own alcohol. It had to be purchased/provided by the airline onboard the flight.

    This is still the case. You may buy that bottle of (e.g.) Chivas Regal in the duty free store before boarding the plane, but you cannot open it, nor will the flight crew . . .

  4. “Sweetie12,” to start with, I object to your sweeping description of people as “our alcoholic friends.” Unless you know for a fact that someone does indeed have a problem with alcohol — and certainly some people do, just as there are people who have problems with drugs (both legal and illegal), with tobacco, and other substances — you painting them as an “alcoholic” is both insulting and derisive.

    Prohibition ended in 1933, and the consumption of alcohol is legal, where licensed and subject to certain legal restrictions. To penalize the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who consume alcoholic beverages while in the air because of the actions of — what did Gary Leff write above? “4 people . . . in the past year” is the very definition of “overkill,” IMHO.

  5. @Beachfan..Being a flight attendant of 29 years, even if a pax brings their own alcohol aboard, we cannot serve it to them. Even when we ask for a bottle of Champagne to be brought aboard for someones wedding, Anniversary etc, we cant serve them, (I know it sounds stupid) especially when I can comp their drinks if I chooseIf I order a bottle of Champagne they have to uncork it after they get of the plane. Guess its some liquor law.

  6. @Jason Lewis, 4:42:
    The great bard Shakespeare once wrote “methinks thou dost protest too much”, so should we be led to believe you may be a closet alcoholic, who can’t be without a drink for a couple hours? Or are you in the majority of the flying public, who really couldn’t care less, but just likes to spout off? Whichever, reread the post; I simply said “our alcoholic friends would object”, and here you are, objecting, under the guise of speaking for everyone. How about we discuss passenger safety, as threatened by too much alcohol?

  7. If it were up to me alcohol aboard aircraft would be banned. Alcohol has much more of an effect at 40,000 feet versus on the ground and some people cannot handle it(not that some people can on the ground). I cannot count the times in my career where we had alcohol related problems. Unfortunately the airlines make too much money off of sales to stop serving alcohol. (airlines buy minis at around .40 cents, and sell from $5.00 to 8.00) huge profit margin for sure. I am not against alcohol, just be responsible. Happy Flying

  8. I’ve had it done for me more than once on AA LHR to LAX

    Maybe other airlines prohibit it (and maybe AA does now), but that’s policy, not law.

    I’d buy 200ml of a single malt, much better than what’s served in the plane.

  9. Interesting . . . you continue to cast aspersions with no basis in fact. Perhaps you are someone who just enjoys insulting people, perhaps it makes you feel superior — I have no idea, but you might want to look into that.

    According to the most recent report available from the International Civil Aviation Organization, the rate of fatal injuries onboard aircraft is 0.01 deaths per 100,000,000 passenger miles flown (see page 13, of the report — For the same year, US highway deaths were at the rate of 1.27 deaths per 100,000,00 passenger miles driven.

    It is already against the law to sell or to serve someone who is inebriated. Bartenders, waiters, and flight attendants know that. And while I cannot speak for flight attendants, I *do* know that restaurants and retail stores can face both civil and criminal penalties for doing so. There are many reported cases of people being denied service onboard aircraft, or indeed being denied permission to board the place in the first place, due to the passenger being under the influence.

    Just so you know where I come from re: this issue . . .

    1) I spent 40+ years in the California and international wine trade before retiring. For much of that time, I conducted training seminars for on- and off-sale employees in proper service of alcohol, including when *not* to serve — what was and was not legal to do, and how to handle unruly patrons when denying them service.

    2) Most wines on domestic (U.S.) flights are not worth drinking, IMHO, and I rarely drink when flying — be it SFO-LAX, or SFO-JFK. International travel is another matter; wine selections are much better; and I generally will have one glass of wine with dinner on trans-Atlantic flights, and perhaps a glass of Port with a cheese course. I rarely drink hard spirits or beer, even when at home, so that’s certainly not an issue onboard an aircraft.

  10. @ scott — I know several flight attendants who feel the same way as you, that alcohol should be banned; I also know several more who do not. I would guess that conclusion depends upon the individual’s personal experience while in the air.

  11. For whatever it’s worth, here are the Federal Aviation Administration’s relevant regulations re: the sale/service of alcohol:

    Title 14 CFR, Part 121, Sec. 121.575 — Alcoholic beverages.

    (a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage to him.
    (b) No certificate holder may serve any alcoholic beverage to any person aboard any of its aircraft who—
    (1) Appears to be intoxicated;
    (2) Is escorting a person or being escorted in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.221; or
    (3) Has a deadly or dangerous weapon accessible to him while aboard the aircraft in accordance with 49 CFR 1544.219, 1544.221, or 1544.223.
    (c) No certificate holder may allow any person to board any of its aircraft if that person appears to be intoxicated.
    (d) Each certificate holder shall, within five days after the incident, report to the Administrator the refusal of any person to comply with paragraph (a) of this section, or of any disturbance caused by a person who appears to be intoxicated aboard any of its aircraft.

  12. Nonsense! Drink enough of ANY alcoholic beverage and you can/will be drunk. Could you please point to where I said that you cannot get drunk if all you drink is wine? Apparently you have read something I’ve not written . . .

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