Young British tourists are often maligned for their reckless behavior abroad–and two incidents over the past few days have unfortunately reinforced that stereotype. Both incidents involved drunk British men attempting to open aircraft doors, though it’s worth mentioning that only one was mid-flight while the other was on the tarmac.
Ryanair Flight from Croatia
On a Ryanair flight preparing for take-off from Zadar, Croatia, on June 30, a 27-year-old British man caused chaos by attempting to open the aircraft’s door.
A TikTok video depicts the man aggressively arguing with fellow passengers and the cabin crew before raising a clenched fist and lunging toward the aircraft’s door. Passengers are shown pushing back against him and bringing him to the floor.
The man, dressed in black shorts and a white t-shirt, was then escorted off the flight by Croatian police officers. Another TikTok video shows two officers dragging the unsteady man along the tarmac.
Eyewitnesses and social media posts suggested that many passengers were returning from the Hideout Festival and the man in question was allegedly drunk.
Jet2 Flight from Turkey
In a similar incident yesterday, first reported by the Daily Mail, passengers aboard a flight by British low-cost leisure carrier Jet2 (LS124) from Bodrum, Turkey to Glasgow, Scotland were left terrified when a heavily intoxicated passenger sitting in an exit row attempted to open the aircraft door mid-flight.
Fortunately, passengers noticed the man’s dangerous behavior and restrained him until the flight made an emergency landing in Sofia, Bulgaria where the man was removed from the plane by police.
A video by a fellow passenger showed the man struggling and seemingly resisting officers as he was removed from the plane, amidst angry shouts of “idiot” and “scumbag” from other passengers.
Fortunately, the flight took off again a few hours later and landed safely in Glasgow early this morning.
These sorts of incidents, which seem to be occurring more and more frequently, highlight a serious issue that extends beyond mere misconduct. They constitute a genuine safety hazard that could potentially result in catastrophic outcomes.
While I wholeheartedly commend passengers and staff who managed to control these situations, I also think it’s important to recognize that these incidents should not be happening in the first place. Airlines should consider more stringent measures to curb excessive drinking during flights and to prevent excessively drunk passengers from boarding in the first place. They should also consider sharing lists of banned passengers among themselves, which are currently kept confidential by each airline, while law enforcement agencies should treat unruly conduct with the gravity it deserves.