Passengers drinking on our flights are a pretty common thing. Most passengers have a reasonable number of drinks within their flight but it’s those few who have “too much fun” that we sometimes have to cut off and recommend other non-alcoholic options.
I recently had a passenger that as a crew we decided he had enough fun and had to cut him off. He had numerous alcoholic beverages (Gin & Tonics to be exact), chips all down the front of this shirt, and fell while walking to the lavatory. After he fell he didn’t bother to get up but instead choose to crawl to the lav. At this point it was a pretty easy decision as a crew to decide to no longer serve him additional cocktails. The lead flight attendant politely explained to him that the crew will no longer be serving him cocktails but will be more than happy to serve him juice, soda, coffee, tea, or water. She also explained the airline’s policy as well as the FAA policy on alcohol consumption during a flight. This went in one ear and out the other with this guy.
For the remaining 2 hours of the flight (a little over 4 hours of total flight time) he would ring his flight attendant call button every 5 minutes and request another gin and tonic (or G&T as he put it). He also did what has become more and more familiar with air travel, he started to film the crew while they were working. The crew kindly asked him multiple times to please stop filming as they did not give their consent to be filmed and he was starting to interfere with our duties. The passenger seated next to him told him also chimed in at one point to tell him, “to stop being a jerk” but that didn’t phase Mr. Gin & Tonic one bit so he went back to minding his own business.
The crew informed the pilots but they didn’t really seem to care (yes some pilots are “jerks” too). I contacted headquarters directly to get security to meet the flight upon arrival. I think sometimes the pilots forget that we are trapped in a metal tube at 35,000 feet and not on the ground. We don’t have the luxury of calling security/police/FBI or having a bouncer/body guard to assist us. The flight crew is on their own and the only help we may get is from a helpful passenger. We all took our turn trying to calmly deal with Mr Gin & Tonic and putting up with his verbal abuse. We couldn’t just let one person endure it all on their own.
Once we land and the boarding door opened, there were the cops waiting for Mr. Gin & Tonic. All of a sudden Mr. Gin & Tonic was clueless and had no idea why the cops would need to speak with him. The cops take him aside and wait until all the passengers have deplaned so they can speak with the crew.
This is when the lead flight attendant finally broke down. I overhear one of the officers say she must have put up with a lot to only break down in tears after deplaning. As a crew we stuck together (minus the mean ol pilot).
Not sure what happened with Mr. Gin & Tonic at the end. I heard the cops tell him he was not allowed to drive home (not sure why he thought it would be a good idea to get wasted when he knew he had to drive). Not sure if anything else came of it.