Drunks on a Plane: The 5 Types of Boozers that are the WORST in the Air
It's time for another round of "Confessions of a Fed-Up Flight Attendant," a Yahoo Travel series where “Betty” describes the harrowing, real-life situations she and her comrades in the sky face every day, 35,000 feet away from a foot massage and premium whiskey. Speaking of whiskey, in her newest Confession "Betty" talks about the bane of every flight attendant's existence: drunk passengers. Some are nice, some are mean, and some can't stand up straight, but they all make for fun stories flight attendants love telling — even if the encounters aren't so fun at the time.
One drink on an airplane is like two on the ground because of the altitude. Unfortunately, people who are prone to drinking too much are not fond of warnings, and therefore we flight attendants deal with lots of drunks on the airplane. There are many reasons why passengers overindulge while in flight: They're afraid to fly, they have anxiety about their trip, or they simply want to sleep. But the end result is often the same: drunk-out-of-their-mind passengers. And just as there are many different types of people, there are different types of airplane drunks.
1. Demanding Drunks
You would think that people on their way to the beautiful Hawaiian islands would be a happy bunch. Not so much. I was once in charge on a flight from Los Angeles to Maui. Midway into the flight, another flight attendant came up to first class to say that passengers in the front part of the economy section were arguing and swearing, making the other passengers uncomfortable.
I didn't need to know their seat numbers because as soon as I got past the first-class curtain, I heard f-bombs ringing out loud and clear. They were emanating from a drunk, harried-looking blonde in her early 50s. I asked what was going on. She said, "They keep f---ing with me! I can't handle it!" I was about to ask her who was bothering her when she let out a loud cry and exclaimed, "I've been tired for seven years!"
I didn't know how to respond to that. In training, they don’t tell us what to do for a passenger who’s been tired for seven years. I suspected that a pillow and blanket were not going to cut it.
Instead, I asked her to tell me what was wrong. She then went into a diatribe of loud, long complaints: No one should have to get up that early; she needed a cigarette; they were messing with her; she wanted off this airplane right now! Earlier in the flight, she'd apparently asked one of the other flight attendants how many stops we'd be making en route to Hawaii. The flight attendant jokingly answered "Three," assuming that everyone knew there isn't anywhere to land between L.A. and Hawaii. But this drunk lady believed him, and she wanted to deplane!