Aer Lingus Warns It Will Turn Away Drunk Passengers From Flights
On the heels of Ryanair's call for airports to stop serving alcohol in the morning, Ireland's other major international airline, Aer Lingus, made it clear it will refuse to let inebriated passengers board its planes.
Aer Lingus's statement was prompted by an incident over the weekend in which a Ryanair flight from Dublin (DUB) to Ibiza (IBZ) diverted to Paris Beauvais–Tillé Airport (BVA) because of a large group of allegedly unruly and disruptive passengers, including three who were detained by police upon landing. (One of the men detained said the airline overreacted.)
Ryanair followed up news of the forced landing by calling on airports to ban serving booze before 10:00am and to institute a two-drink limit.
Dublin Airport called that suggestion "draconian."
"Ryanair’s suggested response is a highly draconian one that would affect all passengers because of the behavior of a very, very small minority of airline travelers,” DAA (previously Dublin Airport Authority) spokesman Paul O'Kane said. "Dublin Airport will continue to work with its airline customers and all other agencies in relation to this issue, and will again remind the license holders in its bars and restaurants of their responsibilities in this area."
An aviation source familiar with the situation pointed out that though Ryanair was calling for a prohibition on early alcohol sales in airport, it hadn't changed its own rules about serving alcohol on a flight. Ryanair chief marketing officer has said the airline may consider not serving booze before 10:00am in the air.
Aer Lingus, meanwhile, seemed to one-up Ryanair's call for sobriety when it said Tuesday that it wouldn't allow anyone who appeared drunk to get on an Aer Lingus plane, and that if anyone were found with an open container of alcohol, it would be taken away and tossed out, per its zero-tolerance attitude toward disruptive passengers.
"All of our crew have been advised on the controlled sale of alcohol in flight," an airline spokeswoman said in a statement. "Should a guest become disruptive in flight, they may be denied future travel on the airline."
Requests for comment to Aer Lingus and Ryanair weren't returned in for publication of this story.