Skip to content

Ryanair Is the Drunkest European Airline, Survey Says

Dec. 29, 2018
3 min read
Ryanair Is the Drunkest European Airline, Survey Says
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A new survey conducted by an independent UK-based consumer review site found that Ryanair had the most complaints caused by drunken passengers. The survey, conducted by Which? Travel, asked 7,900 readers to share their experiences from recent flights on a selection of top airlines in the United Kingdom. The survey specifically asked readers to report how many times, if at all, they had experienced an obnoxious and intoxicated passenger disrupt passengers on a flight. The results of the survey found that passengers aboard Ryanair experienced the most alcohol-related complaints of any airline.

The Which? Travel survey found that 17% of the 7,900 surveyed reported experiencing, "shouting, drunkenness, obnoxiousness, or verbal abuse" on a Ryanair flight in the past year. This likely comes as no surprise to frequent flyers of the Dublin-based budget carrier or those familiar with the airline. Earlier this year, a Ryanair flight diverted due to a verbally abusive drunk passenger. A simple Google search using the keywords, "Drunk+Ryanair+Passenger" yields roughly 211,000 results, with incidents as recent as this past October.

Beer and nuts.. life is good
Beer and nuts on a United Airlines flight

Thomas Cook, a low-cost vacation airline based in the UK, came in second place with 15% of passengers reporting an incident in the past year. Third place goes to TUI fly, a German-based leisure carrier, with 14% of flyers reporting a drunken incident in the past 12 months. The full list is as follows:

  1. Ryanair (Ultra-Low-Cost) 17% of Passengers
  2. Thomas Cook (Leisure) 15% of Passengers
  3. TUI fly (Leisure) 14% of Passengers
  4. EasyJet (Ultra-Low-Cost) 13% of Passengers
  5. Jet2 (Low-Cost) 11% of Passengers
  6. Emirates (Full-Service) 8% of Passengers
  7. Virgin Atlantic (Full-Service) 8% of Passengers
  8. British Airways (Full-Service) 7% of Passengers
  9. FlyBe (Regional) 5% of Passengers
  10. Norwegian Air (Ultra-Low-Cost) 5% of Passengers

The survey comes amid new concerns regarding in-flight intoxication. The Independent notes that the "majority of air rage incidents are alcohol-fuelled," which is often the case in Europe as well as in the United States. Concerns over alcohol-fueled incidents are one of the primary reasons passengers are not allowed to consume their own alcohol onboard commercial flights.

While the Which? survey covered major airlines serving the United Kingdom, there has not yet been a comprehensive survey conducted in the United States to determine which domestic airlines see the most alcohol-related incidents in-flight.

H/T: The Independent

Sign up for our daily newsletter
Featured image by Getty Images

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers