A leading British airline has halved the incidence of unruly passengers on flights to Ibiza by working with police and airport staff on a “zero-tolerance” approach to misbehaviour.
Jane Goodchild of Monarch said the airline was targeting passengers on flights from Gatwick to the party island before they even reached the UK departure airport – with emails reminding them that “aeroplanes and aviation don’t mix,” and warning: “Drunk too much and your holiday is over before it’s begun”.
Ground staff are also becoming involved. Ian Vasey of Sussex Police cited one case in which an Ibiza-bound passenger at Gatwick became abusive with restaurant staff because he felt his steak was undercooked. The staff contacted the police.
“While he was being talked to, his bags were removed from the aircraft,” said Mr Vasey. “He had to hand back his duty-free, which was probably the hardest thing for him”.
A common ploy among Ibiza-bound passengers is to drink their duty-free purchases on board. Monarch’s cabin crew are trained to spot bottles in bags at a passenger’s feet and insist they are placed in a locker. In addition, said Ms Goodchild, “Any passenger who comes on with an ‘open vessel’ has it removed from them”. Passengers have been known to decant alcohol into coffee cups or Coke bottles.”