Following a number of flights disrupted due to alcohol-related incidents, Ryanair is calling for stricter regulations on alcohol sales at airports in Ireland.
The most recent instance happened on a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Ibiza on June 16, which had to be diverted to Paris after three passengers became disruptive. They were removed from the flight and detained by French police, a spokesperson for the airline told Fox News.
“We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behavior at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority,” the spokesperson said.
In April, a passenger pleaded guilty to assaulting Ryanair crew members and grabbing a flight attendant’s butt while drunk aboard a flight from Latvia to England.
Robertas Bajalis, who reportedly drank half a bottle of vodka and four ciders before boarding, began causing a disturbance about an hour into the flight from Riga to Manchester, first by drinking from a bottle of rum he brought on board.
Bajalis was given a two-year suspended sentence of eight months in prison for two counts of sexual assault and one count of common assault.
“This is exactly why we are calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol [before 10 a.m.] at airports,” the Ryanair spokesperson said.
The airline is calling for a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol sales before 10 a.m.
“It’s incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights," the spokesperson said.
But airport officials don’t agree with Ryanair’s proposal.
A Dublin Airport spokesperson told RTÉ that drink restrictions are "highly draconian" and would "affect all passengers because of the behavior of a very, very small minority of airline travelers."
While the airport spokesperson admitted that the behavior of the unruly Ryanair passengers was “clearly unacceptable,” they will remind license holders in airport bars and restaurants of their responsibility.
The spokesperson also noted that the airport has worked with airlines, including Ryanair, the police and the Irish Aviation Authority on an education campaign to stress that such disruptive drunken behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.