Sometimes I wonder about the sanity of some broadsheet journalists. I guess it's probably because they're instructed to churn out a load of clickbait intended to get folk like me going. But this one is utterly ridiculous. The background is that a bunch of drunk idiots caused a plane - presumably filled with a load of other travellers - to land so they could be dumped off and the aircraft continue its journey in peace. Apparently we should be sympathetic:
In these scenarios it’s all too easy for us to blame these men (because that’s what they are) for being ill-disciplined, inconsiderate oiks. “Fine them!” we all cry, obstinately demanding that they are the lowest of the low and should be banned from flying for life.
Instead of that, let’s track their journey through the airport.
They arrive, let’s say at 7am ahead of their 9am flight. Having passed through customs they’re met with wall-to-wall booze, cigarettes and aftershave – all the hallmarks of a true lad.
In the duty-free hall is a bar, offering free samples of rums, vodka, whisky… the list goes on. They could have headed towards the lounge having already had a fair few shots. But oh, look! The airport bar is open. No other bar in the land is allowed to open at this time, but at the airport for some reason that’s OK.
You see these men are so infantilised by modern society that it's impossible for them to pass an open bar without having a drink. This is despite the ample evidence to the contrary - millions of people flying all over the world without getting drunk and causing trouble on planes.
Now it's true that bars at airports are open more-or-less all the time but most of us manage to make it to the plane without getting lashed. And quite a few people - for reasons I am unable to fathom - seem to have an "I'm going on holiday" switch in their heads that makes them quite happy to drink pints of lager or a large glass of wine at 7am. But these people mostly manage not to get drunk, loud or violent as a result. Let's say that there were 150 or so passengers on that disrupted flight - people who didn't pay good money to experience drunk, naked idiots running about the plane. Those people were inconvenienced - they'd people waiting for them on arrival, connections to resorts perhaps even trains to catch. If there's some sympathy it should be directed to those people not the prats who spoiled their journey.
All but a few passengers behave properly - they might drink but they don't get so drunk they think stripping off on a scheduled flight a good idea. What this Chris Hemmings chap (in between reliving his frankly pathetic undergraduate drinking escapades) misses is that these idiots had a choice - they could have chosen to have a drink in the airport, get on the plane, fly to Bratislava and then go party. To suggest that the fault lies with airport bars, cheap flights and duty free is quite wrong. It's the Heinz Kiosk approach - "we are all guilty" - rather than the truth, which is that nobody else at all is responsible for the behaviour of these drunks.