The much reported case of Chloe Haines has brought behaviour on flights into the spotlight again. 26 year old Miss Haines was on a Jet2 flight to Turkey when she became aggressive yelling “I’m going to kill you all” as she tried to open the plane door midway through the flight. The threat was so serious that 2 fighter jets were scrambled to accompany the plane back home.
Although Miss Haines claimed she blacked out after mixing medication and alcohol she was jailed for 2 years at Chelmsford Crown Court this week following the incident on board a flight from Stansted Airport on 22 June last year.
It’s an all too familiar scene in airports up and down the UK especially in the summer as predominantly young holidaymakers gather at airside pubs and start drinking from 6am in the morning, it’s almost become a tradition to post on social media that first drink of the holiday from the airport.
Sometimes the ‘party’ goes onto the plane but all of a sudden a large open area becomes a small confined space. Large boisterous groups shouting expletives to their friends across the aisle. More drink is served by the airline staff who earn commission from sales and the 2 hour flight becomes a nightmare for those wanting a quiet trip over especially if young kids are also onboard.
Ibiza is one of those hotspot destinations where nightmare flights are all too commonplace. Many of us have seen it with our own eyes and been left shaken by events that are beyond our control where young airline staff are expected to control large rowdy groups who go past the point of no return and common decency goes out the window. No pun intended.
What will it take for this behaviour to become socially unacceptable where airports and some airlines seem to put profits before safety and leave the resort destination to pick up the drunken pieces? Will it take 1 catastrophic incident to change the way we approach travelling to a place where alcohol is abundantly available the second we step off the plane?
There’s been much debate whether the 2 year sentence was overly harsh or too lenient but it puts the question right back into the public forum yet again.
Miss Haines will be out of prison in less than 12 months but those poor people who thought they were not going to make it off that plane will have to live with their nightmares for many years to come.
I don’t know Miss Haines and I’m sorry that she had a ‘troubled upbringing’ however I would have liked to have seen her handed a much stronger sentence as a clear deterrent to others. Maybe during that extra time she could reflect on her actions and find ways to teach others that an aeroplane is a mode of transport and not a mobile disco.
There’s no 2nd chances up in the sky so Miss Haines may have done us a favour by putting the debate back front and centre because the sooner the authorities get to grips with this problem the better. The clock is ticking.