The Air Rage Debate

Chloe Haines was jailed for 2 years

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.

UD Ibiza v FC Barcelona: The Scene is Set

Today is not an ordinary day. Today is 22 January 2020, a date that will forever be marked in red in the history of sport in Ibiza.

Today, for the first time ever, the world famous FC Barcelona pay a visit to the White Isle. They have never played here before, not even in a friendly match yet today they will step out to the artificial grass of Can Misses Stadium to face UD Ibiza in the last 32 of the Spains biggest cup competition, the Copa del Rey, the Cup of Kings. Today, without a doubt, is a very special day.

6,500 spectators will be there in the stadium adorned for the occasion with greater lighting and extra stands to accommodate a couple of thousand more lucky fans who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to be there. The vast majority of those people queued for hours to get a ticket, some for almost 24 hours, incredible but true.

Also incredible was that in just four hours all the general public tickets were sold out with many fans unable to acquire a ticket despite having been part of the queue that stretched back for more than 300 metres

Extra stands have been erected

The wait and expense was surely worth it as they will see the most important game in the history of Ibiza. Unfortunately Leo Messi won’t be there having been rested but nearly all of the other football heavyweights will be present as only Busquets and Piqué are left at home.

New Barça coach Quique Setien, who only arrived at the club last week, replacing the sacked Ernesto Valverde, obviously doesn’t want any surprises so he has chosen to bring a very strong side to try to avoid a catastrophe.

Barça Squad

The starting XI for Barça will include up to 7 of the usual first team with either Lenglet or Umtiti at the back, probably the former, who was rested in the last game against Granada, although they could both play given the other choice is the inexperienced Chumi.

The midfield of Barça would strike fear into any team with Rakitic, Vidal, De Jong, Arthur, the emerging Riqui Puig and Sergi Roberto available for selection.

In attack the 100 million man Antoine Griezmann looks like he will start in the absence of Messi and injures to Luis Suárez and Dembelé. Carles Pérez and Ansu Fati, the youngest scorer in history in the Champions League may also get the nod while Abel Ruiz will wait for his opportunity from the bench.

It remains to be seen if Setién starts with the usual 4-3-3 or if he tests his 3-5-2 with two lanes in the midfield.

UD Ibiza coach (and ex Barça player) Pablo Alfaro is expected to start with his strongest line up on the big night, maybe with some rotation, in a match that will gather headlines around the world.

Injury to Morillas diminishes the left wing options and with Rubén González also doubtful it could force the coach to select Grima and Kike López out wide.

The experience of Javi Lara, who began as a substitute in the last match versus Rayo Majadahonda, will be the pillar on which UD will rely. Javi Pérez should also start in midfield where the big question is whether Toni Arranz or Miguel Núñez will get the other spot.

Top scorer Rodado will start up top with the option of Cirio and Caballé while Mendoza and Raí will probably await their opportunity to provide impact from the bench.

UD Ibiza will go in search of not only dreamland but also a 10th straight game without loss in the League and Cup.

A football party is about to be served and everyone on the island and many around the world are looking forward to kick off with nervous excitement.

Football really is the Beautiful Game!


22 January 2020
UD Ibiza v FC Barcelona
Copa del Rey – Last 32
K.O 19.00 at Can Misses Stadium
Live on DAZN

Adapted from article by Tomi Sanchez in Diario de Ibiza 22/1/2020

Balearics Must Tackle Other Issues as well as Anti-Social Drinking

The Balearic Government’s new laws designed to crack down on alcohol excess have made front page news around the globe and started off many debates. 

Balearic politicians have decided to target bar crawls, happy hours, ‘balconing’ and party boats in 3 specific geographical areas, namely Magaluf and Arenal in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza.

It’s no secret that these areas have a reputation for cheap alcohol coupled with a clientele of mainly young British tourists on a limited holiday budget. 

While some will see this as negative press others will see it as an overdue crackdown and many resorts around the world will be watching closely to see whether these new laws could be useful in their own tourist hot spots. 

The frustrating thing from a local perspective is that while the selling of cheap alcohol is undoubtedly an issue there are other problems in these areas such as pickpockets, prostitutes and illegal street selling that seem to be continually overlooked.

Ironically when questioned local politicians say that they are inhibited by existing laws. Double standards? When you live and work in these areas and your teenage kids roam the same summer streets as tourists then you want zero tolerance on the most important issues and excessive alcohol sales isn’t top of the list.

Here in San Antonio bar crawls haven’t been around for years but unscrupulous bar owners offer ridiculously cheap drinks deals to passing youngsters that can only result in one outcome so any new laws against this are welcome in my opinion.

Party boats aren’t a massive issue as most are well controlled after previous unsavoury incidents required them to get their house in order whilst anything that deters youngsters from jumping from one balcony to another can only be a good thing. 

But what will it really mean after the furore has died down? The reality is that laws are only effective if they are implemented with vigour, fairness and stealth and this is where we have previously come unstuck in the Balearics and it’s worth noting that San Antonio already has a shortage of local police officers. 

Ultimately it is local business owners who need to self police to ensure that not only do they protect the reputation of the resort but also the welfare of youngsters, many who are on their first ever holiday abroad.

Getting the balance right is the biggest challenge and anything that focuses on protecting young tourists whilst also trying to change the perception of much maligned resorts should be applauded however the jury is still out as to whether this is a serious initiative or just political rhetoric that will soon be forgotten about.

Written exclusively for the TTG – Read article here

Ibiza’s Biggest Ever Football Match

On Tuesday morning on my regular slot with Radio 1 Mallorca I said to presenter Richie Prior that it would it be amazing if UD Ibiza drew a big team in the last 32 of the Copa Del Rey…..well they don’t come any bigger than FC Barcelona – officially the biggest club in the world (in revenues).

‘Big’ is an overused word but this is the biggest game in the history of football on the island of Ibiza. Historians may argue differently and there have been some big matches in the past, all of which are etched in local folklore, but when you consider the global reach of modern day football coupled with the irresistible allure of FC Barcelona (even if they field a team of youngsters), this game is as big as it gets for the White Isle.

Full credit must go to UD Ibiza who play in the 3rd tier of Spanish football and especially their ultra ambitious president Amadeo Salvo who has pumped in plenty of his own money with a clear strategy to bring big time football to the island whilst simultaneously utilising the brand of Ibiza.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand the possibilities when combining the world’s most popular sport with the world’s most famous island and Sr Salvo’s previous experience as President of CF Valencia has taught him well. Everything about UD Ibiza from their social media to match day organisation tells you that El Presidente isn’t going to stop until he reaches the highest level possible.

UD Ibiza have been steadily climbing the table and have a realistic chance of gaining promotion to the Spanish 2nd division which is the gateway to La Liga and weekly games against the big boys not to mention the money that that brings in. But for now the focus will be on the Catalan giants coming to town.

The downside to a fixture of this magnitude is that the Can Misses stadium only holds around 5000 spectators although they are trying to increase the capacity to 7000 by erecting extra stands on the night. Tickets go on sale from tomorrow but on a football mad island with around 200,000 inhabitants it’s not a good equation for genuine football fans looking for tickets.

Everyone will want to be there on the night that the superstars of Barcelona came to Ibiza to play football (rather than relaxing on super yachts or partying at Ushuaïa) but it will be impossible to fit everyone in however the upside is that the spotlight will be on Ibiza on what will be an unforgettable night regardless of the score.

Scalps don’t come any bigger than Barça and on a relatively small, artificial pitch with a fervent home following you never know what might happen. Of course Barcelona will win comfortably…..won’t they?

Why Brexit Shouldn’t be Feared by British ExPats Living in Spain

The UK general election is over, the Conservative Party won in a seismic landslide that saw Labour Party heartlands turn from deep red to light blue.

Generations of loyal Labour Party voters decided to go against the grain and the will of their forefathers and vote for the Conservatives for the very first time. Although the Corbyn factor played a massive part, as the TV crews trawled the streets of these towns to pick the bones out of the result there was only one other word on everyone’s lips. BREXIT.

Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Blyth Valley, Workington, Burnley, Don Valley, Sedgefield, Stoke on Trent. Unthinkable that these staunch Labour constituencies now have a Tory MP, some for the very first time. No coincidence that all these communities voted to leave the EU

As a proud Brit but a Spanish resident it’s been interesting looking on from across the sea. Like many I’m stuck in a political vacuum: I wasn’t allowed to vote in the EU referendum even though the decision affected me more than many others. I’m not allowed to vote in a UK general election because I’ve lived abroad for more than 15 years and I’m not able to vote in a Spanish general election because I’m not a Spanish citizen. (Thankfully I am allowed to vote for my local mayor in San Antonio, a vote which I value more than anything.)

So what does this UK election result mean to me and many other British ex-pats living in Spain concerned about what’s around the corner. Well there’s some good and some bad news.

The ‘bad’ news is that Brexit is going to happen now, it’s an unstoppable train after these election results which, for many, served as a 2nd referendum. It’s ‘bad’ because things will change. Our passports will no longer give us the (expensive) luxury of being a member of the EU. This will remove certain rights that we have taken for granted for nearly 30 years. European law allowed us to move freely over European borders living and working anywhere we wanted to. This is going to stop.

The ‘good’ news is that the uncertainty has been taken away. There will be no ‘People’s Vote’, there is no grey area. The remainers are licking their wounds as they know that the game is over. Brexit is happening and all energies can now be focussed on securing the best deal possible for the UK.

Speaking specifically as a British person living in Spain we need to be cautious but not overly worried. The ties between the 2 countries are very strong and in my dealings with UK diplomats they have always said that there is a lot of goodwill to have reciprocal agreements in place that are good for both countries and their citizens.

More importantly is the fact that Brits love Spain, I mean really love Spain. They didn’t vote to leave the EU because they didn’t like Spain, they voted to leave because Brussels (in their view) became a bloated meddling superstate that interfered in all aspects of life. That was OK for other relatively new countries who welcomed European assistance but the British psyche is very peculiar and Brexit was sold (rightly or wrongly) as taking back control which appealed to a mainly middle aged UK.

18 million Brits go on holiday to Spain every year, our Spanish love affair knows no bounds. Paella, sangria and sunshine is a simple format but Brits are simple people. Relaxing in the sunshine is not something we are overly afforded the privilege of in the UK so a 2 hour flight to Spain and an inexpensive weekend eating great food amongst friendly people in the sunshine is something we love to indulge in and long may it continue.

Boris Johnson now has a clear mandate to push Brexit through and over the coming weeks it will become clear what this really means for thousands of British expats living in Spain. There will be some political manoeuvring but it’s not a time to panic, there is too much at stake for both countries not to come up with a deal that is good for the thousands of Brits living in Spain and also the rising number of Spanish living in the UK.

Above all the British love affair with Spain is set to carry on for many more years to come.

Rule Britannia, Viva España

New Xmas Market Lights Up San Antonio

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in San Antonio as the new Xmas Market has received widespread acclaim.

The new initiative includes a stage for live entertainment, a Xmas market serving drinks and food, a beautiful Santa’s Grotto where you can meet the big man personally, a stunning Xmas tree and giant Xmas decorations all designed to engage the local population and bring people to the town.

Mayor Marcos Serra assisted by councillor Miguel Tur and pupils from local schools got the party started on Thursday when the Xmas lights were officially switched on and the Mayor explained to the large crowd that the idea was to encourage residents to stay local and not go elsewhere over the festive period.

The atmosphere on Thursday evening was electric as all ages gathered to watch the opening ceremony and on Friday morning the plaudits started with local hotelier and businessman Juanjo Planells saying that “these are the initiatives that unite a town” declaring that “today more than ever I feel proud of San Antonio”.

Meanwhile Paquito Fernandez, previously a prominent member of the local PI party stated via social media “We must recognise that the new government team are giving us a great Christmas rarely seen that we all appreciate. The excuse that the town is dead at Christmas is no longer worth it”

The party carried on yesterday with live music in the sunshine as a steady flow of people filled the square throughout the day and into the night.

After years of austerity where balancing the books was put before engaging the public San Antonio is now the talk of the Island and large crowds are expected over the Xmas holiday. Viva San Antonio!!!

The Xmas market is open everyday until 6 Jan (except for Monday and Tuesday) – full rundown here San Antonio Xmas Programme

Mayor Serra switches on the lights


New decade, new rules, new hopes, new dreams! In these changing times Ibiza is constantly evolving and right at the forefront is San Antonio. Here’s 9 reasons why San An is going to be massive in 2020.

1. New Hotels – WOW! San An was always under served when it came to good hotels but not any more as the town and bay now have more quality places to lay your head than ever before. From the fantastic Wiki-Woo with its eclectic trippy design to Cubanito via Axel Beach and the Beach Star, the rock n roll heritage of Pikes, Ocean Beach to Mambo’s Sa Clau, Hostal La Torre and Las Mimosas and all the way back to Casa Cook via Blau Park, Sol Bahia and the reformed Hotel Abrat. Take your pick!

2. Entrepreneurs – Ibiza is forever changing and San An is blessed with charismatic forward thinkers always looking for new ways to trade, bringing new ideas to the town. This is why Ibiza is the envy of European tourism with San An right at the heart of it. No wonder the guys from Es Vive have bought a new hotel right in the heart of San Antonio, they see the potential where others don’t.

3. O Beach Lagoon – Those crafty O(cean) Beach Boys have taken over the Surf House next door and have added it to their already impressive list of businesses. They are promising to make it very different while continuing to be family friendly so we can expect to be wow-ed with amazing food and drink and their trademark tip-top service, all whilst overlooking the sea.

4. Sunset Strip – The jewel in the crown that drags 1000’s to San Antonio and the West Coast every evening . The best sunset in the world? Probably but with all those well oiled sunset bars offering great service plus the genuinely famous names that Mambo have playing most nights adds up to one of THE Ibiza experiences. Sunset on the sunset strip continues to be like no other.

5. New Mayor – Marcos Serra has gone from IT office worker to San An Mayor in 5 short years but he has already shown his intent by getting tough with the towns bars that aren’t playing by the rules while also trying to extend the opening hours a little. His energy levels are impressive and he has a real will to change the town, a much needed breath of fresh air who’s door is always open.

6. Ibiza Rocks Hotel – Rocks Hotel has gone from edgy evening venue to day time pool party heaven showcasing new acts and old school showstoppers on a daily basis. The swing to daytime has seen them redefine their product with a newly designed outdoor space and arguably the best bar on the whole island, the immersive hotel experience they give is like no other. Pure hedonism.

7. VIP Heaven: There’s a popular misconception with ‘VIP’ that it’s full of snobby millionaires looking down on the poor people. That may be the case at other venues but not in San Antonio where the VIP experience is all about large groups of friends having their own space to enjoy a special experience. When it comes to VIP, San Antonio does it better than most.

8. West End: Now before you start spitting out your morning coffee hear me out. The Mayor has already shown his passion for this part of town and is determined to make it better. The West End offers a fun, inexpensive night out that’s a million miles away from ultra-expensive super clubs. Stay away from the stupid drinks offers and have a walk around and experience all that it has to offer including the boutiques 2 streets back and the vast array of restaurants near the fountains. It’s an eye-opener in more ways than one.

9. Fine Food: The recent announcement that Ibiza’s first ever Michelin star has been awarded to Es Tragon restaurant in San Antonio sent shockwaves through the Ibiza culinary world. This restaurant is about to go stratospheric but when it comes to all types of food San An and the bay are very well served on all fronts, if you are a foodie then you won’t be disappointed (food blog on it’s way soon).

Note: This is my BLOG NO. 300 – thanks to everyone for taking the time to read and send feedback (good and bad).