By Chris King • 23 May 2022 • 0:44
Photo of a Ryanair/Lauda Europe aircraft.
Credit: Wikipedia - Anna Zvereva - Lauda Europe, 9H-LMP, Airbus A320-214 - CC BY-SA 2.0
A 26-year-old steward on a Ryanair flight last Wednesday, May 18, is believed to have been breathalysed by the captain after allegedly knocking back booze during the flight. Sam Thompson failed the breath test and has subsequently been sacked by the budget airline.
The incident occurred during a flight to London Stansted airport in Essex, from the Polish airport of Rzeszow. Thompson, from Cheshunt, Herts, was duly arrested when the aircraft landed after the captain is thought to have alerted the police. He is reportedly due to appear on June 8 at Chelmsford magistrates’ court.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, a passenger told them: “I don’t know what he was thinking. I asked for a drink and when he came over he said to me, ‘Shush, don’t tell anyone but I will have one, too'”.
He continued: “Then he started necking a shot of whiskey. He also had a 187ml bottle of rose. He sounded drunk and looked like he had been drinking for longer than just on the flight. I asked to speak to the captain and he was furious”.
Video footage of the incident was handed to the police at Stansted. It apparently shows the steward in his uniform, appearing to drink a small bottle of rose wine discreetly, while sitting near the exit. Another clip is said to show Thompson seemingly drinking a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels.
After downing the shot he appears to be trying to conceal his action from the rest of the crew and saying: “don’t make it obvious”, as he gags on the whisky. It is strictly against Ryanair regulations for any crew to consume alcohol up to eight hours before a flight, or during it.
Ryanair has a code of ethics which states that crew members can be subject to disciplinary action if found to be ‘impaired by drugs or alcohol while performing company business’. Ryanair said the incident took place on a flight operated by Lauda Europe, their sister company.
Thompson has been charged with ‘performing an aviation function, namely being a member of cabin crew of an aircraft during flight, when their ability to do so was impaired because of drink’, according to an Essex Police spokesperson.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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