Learn the alcohol rules on plane and when to hit snooze on the booze while up in the air. (Photo: iStock)
How much drink is too much drink when it comes to pre- and during your flight?
These question have been raised after a group of rowdy drunken passengers caused a Ryanair flight to divert its route. The airline is now calling for stricter policies regarding alcohol sales at airports.
Ryanair's call for more airtight booze rules, first reported by RTE, descended upon the world following a cloudy situation on Saturday morning, 16 June.
According to RTE, during a flight from Dublin to Ibiza, Spain, the aircraft was forced to divert to Paris's Beauvais airport after three intoxicated passengers became "disruptive" on board the airline said in a written statement.
The flight continued to Ibiza after removing the three unruly passengers who were also detained by French police.
This is not the first incident this has happened on the airline. In fact, in 2015, on a flight to Ibiza as well - albeit from Glasgow.
READ: 'Drunk booze-smuggler'causes flight diversion! But how much alcohol can you actually take on board?
A group of passengers took it upon themselves to have a pre-arrival party in the air - causing quite the disruption. Watch the spectacle below:
While this 2015 Ryanair flight debacle might not have warranted a diversion, this disruption on an EasyJet flight headed to the UK from Spain did.
According to the DailyMail, a woman on this flight, described as "small and blonde", was escorted off easyJet flight EZY7124.
The flight was diverted by about 1 280 kilometres to Bordeaux, France, as consequence after the flight crew claimed she was being disruptive and suspected of bringing her own bottle of alcohol on the flight.
Passengers under the influence are common place on many planes.
SEE: Ryanair bans booze on flight notorious for partying passengers
Heck, this pilot had even congratulated his flight for chugging down all of the alcohol on board a three hour flight.
So, what's a middle ground? Check out our tips and fun facts below to find yours:
All you need to know about transporting alcohol on a plane:
Am I allowed to bring alcohol on board?
This might vary from airline to airline, but according to custom control the transporting of alcohol is regulated, once it is over a certain alcohol percentage. You can keep this in either your cabin baggage or checked-in baggage but it must be sealed and in its original packaging.
It must also be stowed correctly, taking into consideration breakage. Also, you should really know by now that Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAG) are restricted on international flights.
You can still bring LAG items in your hand luggage, but the bottles can’t exceed 100ml and should be packed in a plastic re-sealable bag. Not sure what LAG items are? Simple rule of thumb is: if you can pour it, pump it, squeeze it, spread it, smear it, spray it or spill it, it’s considered a LAG.
How much alcohol can I bring?
When travelling to South Africa SARS advises the following,
"No more than 250g of cigarette or pipe tobacco per person. No more than 50ml perfume and 250ml eau de toilette per person. No more than 2 litres of wine per person. No more than 1 litre in total of other alcoholic beverages per person".
READ MORE: SARS requirements for declaring valuable goods travellers need to know about
Travelling to the EU:
As a private individual, there are no limits on what you can buy and take with you when travelling between EU countries as long as the products purchased are for your own use and not for resale. Taxes (VAT and excise) are included in the price of the product in the country where you bought it, so no further payments are due in any other EU country.
If you enter the EU from a non-EU country, you can bring goods free of VAT and excise duties with you within the limits set out below and if they are not for resale. The same rules apply if you come from the Canary Islands, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar or other territories where EU rules on VAT and excise do not apply.
You can bring in:
- 4 litres of still wine and
- 16 litres of beer
You can also bring:
- a total of 1 litre of spirits over 22 % vol. or 1 litre of undenatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol) of 80% vol. (or over) or 2 litres of fortified or sparkling wine
- Each of these amounts represents 100% of the total of this last allowance which you can split. For example, you can bring a half a litre of spirits and 1 litre of fortified wine - both represent half of this allowance.
Travelling to the UK:
You are allowed to bring the following into the UK from outside the EU without paying duty and/or tax: 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs over 22% volume. Or. 2 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry), sparkling wine or any other alcoholic drink that is less than 22% volume.
How much you can bring depends on the type of drink.
You can bring in:
- beer - 16 litres
- wine (not sparkling) - 4 litres
- You can also bring in either:
- spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol - 1 litre
- fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol - 2 litres
- You can split this last allowance, eg you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance).
- You may have to pay Excise Duty on alcohol you declare.
What if I want to fly dry?
Those who are looking for a dry and alcohol-free flight needn't fret. The following airlines are strictly alcohol-free:
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Pakistan International Airlines
- Kuwait Airways
- Royal Brunei Airlines
- Iran Air
- Gulf Air
- Bahrain Air
How to avoid getting too wasted before or during a flight:
Whether you drink to beat off flight jitters, to get some sleep or merely to endure long-haul flights with screeching toddlers strapped to your limbs, here's how you can get the needed buzz without completely going amok:
Dynamite comes in small packages - don't underestimate the small sizes of the liquor bottles:
Those cute airline bottles are just so little and, before you go ahead downing several, like sand in the hourglass or snowflakes on the ground, they add up eventually. According to Travel Oops, the size of airline liquor bottles is the equivalent to 50 ml rather than the 30 ml of a standard shot.
Try to go light on the booze pre-flight:
This will make for a brutal flight - and an even more brutal hangover - especially if you plan to booze it up in the air as well. Avoid a pending, deadly hangover and potential in-flight humiliation and take it light. Remember a little goes a long (haul) way.
Mixing your drinks ain't as wise as you think:
Avoid the temptation to mix your drinks when the wine cart rears its head once again with the dinner service (shortly after the earlier wine run). Mixing your drinks can, not only, make you lose your wits but brew a potentially worse hangover than you're bargaining for. And, of course, you tend to drink more when feeling like a mixologist or Pablo Escobar.
The darker the drink the drunker you sink:
During the fermentation process of alcohol, toxins and impurities called congeners result as byproducts. Congeners, which can also be added into booze, affect taste, smell and the colour of the juice. Darker drinks tend to have more congeners. These include your: whiskey, dark rum, red wine and bourbon, for example. These drinks may also intensify hangovers because congeners contribute to inflammation - aka leading to a monstrous headache.
Don't juice it up for the entire flight or late in the flight:
When you arrive at a strange, exiciting, new and unfamiliar destination - the last thing you need is to be more disorientated, especially when you need to locate lodging and make the trek using local public transportation. Navigating a city while being under the influence is not the best of ideas.
Always remember the sweet, sweet liquid gold - H2O:
Staying hydrated, with water, is key to treading the line between a light buzz and a black out or pending nasty hangover.