Well, I have spent a good portion of my life very close to the airline industry. I have read my fair share of stories about passengers doing odd things, crazy things, but I have never been on a flight where the experience was anywhere near the stories I have read..until now.
I was on a short 90-minute flight recently on a Saturday afternoon. I was in the last row of First Class in a window seat. Toward the end of boarding a guy in his 20s or early 30s takes the aisle seat next to me. Everything seemed pretty normal.
He had a pre-departure beverage of white wine. The door closes, we taxi, then take off.
Shortly after departure, beverages are served and the guy continues drinking white wine. He is listening to his music and seemed pretty relaxed.
The crew were really good about walking through the cabin, refilling drinks, several rounds of the snack basket, a really attentive crew, that kept asking if we wanted anything else to drink. The guy next to me continues with white wine, and more white wine, and more…I lost count of how many glasses, but if I had to guess I think it was 4-5 glasses in under an hour.
About 60 minutes into the flight, the guy sitting next to me starts getting a bit more animated listening to his music. It was hip-hop. I could hear it a bit because his headphones projected the music. He starts with the “air” record scratch motion, then starts kind of saying “Yeah” after each hook. After a while he starts talking about the music to the folks across the aisle, then starts singing along to the entire song, loud enough for the entire cabin to here.
At this point, I thought the cabin crew would stop by and check on him, but instead they stopped by to top up his wine glass.
We started our approach and I thought things would wind down, but the singing continued, then about 7 minutes before landing, his phone rang (I guess he never had it on airplane mode) and started talking to his buddy for about 5 minutes. He actually laughed about taking a call while flying. It was at this point, I realized how drunk he was based on how loud he was talking to his buddy and how slurred the conversation was. I thought for sure the cabin crew would hear him talking and at least check what he was doing, but no one ever stopped by.
He hangs up and 2 minutes later we land. Now is it over? No, while taxiing to the gate, he proceeds to stand up to try to stumble to the lavatory. This time the cabin crew sees this and tells him to return to his seat. Well, he returns to his seat and then vomits into his hands and on his shirt and pants.
After parking at the gate, he gets up and proceeds to deplane, where the cabin crew just asked if he was okay and wanted to make sure he had a ride and wasn’t driving. I had to jump over his mess to get out to the aisle to deplane.