Drunken experience on 10/25 AC126

Old Oct 26, 19, 12:04 pm
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Drunken experience on 10/25 AC126

I had an interesting flight experience on last night's AC 126 YVR-YYZ. Its one of the B777 red eye flights at 10:30pm and boarding was on time and we were ready to push back. I was in one of the nice exit with plenty of leg rooms, so I made myself comfortable and started to fall alseep, anticipating the bird to take off, as it pull away from the gate and the in flight system played the safety video.

Then all of a sudden, I hear a man's voice yelling and commenting on the safety video towards the end, and generally complaining about Air Canada....He won't stop shouting and started complaining about everything, the seats, the overhead bin space, food, no drinks served, etc...Very apparent this guy was intoxicated. He was 5 rows behind me and the other side of the aisle. I was in C and he was the H side.

The 2 nearest flight attendant visibility was concerned and gather in the mid gallery, but was 'afraid' to approach the man. The man was probably 6'2 to 6'5 and over 200 pounds. While the 2 nearest FA was small females, so understandable to were afraid. They called two other male attendants from the front of the plane, and the two then went to the guy's seat and started to try to calm him done.
There was no calming down, he was uttering threats to the FA's and other passengers. The captain come on the AV and told us that they are returning to the gate to remove a passenger.
At this point, that person got even more agitated, and utter to the FA 'if you remove me from the plane, you are a dead man'. And he started throwing things around. One of his water bottle he threw hit another passenger in the head.
A few other passengers nearby that section, started to help the FA and circle the drunk and calm him down.

Took about 20 minutes for the plane to reach the gate, and 5 RCMP officers boarded the plane and removed this passenger and we were on its way.

I got to say, the FA did a excellent job of handling this unfortunate situation. I don't know why people get so drunk before the flight, that they make a fool of themselves. I enjoy a few drinks myself, but I know the limit as when to stop. Its shame he put himself and others' safety in jeapody, but at least he did it quick and before the plane took off, so there was an opportunity to remove him.
Another note, I wonder if there weren't any 'bigger' FA to handle this situation, how would the 2 'smaller' FA manage this situation, and would the outcome be any different? What if this was a smaller regional flight, on a CRJ and there was only 1 'smaller' FA on board, and have to handle a rowdy 6'5 passenger? I mean, literally, the look on this one FA's face, she was scared for her life, didn't give me comfort that she could handle this situation on her own.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 12:08 pm
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Sounds like an unfortunate incident with an irresponsible man, but basically perfectly executed by the crew.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 12:23 pm
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The good news is that guy likely won't be allowed to step on an Air Canada plane again.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by WaytoomuchEurope View Post
Sounds like an unfortunate incident with an irresponsible man, but basically perfectly executed by the crew.
Yes, the situation was handled perfectly from the crew. Everyone involved, from the FA's to the Captain to the RCMP officer, they did their part in keeping things from escalating further. Which could easily happen when dealing with intoxicated muscle heads.

I already wrote a quick email to my AC concierge to help forward the commendation to this crew to AC management. As this case can be used for their training in future of how to handle situations like this.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 3:17 pm
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Perhaps the pilot should have just not announced that the passenger was being removed and quietly returned to the gate. If he was that drunk he may or may not have noticed this until the police came to arrest him?
But it sounds like the crew did a commendable job.
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Old Oct 26, 19, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
Perhaps the pilot should have just not announced that the passenger was being removed and quietly returned to the gate. If he was that drunk he may or may not have noticed this until the police came to arrest him?
But it sounds like the crew did a commendable job.
Yep, for sure...just return to the gate, then announce later why?
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Old Oct 26, 19, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Commie View Post
He won't stop shouting and started complaining about everything, the seats, the overhead bin space, food, no drinks served, etc...Very apparent this guy was intoxicated.

To be fair, I admit I did have a few too many in the lounge prior to boarding, but was I REALLY that wrong with what I said???
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Old Oct 26, 19, 4:53 pm
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Tomorrow in FT, CBC report: air canada thew me off a flight for no reason leaving me stranded and afraid
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Old Oct 27, 19, 10:22 am
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Not an AC story, but I have a friend who was an oil & gas worker who often visited remote Russian oilfields. One time, shortly after takeoff a passenger was incredibly drunk and rowdy, including cursing my friend loudly and repeatedly for being an American. Luckily there was a ex-Russian special forces soldier on board, who wrestled the passenger to the ground, subdued him, and used the short seatbelts used during the safety demonstration to hogtie (!) the passenger on the floor. The plane continued flying 2-3 hours to Moscow, the final destination, where the passenger was apprehended by local police.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by drbobguy View Post
Not an AC story, but I have a friend who was an oil & gas worker who often visited remote Russian oilfields. One time, shortly after takeoff a passenger was incredibly drunk and rowdy, including cursing my friend loudly and repeatedly for being an American. Luckily there was a ex-Russian special forces soldier on board, who wrestled the passenger to the ground, subdued him, and used the short seatbelts used during the safety demonstration to hogtie (!) the passenger on the floor. The plane continued flying 2-3 hours to Moscow, the final destination, where the passenger was apprehended by local police.
Yes, the Russian approach to customer service.

In the US where they have air marshals do they provide the air marshals with hogtie training?

On Canadian flights at one time there was only route that required air marshals, not certain if that is still the case. If so giving the RCMP offices training in hogtie-ing would be good.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 10:38 am
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If it gets down to it, one, two, or even a dozen tiny FAs are not going to be able to physically restrain a belligerent 250# gorilla if they can't be talked down. For that matter, neither could a couple of male FAs, either. At some point other PAX would have to assist.

Note the RCMP came with 5 officers; overwhelming force is the way to go.

All things considered, its better to be afraid for you life on the ground in Vancouver than somewhere over Thunder Bay. Which is why I tend to defer to the crew side of stories for PAX getting kicked off. You don't have the luxury of 5 RCMP officers over Thunder Bay. Or the middle of the ocean.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 10:47 am
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Wish AC ban this person for life, and launch a civil case to go after this person for damage. Hope CBC publishes it too. The goal here is to deter others from doing the same.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:14 pm
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What they'd likely do in the event that there wasn't a "bigger" FA...they'd probably try and be really polite and ask him to calm down, and if he didn't, they walk away. Immediately go to the captain and either bring the captain to the passenger, or immediately turn back to the gate. Then it's either a front page story of "man with loud voice thrown off plane" or a much more reasonable non-story. There's no need for tolerance in these situations. If the FA feels anyone is a danger to them, the safety of the aircraft or other passengers, it's an easy decision. Not only that, but it's an easier decision on the ground too. Getting in the air only escalates the issues.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:48 pm
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Big, small, near, far.
The crew are all well-trained for this type of stuff. All is good.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 12:37 am
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Unless the crew makes up a story resulting in a passenger being banned from flying.
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