If you ever need an example of how too much booze in the air can backfire, then check out this story involving Clare Irby, one of the members of the Guinness brewing dynasty.
Ms. Irby was flying Kingfisher Air from Bangalore back to London when her overindulgence in airline booze led her to start stripping, show her g-string to fellow passengers, and allow a seat mate to grab her breasts.
Oh, and she let this all happen while her 2 year old son was crying in the seat next to her. Reports from the flight crew also claim she was swearing, slept while her son jumped up and down on his seat and put her hand on a flight attendants face while yelling at her. She was also overheard saying “all the opium had made her really relaxed”.
And to make the story even juicier, the passenger who was grabbing her breasts was traveling with his girlfriend. It’s like something that usually starts with “Dear Penthouse”.
Of course, all stories have two sides, and Ms. Irby claims this is all one big misunderstanding and that she only had a couple of glasses of wine, making her slightly tipsy. She also denies taking any drugs, or allowing anyone to grab her breasts. She does admit to talking loudly to her son, but only because he apparently doesn’t respond to whispers.
A London court will now decide whether to go ahead and press charges. Usually in cases like this, the reports from the flight crew are taken quite seriously, but someone with her background and cash may be able to get off with not much more than a warning.
More stories of booze gone bad in the skies
It always starts with a drunken model. Always. Cover girl Sarah Hannon was beyond furious when awaking to find her boyfriend, Daniel Melia, engaged in a “sex act” with the woman next to him. It sounds like he had a middle seat and liked it!
Hannon fell asleep on a nine-hour flight from Bangalore to London, as anyone would hope to do on such a long flight. Oh, and having bent elbows with boyfriend certainly helped. Melia’s libido, however, resisted the powers of both fatigue and alcohol, and next seat neighbor, Clare Irby, was happy to help him out.
The alleged performance occurred under a blanket, and Melia and Irby thought nobody was the wiser … until a flight attendant stopped them, impeding pleasure and likely ending a show for many passengers bored with the in-flight movie. This is when Hannon woke up and Hannon started screaming.
The model was furious and had to be calmed by the flight crew. When Kingfisher Airlines Flight IT001 touched down at Heathrow, police boarded the plane and arrested all three. Melia and Irby were pinched for alleged indecency, while Hannon was nabbed for being drunk on an aircraft. All three made bail.
The local cops had little to say but got it right: “They certainly put the bang into Bangalore.”
Let me open by saying that the details of the incident I’m about to write about are sketchy at best.
The report comes from an Indian news site, and appears to be translated quite poorly, it’s still interesting enough to write about, but I highly recommend reading the source article for a real chuckle.
Apparently, the captain of Kingfisher flight IT335 was preparing for his Mumbai to Delhi flight, but failed to check his fuel loads. Of course, when you do this in your car, you get a “ping” and an orange light comes on, but on a fully loaded jet, things are a little more complicated.
To make matters worse, the jet encountered poor visibility upon its approach to Indira Ghandi Airport and the captain was not certified for those conditions.
Eventually, the plane managed to reach the airport, presumably running on fumes with a pilot not trained or certified for the weather conditions.
The story then recommends people to check with the captain that enough fuel was loaded. I’m sure that will go quite well, and I certainly plan to ask the flight attendant on my next flight to confirm with the captain that he loaded enough gas.
My next report will probably be about how the federal air marshal Tasered me and dragged me off the plane for demanding to check the fuel gauge in the cockpit.
Other “troublemakers of the sky”:
Enough namby pambying about how Heathrow’s T5 has fallen short of all expectations and fostered disappointment worldwide. In the grand scheme of things, Britain, you’ve got things pretty nice. London Heathrow is one of the heaviest trafficked airports in the world — T5, the largest indoor structure, and once they get it working correctly the security and logistics should be among the most efficient in the world.
Still complaining? Try commuting out of India’s Bangalore airport instead. Their airport has become so overrun with stray dogs that a Kingfisher Airways flight nailed one during take-off this week, destroying the landing gear and sending it careening off the runway.
Four people were hurt and the airplane is a complete mess, while we can only assume that the dog is in worse condition.
So next time you’re fired up because the Airport Starbucks put 2% instead of skim in your extra-skinny-non-fat-mocha-latte with an extra shot of espresso, two shots of almond and extra foam, put yourself in perspective. Your aircraft and airline could be much, much worse.
Remember when I posted about the billboard wars between Indian airlines Kingfisher and Jet Airways? Jet Airways had erected a billboard saying “We’ve changed” and Kingfisher responded with a billboard of their own directly above the Jet Airways message saying “We made you change.”
The story isn’t over — a third Indian airlines, GoAir, responded to both of them with a third billboard saying, “We’ve not changed. We’re still the smartest way to fly.”
This is getting a bit ridiculous. With roughly 18 airlines in India, the billboards might reach the moon by the time the battle is over. I do have a sneaking suspicion that the GoAir billboard is Photoshopped, though. If you look at the original article I wrote, the bottom billboard doesn’t have “DesignersMind.com Creative Showcase” written on it like in the photo above. Someone’s been messing around.
What do you think? Can anyone verify that this third billboard actually exists? [via]
Previously: Kingfisher to Jet Airways: We Changed You!