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Can SAS's 3-drink cap stop drunk-flying?

After 3 stiff drinks, SAS wants you to stick to the soft stuff...       Photo: Xianxing / Wikimedia


SAS, the big Scandinavian carrier, is trying a 3-drink limit for alcoholic beverages on its flights in an attempt to curb drunken incidents on board.


Inflight disruption by drunken passengers has been reported more and more often in the past year or so, including incidents that have led to arrests, and in some cases to planes being diverted to offload a problem passenger.Aside from any danger, that can be very expensive to an airline, disrupting schedules and possibly incurring penalties for passengers who are delayed.



According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group for over 200 airlines, "the numbers have indeed risen alarmingly over the past year or two." IATA has been collecting info on in-flight incidents since 2007.


An SAS spokesperson in Sweden, Malin Selander, told local newspapers that "These are not hard and fast rules, but guidelines that cabin crew can lean on so that if passengers appear to be getting too drunk they can be asked to stop drinking." Gumbo suspects more firmness than that will be needed to have a real effect.


One harder rule, already in place, is Ryanair's ban on anything alcoholic on flights between Glasgow, Scotland and hard-partying Ibiza. Not served, can't bring from home, can't buy from duty-free at the airport. Apparently, there've been just too many incidents on that route.



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