Don’t be a holiday hooligan

As much as I’d love wake up on a traffic island in a Spanish holiday resort with one shoe missing, robbed and covered in someone else’s urine after a night on strong but cheap sangria, ‘drunk destination’ holidays aren’t for me.

I can’t quite pinpoint whether it’s the overly sweet cocktails, the noise, the hen parties, the bad chat up lines, tacky bars, English fry ups, union jack underwear or the incredibly crap music that’s playing as a soundtrack to my holiday from hell, that would make me want to stick mikado sticks into my eye sockets.

But if other people like that kind of thing, fine. Just make sure you don’t act like a ganut on the flight over there.

Now that holiday time has begun, stories of drunk or inappropriately behaved flyers are hitting the tabloids  – remember French actor Gerard Depardieu relieving himself onto the carpet of a plane en route to Dublin in 2011?

Anyway last week, a 20-strong stag party was traveling to Ibiza and the plane was diverted to Paris, due to the fact that a member of the group had his own booze on board.

Ryanair called for a ban on Irish airports serving alcohol before 10am. The airline also suggested airports consider implementing a two-drink limit per passenger.

The whole thing was ‘grossly exaggerated’ as witnesses on board concluded, and three men, Niall Harrington, 32, from Cork and his pals Gerard Murphy and Kenneth Delaney were ‘totally grand’ if maybe a bit jolly. They were given a lifelong ban, along with 11 other chaps.

A few days earlier, a Jet2 plane, also en route to Ibiza, was diverted after a ‘disgraceful’ stag doer used a blow-up doll near kids. The plane, which took off from Belfast, was forced to ground in Toulouse, where police removed said drunken man. The flight took 6 hours in total after the incident.

Despite the fact that Ryanair clearly have an agenda, as they are still happy to serve booze on board themselves and cash in, but I’m with the airlines here. Due to many a drunken eejit, a zero tolerance policy has been implemented so be prepared from more diversions, because understandably the on board crew have had enough.

I spoke to an airline staff member. These were her words- “If you want to be a rebel or an anarchist, don’t bother. The flight will be diverted, you will be banned from flying, even for ‘small matters.’ It will be highly inconvenient for everyone on board, so just control yourself for a couple of hours and don’t ruin it for other passengers and crew.”

Clear words. Rerouting a plane costs at least €20,000 to €30,000 if it’s a final destination plane, with handling and landing fees but if you’re on a connecting plane it’s a hell of a lot more as other passengers will have to have their onward flights rebooked. Plus there will be someone on the plane, who has to go to a wedding or a funeral and you’re selfishness will destroy their day or life even.

Air rage has always been a thing, but funnily, drunk destinations were created by Ryanair. when they made foreign travel accessible to everyone, including an army of pissheads singing ‘Vindaloo’ while vomiting on each others heads.

Anyway, early morning drinkers won’t have to fear. The Airport Authority thought the idea of not selling booze before 10am to the rest of us was   ‘highly draconian.’ Good. Some of us like an early morning drink on a rare occasion and most of us won’t pull our pants down and start mooning people in the aisle.

An unfortunate aspect of package holiday travel is this kind of carry on. In the UK, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600 percent increase in disruptive passenger incidents between 2012 and 2016 with most ‘involving alcohol.’

Spanish locals are getting sick of it too. Finally. Around four decades too late.

Residents in Magaluf called for a ban on all inclusive hotels, where booze is included in the price to be implemented immediately, so as to diminish anti social behaviour and subsequent muggings of intoxicated persons.

Spain has been saturated by pissed holidaymakers for far too long and now locals ar making a stand. ‘Drunken tourism is giving the ara a bad name,” the local councillor said. No really?

Last summer members of a vigilante anti tourist group called Arran Palma attacked a sightseeing bus containing British tourists in Barcelona near the Camp Not stadium.

The holidaymakers feared they were being attacked by Islamist terrorists after four masked men stormed the vehicle, slashed its tyres, sprayed graffiti and the rest.

Arran Palma members also rampaged through restaurants in Majorca’s capital Palma’s posh marina in August last year, letting off smoke bombs as they ran.

Their mantra is – “Tourism here is totally out of control, attracting all kinds of people who have no respect for the places they visit.” fair enough.

Last year, Mallorca had 13.8 million visitors – up by four million from 2010. Its a tiny island. Just 890,000 people live there. It’s not just Majorca though. In Ibiza, local residents are also kicking up a storm, demanding an end to throngs of disrespectful partiers.

By the way, Ibiza is many things, not just a disgustingly overpriced, drunken hole is is the rest of Spain, but for some reason the Spanish have attracted more drunk tourism than any other country over a long period of time.

What scares me about drunk tourism is the danger people put themselves into. Each year you hear of mindless incidents, where people under the influence die or are injured. Thats when the fun stops.

So drink, enjoy yourself, but don’t be a holiday hooligan, tempting as it may be.