Ryanair Steward In Court After Being Accused Of Downing Booze During Flight
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A Ryanair steward has appeared in court after being accused of downing booze during a flight.
Sam Thompson, 26, is charged with performing an aviation function while his ability was impaired because of alcohol.
Viral footage allegedly showed Thompson, of Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, drinking a small bottle of wine and a shot of whisky on a flight from Rzeszow, Poland to Stansted Airport on 18 May.
Following a breathalyser test from the captain, it is believed he was arrested upon landing at Stansted.
The flight was being operated by Ryanair’s sister company Lauda Europe, which prohibits crew drinking from eight hours before flying.
Having been sacked from his job, Thompson appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court earlier this week (Wednesday 8 June).
After the case was adjourned, he is set to return to the same court on Monday 4 July.
In a previous statement, Ryanair confirmed the flight in May was being operated by sister company Lauda Europe, with a spokesperson saying: "Lauda Europe policy, in line with European Aviation Safety Agency regulation, prohibits the consumption of alcohol by cabin or flight crew from 8 hours prior to a flight duty until after the duty is complete.
"Lauda Europe has investigated a reported individual cabin crew breach of this strict policy on a flight from Rzeszow to Stansted (18 May). The cabin crew member in question no longer operates for Lauda Europe."
A male passenger believed to have filmed the viral footage said he had asked crew for a drink, but was shocked when Thompson started boozing with him.
Speaking to The Sun, the unnamed passenger said: “I don’t know what he was thinking.
“I asked for a drink and when he came over he said to me, ‘Shush, don’t tell anyone but I will have one, too’. He sounded drunk and looked like he had been drinking for longer than just on the flight.
“I asked to speak to the captain and he was furious.”
At the time of Thompson's arrest in May, a spokesperson for Essex Police said: "Sam Thompson, 26, of Cheshunt, will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 8 June to answer a charge of performing an aviation function, namely a member of cabin of an aircraft during flight, when their ability to do so was impaired because of drink."
According to the Metro, the offence carries a punishment of up to two years’ jail or a hefty fine.
LADbible has reached out to Ryanair and Lauda for comment.