Ryanair steward, 26, could face jail after drinking at work

Ryanair steward, 26, sacked for drinking Jack Daniels whiskey from the aircraft’s drinks trolley and ‘necking’ a small bottle of wine while on duty told he could face jail

  • Sam Thompson, 26, drank whiskey from the aircraft’s drinks trolley at work
  • He also downed a small bottle of wine while the Ryanair flight was in the air
  • Thompson is due to be sentenced on August 3, and was told he might be jailed

A Ryanair steward drank whiskey from the aircraft’s drinks trolley and downed a small bottle of wine while he was working and the flight was in the air, a court has been told.

Sam Thompson, 26, was on duty when a witness saw him drink Jack Daniels from the trolley before taking a small bottle of wine from his pocket and ‘necking the whole bottle’, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard.

On Monday, the defendant, of Warrenfield Close, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, admitted to performing an aviation function as a member of cabin crew while his ability to do so was impaired by drink.

He has also been sacked by Ryanair for the offence.

Sam Thompson, 26, drank whiskey from the aircraft’s drinks trolley and downed a small bottle of wine while he was working and the flight was in the air, a court has been told. Pictured arriving at court

Ms Khan said the witness saw Thompson sit down and ‘take a small bottle of wine out of his pocket and necking the whole bottle’ 

The court heard that Thompson drank a mini bottle of wine and a shot of Jack Daniels whisky from a drinks trolley on a flight and made an obscene gesture to the camera

He is due to be sentenced at the same court on August 3, and was told he might be jailed.

This could be for a maximum of two years for the crime, under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003.

Nishma Khan, prosecuting, said police were called at around 6.10pm on May 18 this year after a witness reported seeing a member of cabin crew drinking while working on a flight from Rzeszow in Poland, to Stansted Airport.

She said the witness first saw Thompson drink Jack Daniels, before they ‘proceeded to film the member of staff’.

‘He was still on duty while the flight was in the air,’ she said.

Ms Khan said the witness saw Thompson sit down and ‘take a small bottle of wine out of his pocket and necking the whole bottle’.

Police took a breath test from Thompson at Stansted Airport in Essex, with a reading of 50mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, before he gave a lower reading of 39mcg at Harlow police station.

The incident took place on a flight from Rzeszow to Stansted

Ms Khan said the legal limit is 9mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, which is lower than the legal limit for driving of 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

Ryanair crew are banned from drinking alcohol up to eight hours before, or during, a flight. The company’s code of ethics says being ‘impaired by drugs or alcohol while performing company business’ is subject to disciplinary action. 

Ryanair said that the flight was being operated by sister company Lauda Europe, The Sun previously reported.

Nishma Khan, prosecuting, said police were called at around 6.10pm on May 18 this year after a witness reported seeing a member of cabin crew drinking while working on the Ryanair flight. File image

‘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,’ a spokesperson said.

‘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.’

Michael Carroll, for Thompson, said the defendant and alcohol are ‘not the best of friends’.

Presiding magistrate, Kristien Chafer, ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared on the defendant, exploring all sentencing options, including custody.

He bailed Thompson until his sentencing.

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