Iceland's 'air hooligan' problem

In 2013, a man became so drunk on a flight from Iceland to New York that he was restrained by fellow passengers. Photo / Tumblr, Andy Ellwood
In 2013, a man became so drunk on a flight from Iceland to New York that he was restrained by fellow passengers. Photo / Tumblr, Andy Ellwood

Drunk and disorderly air passengers are such a problem in Iceland that there's even a word for them.

The latest "flugdolgur" - or "air hooligan" - to make headlines was on board a four-hour Wizz Air flight from Gdansk in Poland to Keflavik Airport, when he became "very drunk" according to local media.

Police were called to meet cabin crew upon landing and the passenger was taken into custody.

It's the third such incident to take place this month, according to Icelandic news site Grapevine, which reported that two men were barred entry to a flight to Gdansk at Keflavik Airport. A third intoxicated passenger was also not allowed to board.

The term "flugdolgur" was coined in 2013, after a passenger became so drunk on a flight from Iceland to New York that he was duct-taped to his seat by other passengers.

It may seem an extreme move, but before he was restrained, the passenger had attacked a woman, spat on other passengers and screamed that the plane was going to crash.

New York man Andy Ellwood witnessed the incident and posted a picture of the subdued passenger to his Tumblr.

"The passenger drank all of his duty free liquor on the flight from Iceland to JFK yesterday," he wrote.

"When he became unruly (i.e. trying to choke the woman next to him and screaming the plane was going to crash), fellow passengers subdued him and tied him up for the rest of the flight. He was escorted off the flight by police when it landed."

The disruptive passenger was taken off the plane at JFK, arrested and transported to a hospital in Queens.

He was not charged over the incident as passengers were reluctant to talk to authorities, the New York Post reported.

However, despite its prevalence in Iceland, air hooliganism is an international problem. On Monday, 16 drunk passengers were kicked off a Jetstar flight from Sydney to Melbourne.

Earlier this month, a flight had to be diverted from San Diego to Boston, after a passenger brought alcohol on the flight and started shouting "We're all going to die".

- nzherald.co.nz

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