An on-duty Ryanair flight attendant drank whiskey from a plane's drinks trolley before 'necking' a small bottle of wine, court hears
Ryanair planes at Dublin Airport.REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo.
A Ryanair flight attendant admitted to working after drinking alcohol, outlets reported.
Sam Thompson was spotted by a passenger drinking whiskey mid-flight.
Airlines have strict rules preventing employees from consuming alcohol several hours before a flight.
A Ryanair flight attendant filmed drinking whiskey and wine on a court-cleared flight on which he worked while drunk, according to multiple media outlets including the BBC and The Independent.
Crew member Sam Thompson was reported to airline staff after he was seen drinking whiskey from the trolley by a passenger on a flight from Rzeszów, Poland, to London Stansted Airport on May 18, outlets reported.
Thompson was also seen taking a miniature bottle of wine from his bag and "necking the whole bottle up" mid-flight, the outlets reported, citing the passenger who witnessed the incident.
Video footage of the incident released by The Sun appears to show Thompson sipping rose wine straight from the bottle before wincing. He is later seen drinking from another miniature bottle before appearing to choke and nearly throw up.
Then he makes a middle finger gesture towards the camera.
At a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday, prosecutor Nishma Khan said Thompson found 50 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath during a breath analysis by police at Stansted Airport on landing. When Thompson had another breath analysis at a nearby police station, he measured 39 micrograms per 100 ml of breath.
According to Khan, the legal limit for employees on flights to the UK is nine micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit for drunk driving in England is 35 micrograms per 100 ml of breath.
Most airlines have regulations that prevent staff from consuming alcohol several hours before the flight.
According to the FAA, US airline employees must allow at least eight hours to elapse between drinking alcohol and flying or going from "bottle to throttle."
According to Ryanair's internal code of ethics, it is "strictly forbidden" to be affected by alcohol at work.
According to The Independent, Thompson has since been fired from Ryanair. The flight he was working on was operated by the airline's sister company, Lauda Europe.
Ryanair did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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