Airlines can stop drunk passengers from boarding flight: German court | News | DW | 25.10.2019

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Airlines can stop drunk passengers from boarding flight: German court

A German court has ruled that an airline can refuse admittance to drunk passengers. A German man sued an airline after he and his wife were refused entry on a flight for being too drunk.

A German court has ruled that an airline does not have to allow drunk passengers onto its flights.

A man from the German state of Lower Saxony had sued a Munich travel agency because an airline refused to allow him and his wife to board a flight from Australia to Dubai, the first leg of the couple's journey back home to Germany. 

The couple had to book a new flight for the following day at a cost of around €1,750 ($1,950). The man was in court in an attempt to win this money back plus an additional €600 that he claimed he had lost in revenue owing to his career as a lawyer.

The Munich district court said its ruling, which was announced on Friday, was in part based on the testimony of a flight attendant who said the couple could not walk straight and demanded a glass of champagne before even taking their seats.

Read more: Why do airplanes stall and why is it so dangerous?

The couple reportedly both smelled strongly of alcohol and were unable to stand up straight or concentrate. The female passenger started crying, saying she felt unwell.

It was the captain who ultimately decided to expel the couple from the plane and not allow them to fly from Brisbane to Dubai.

The court ruled that this evidence was "sufficient" that the passengers were too incapacitated to fly due to their use of alcohol.

The airline is therefore not required to pay any money to the plaintiff.

dpa contributed to this report

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Audios and videos on the topic