A Fianna Fáil Senator has suggested that badly behaved passengers should be banned from flying for life after a harrowing experience on a trip back from Poland.
Senator Timmy Dooley - who previously served as a TD for Clare - was in Poland after a visit to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The flight from Kraków was delayed on the runway "for a number of reasons" and a number of passengers opened up their duty-free purchases.
"They got quite drunk and quite disorderly as the flight eventually took off," Senator Dooley explained.
"For those passengers that were with young children and that were seated close to them, they really were very disruptive and a number of passengers were crying," he continued.
"One, in particular, was groped as she passed by one of the individuals.
"Then they just wouldn’t wear masks. They started walking around against the direction and advice of the stewards."
Senator Dooley praised the flight attendants as "absolutely trained to the highest level" and said that they had "remained calm in what was a pretty awkward situation".
However, he now wants action to be taken at a European level to crack down on those who make flights a living hell for their fellow travellers:
"I know airlines have their own watchlists and certainly are in a position not to carry passengers who have become disruptive but I think it needs to be wider than that," he continued.
"I think at the European level - it’s obviously difficult to do it on a worldwide basis - but I think at European level efforts should be made to ensure that individuals like this don’t get to travel again.
"I’d be in favour of a lifetime ban.
"People change overtime and improve their behaviour and of course, you would require the capacity for someone to appeal to that at a later stage - people make mistakes early in life and get their act together for sure.
"But I think as a deterrent there should be a headline penalty of a lifetime ban from travelling on an aircraft if you’re convicted of behaviour that reaches certain standards and the behaviour that I saw, certainly with three of the four individuals, reached that standard."