Plane Wrecked

I’m surprised there aren’t more of these stories:

A Chinese woman reportedly downed a full bottle of £120 cognac at security control after she was told she was not allowed to take liquids on board her flight – which she was then prevented from boarding.

She is believed to have purchased the cognac at a US airport and was in transit through Beijing, where she was due to take a domestic flight to Wenzhou.

Staff told her she was not allowed to carry the bottle in her hand luggage because it exceeded the 100ml limit, and apparently not wanting to waste the purchase, she drank the entire contents.

One local paper described how she had started shouting at the departure gate before collapsing. “She was rolling on the ground, shouting,” a police officer told the Beijing Times

In early 2008 a friend and I had to make a business trip from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Angarsk in Siberia, which involved flying first to Khabarovsk and then Irkutsk. At the security check in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport the officers pulled three bottles of cognac from the hand luggage of a man in front of us (and it wasn’t £120 per bottle stuff, more like £1.20). He was told he couldn’t take it on board and would have to leave it behind. By the time we passed through the checkpoint he was debating whether to drink them there and then.

We had a few hours to wait at Khabarovsk, so we headed to the bar. As we were ordering the chap with the cognac walked in, utterly wrecked. He went up to the counter and spoke to the woman serving.

“Can I have a drink?”

“If I give you a drink,” the woman said. “They’ll not let you on the plane.”

The man thought about that for a few seconds and said, “Good point. Give me a beer, then.”

I don’t know if the more wild parts of Russia have changed in the past eleven years, but part of me hopes they haven’t.

(You can read more about that trip to Siberia here.)


5 thoughts on “Plane Wrecked

  1. I guess beer doesn’t count as drink in Russia in much the same way that chicken counts as vegetarian in South Africa. Or rampant anti-Semitism counts as ‘progressive’ in the Labour party.

  2. A couple I know were flying to an in-law’s birthday and, knowing the score, bought a nice bottle of duty free champagne once past security.

    Unfortunately their flight was subsequently cancelled. They re-booked on a later one, but that meant going land-side and through baggage check again… at which point their champagne became contraband, so they had to drink it between themselves and explain to the in-laws how much they regretted turning up empty-handed (hic).

  3. Patrick; a long time ago, under Yeltsin I think, the Russians realised they had a problem with alcoholism; lots of people hanging around the streets, drinking vodka, making the place look untidy.
    I think they whacked a dirty great duty on vodka, so everyone swapped to beer. Which didn’t count as an alcoholic drink. Inbev made a killing.

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