In this low-cost airline survival guide,  I will run through 10 tips to keep calm on a rowdy flight full of drunk or rowdy passengers.

In the video on the Mallorca Under the Sun Youtube channel “My Worst Flight Ever“, you will have seen my flight experience on a Ryanair flight and how groups of drunk tourists were allowed to board a delayed flight to Mallorca. 

These passengers went on to disrupt the entire flight, were served more alcohol and then behaved dangerously walking around the plane seconds before it landed in Palma.  

Following comments from holidaymakers left on that video saying they had a fear of flying, or that their partners were nervous flyers, I hope this low-cost airline survival guide will help reassure you if you have a flight booked this summer.

The experience of travelling to and from Palma de Mallorca on a low-cost airline can be hit-and-miss in terms of sharing the flight with rowdy or drunk passengers on board.

Mallorca is home to Magaluf (read about it here), so can attract groups of stag and hen parties and groups going on holiday to party.

But flying to Mallorca isn’t always a terrible experience. I have taken hundreds of low-cost airline flights to and from Mallorca and the UK and the flight featured on the Youtube channel was the worst.   I was unlucky.

Also, I have to say that airlines do have strict policies when it comes to dealing with drunk passengers but they don’t always work. 

In the case of my flight, it seemed that a flight delay allowed these passengers time to go to the bar.  

By the time the flight was ready to depart, some passengers had boarded drunk and that’s where the trouble began.

So for that reason, you can still take some control of your experience on the flight. Better still, take measures when you are planning your holiday.

Even in flight, there are some steps you can take to control your experience if trouble erupts around you.

This low-cost airline survival guide doesn’t just apply to Ryanair because that was my experience. Cases of drunken tourism can apply to any airline. 

So here is my low-cost airline survival guide and my top 10 tips for staying calm on a flight full of rowdy or boozed-up passengers.

I’ve saved my most radical measure for right at the end of the article, so keep reading. 

1. Avoid Low-Cost Airlines in Summer | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

You are most likely going to encounter a rowdy flight during the Summer months – from June until September – with groups and stag and hen parties heading to European party destinations such as Magaluf, in Mallorca.

There are some other choices to fly to Palma in Mallorca, such as British Airways from London. 

Also, bear in mind that Jet2 do not generally allow groups of lads to travel together too and will split them across the plane.

To find a wider choice of flights from your departure airport, check this link here. You may find options you didn’t know existed!

2. Avoid Evening Flights| Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

Avoid flying in the evening. 

Evening flights are more likely to pick up delays meaning groups of partying passengers are more likely to head to the bar during a delay.

This additional time spent in the bar can change the entire experience for everyone on that flight.

Also, those heading out on an evening flight may be more likely to have started drinking earlier in the day.

You will see throughout the airport that passengers are warned of pre-flight boozing with the threat of being fined or missing their flight.

The reality of this campaign being noticed or threats being enforced is another matter entirely.

Zero tolerance towards drunken behaviour UK airports poster
As seen at Bristol Airport: UK Airport promote zero tolerance towards drunken behaviour

3. Upgrade your Seats | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

There is no guarantee that you won’t be sitting next to rowdy passengers, but it may be worth upgrading your seats when you book your flight.

It’s less likely a stag or hen party will be paying more for seats and will want to sit together.

Since the upgraded seats (up-front) have less availability and are more expensive, it is less likely you will be seated in these groups if you pay more for your seats.

Also, try and book a window seat. You will then have somewhere scenic to look if trouble starts.

It’s an altogether more pleasant experience to look outside the plane than look on the inside if there are rowdy passengers.

So if you do take an evening flight, make sure you sit on the right-hand side of the plane to catch the sunset.

Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide 10 Tips to Keep Calm on a Flight
Looking out of the window is a great way to stay calm on a rowdy flight

4.   Move Seats | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

If the flight has taken off and trouble is brewing around you, and there are empty seats in other areas of the plane, ask the cabin crew to move seats and move as far away from the troublemakers as possible. 

If you’re on a relatively empty flight, then just move seats yourself.

It’s unlikely during the Summer months there will be many empty seats, so if you find yourself unable to move seats, then move to point no. 5.

5. Don’t Engage with the Drunk Passengers| Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

Engaging with drunk passengers can go one of two ways.  

It can either escalate the trouble going on around you and cause aggregation to those who feel it is their right to behave as they wish on the flight.

It can also put you at risk of being a target for their conversation which could escalate from a bad experience to something more upsetting.

If you are with kids, then engaging with anyone who has been drinking is not advised.

If these passengers have been drinking before and during the flight then don’t expect them to be reasonable.

The best advice is to ignore any trouble around you, or just ask them politely to quieten down (good luck with that!).

6. Leave troublemakers to the Cabin Crew | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

Let the cabin crew deal with the behaviour of any boozed-up or rowdy passengers.

You will see the cabin crew taking steps from refusing to serve alcohol (on some flights), to asking the passengers to be quiet or to sit down.

They also have the right to demand their passports and put an application in to ban them from future flights with the airline.

In extreme circumstances, they can also ask the captain to land at another airport before arriving at the destination to offboard these passengers.

They can also ask the police to meet the flight and ask for the passengers to be arrested in extreme cases.

7. Wear Headphones on a Flight| Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

Wear headphones for the duration of the flight, and turn the volume. 

Here are a couple of great noise-cancelling headphones which will silence the sound of any rowdy passengers. Check them out here and here.

Load Netflix on your phone, or get Youtube Premium for a month where you can download videos into your phone. 

I do recommend downloading your favourite selection of Mallorca Under the Sun videos to watch on your way to Mallorca if this is your holiday destination to get the very best travel tips and advice on places to visit and things to do.

8. Try Breathing Exercises, Visualisation and Rescue Remedy on a Flight | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

The sight of boozed-up or rowdy passengers on a flight can aggravate any fear of flying. You will notice you are breathing faster, worried about the flight ahead.

If you have done any yoga in the past, then remember the breathing exercises.

Control your breathing and slow it down. Concentrate on this – breathe in for five seconds and slowly breath out for another five seconds.

Focus on your breath and this will hopefully calm you down.

I have a fear of flying particularly when there is turbulence and I find that concentrating on breathing slowly stops the panic from setting in.

If it’s not just rowdy passengers that leave you panicking before flying, then buy Bach Flower Rescue Remedy capsules or drops

These herbal oils or pastilles are known to have calming properties, so it may be worth taking them before your flight. I’ve added them to the Mallorca Under the Sun holiday shop, so you can buy them here.

9. Accept the Inflight Experience | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

If passengers around you are rowdy, you may benefit from accepting the situation – focus on your holiday ahead – two hours of hell, replaced by a week in the sun.

Know that if you are not booked to one of Mallorca’s party destinations, these passengers won’t be at your resort and they won’t affect your holiday.

Also, cabin crew will say that it’s often impossible to know if trouble will start on a flight at the departure gate.

So they can only best deal with the situation when it breaks out on board.

10. Just don’t Fly | Low-Cost Airline Survival Guide

If you see considerable trouble, extreme rowdiness and passengers drinking their own alcohol while waiting to board the flight, then the most radical decision to take is just don’t board the flight. 

This would only apply to those who have the time and money to do this.

If you see nothing being done about the behaviour at the gate, and you are filled with panic about the flight ahead, then talk to the staff at the departure gate.

It may be a case of you go or they go.  It is a risk and you could risk losing your flight and your holiday.

You could risk getting banned from the airline, but if there is considerable trouble and passengers are behaving or acting dangerously, and nothing is being done about it before boarding, then it is ultimately your choice if you want to get on the aircraft.

It would send an important message to airlines and passengers that getting into a metal tube in the sky with drunk and potentially dangerous passengers isn’t something you are prepared to do.

Following posting my experience of flying Ryanair on my Youtube channel, I posted a poll asking views if they thought alcohol should be banned at airports and on flights.

From just under 700 answered received 74% of respondents replied “yes” to wanting an all-out ban on alcohol at airports and on flights.

While I can’t see this happening, I would also like to say, please do not worry.  As I have said, you have to be unlucky to be on a flight full of rowdy or boozed-up passengers. 

Even those who have been drinking are likely to be in good spirits for their holiday ahead, although it may not seem like this to the other passengers.

By all means, put in a complaint to the airline on your return. It will most likely (as in my case) achieve nothing, but it may make you feel better.

If you have any other tips, then do leave me a comment. 

But just remember, the flight over can be forgotten the next day leaving you time to get on with your holiday. So don’t let these idiots ruin your stay.

If you are still looking at booking your holiday, consider picking up a last-minute package holiday with Jet2 here.

Alternatively, search on here for accommodation to pair with your low-cost flight: