Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


I don't mean to upset you.

I'm merely the communicator of some of the world's more painful foibles.

The need to change the world, for example.

Thanks, I suspect, to technology, we're increasingly believing that we can make our Earth a better place. Yes, at the the same time as we're rapidly destroying it.

The only slight problem is that the world doesn't seem to be becoming better at all. Which doesn't stop those with power believing they can better the human spirit.

Hark, then, the UK's Aviation Minister, Tariq Ahmad.

As the Guardian reports, he's become dismayed that drunk people sometimes get on planes and annoy everyone.

Perhaps you have been on one such flight.

You'll hear a commotion. You'll hear raised voices and see, perhaps, raised fists.

Cabin crew will try to restore order by raising fists of their own. It could be that a straightjacket is brought out.

The Minister has a potential solution: banning alcohol at airports.

"It's important that passengers who board planes are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers, and that certainly should be the factor which we bear in mind," he told the Guardian. "If you are a young family traveling on a plane you want to go from point A to B -- you don't want to be disrupted."

Why should young families be singled out for such privilege?

Indeed, young families can be among the most disruptive presences on a plane.

Small children bawl. Slightly larger children run up and down the aisles or play video games with the sound on full blast.

I know one or two people, indeed, who'd rather ban young families than drunks.

How often does a drunk passenger disrupt a flight, as opposed to, say, a drunk pilot?

It seems we're increasingly hearing of pilots turning up in the cockpit having spent all night in some den of iniquity, saucing themselves beyond safety.

The Guardian suggests that between 2014 and 2016, 442 people were actually arrested at the UK's airports for alcohol-related nonsense.

Which is one arrest for every 538,461 passengers.

Is alcohol truly the main source of flight disruption, so much so that it should be banned?

Or are there other behaviors that might more readily be outlawed?

Taking your laptop out in coach and spreading your elbows as you type for five hours would be illegal if I were elected president.

So would dragging massive pieces of luggage on board and pretending that you can actually fit them in an overhead locker.

It's true that cabin crew seem miserable at the best of times. Yet they have the power to cut off those who seem already to be ten sheets to the wind.

There again, I suspect that on some flights -- especially red-eyes -- cabin crew prefer it if people drink quite a bit so that they quickly fall asleep.

And airports do seem to believe that alcohol is something of a money-spinner.

They always seem to be filled with many bars and restaurants serving painfully overpriced booze with abandon at all times of day.

I've been to more than one British airport and witnessed passengers enjoying pints of beer with their bacon and eggs. Which always seems strange to me.

I suspect that alcohol won't be banned at airports in the near future. There is too much (money) at stake.

But perhaps one reason why people get drunk before getting on a plane is that the comfort level is dipping rapidly toward that of a battery chicken's.

Perhaps our politicians can start there.