Three words I would never combine into a sentence – Prague, Friday and Jet 2. Well maybe that’s four words.
I have never felt more uncomfortable as I have today on Jet 2’s LS 667 to Prague. Read on …
It wasn’t immediately obvious in the terminal, but as we stood on the bus waiting to be taken to the plane, I realised I had the dubious pleasure of travelling with a stag party. For a moment, a second really, it was funny. The guy who I assumed was the stag dressed in a football strip with some sort of sporting safety helmet thing on, and goalies gloves. Looked the part. Not a tutu in site although I had seen a guy with angel wings and pink tights in the restaurant earlier. Harmless fun. But then his entourage got on. Basically a band of drunken yobs who might have been more accustomed to walking to the local football ground under police escort. Apparently from Huthwaite.
“Where’s ********?” They chanted. “Stood outside f***ing screwfix waiting for a taxi, the c***”.
The woman next to me on the bus rolled her eyes. That was the start.
I managed to get my seat in 8D quite early so watched as they trailed onto the plane. I found myself unfortunately sat in the middle of one group, but realised there was a second stag group farther back. Interspersed with regular passengers, not one of who was smiling as if looking toward to their forthcoming trip to Prague.
One might have hoped it would calm down but the flight was just one continuous tirade of obscenities from a small cluster of men. One particular guy sat just behind me on the opposite side of the aisle (9C) was particularly obnoxious – every slurred word shouted at the top of his voice even though the stag was sat just two seats away. “Keep those f***ing gloves on Mickey, you’ve got to wear those f***ing gloves all day, even when you are w***ing or f*****ing women.” I could have maybe forgive him slightly if he hadn’t been the same age as me. And so it continued.
Interestingly,the cabin crew add a couple of items to the safety announcement that I’ve not heard before in the 35 years I’ve been flying, and it’s also repeated in their onboard conduct policy in the back of their inflight brochure. “You may not drink alcohol that you purchased from duty free, only beverages purchased from the bar service, and please keep the foul language down for the sake of the other passengers.” I thought they were ad-libbing until I read almost the same phrases in the conduct policy. Clearly this is commonplace enough on Jet2 to warrant the additional attention to it.
Sat opposite me were an elderly couple who just smiled and laughed along as the profanities continued, a young girl in the row in front who just kept weakly smiling at her boyfriend but who was anything but happy, and a woman with a toddler and baby two rows forward who were hopefully too young to realise what was being said.
For me, it wasn’t just the string of profanities, which to be honest was bad enough, but it was the content of some of the discussions that were just unacceptable in a public place. We could not walk away or choose to sit elsewhere, we were a captive audience to this totally antisocial display. But not one of us felt brave enough to tackle them.
The faces of the cabin crew said it all. They struggled to keep the aisle clear when about ten of them jumped up as the seatbelt light went out as they all needed the toilet, they had a job making them sit down when the seatbelt light went back on – “You CANNOT ignore the seatbelt sign” the stewardess lamented, to jeers of ” F*** off “.
It wasn’t out of control, but it wasn’t a pleasant two hours either. I know it wasn’t going to happen because schedules and money is everything to a budget airline, but I would have happily wasted a hour or two having to divert and have half the plane thrown off under armed escort. It would have served them right.
Of course it wasn’t every one of them, the two guys next to me were very polite, hardly said a word during the flight. Just a handful of morons that spoiled it for everyone else.
What can be done about it? Well, for a start one has to question why, at six in the morning, they are sat in the bar at EMA on their fourth pint while the pubs are still closed outside of the airport.
Or why, clearly the worse for wear, the cabin crew didn’t decide to forego the bar service, instead of feeding them more alcohol.
Money, that’s why.
There were lighter moments. The guy in front who was passed the baby to hold while mum took the toddler to the loo. Very brave. That sparked a cluster of selfies with the baby. Or the stag from the rear of the plane, hopefully their group was a little better behaved, who was obviously on a challenge to walk up and down the aisle singing.
He was wearing a white T-shirt and his breakfast. It looked like everyone had been given the task of smearing something from his plate across his shirt – beans, egg, it was all there.
Is this just a one off, or is it every Friday? My friend Joe says the people living in Prague detest the English when they arrive in Prague.
Is it just Jet2, or is it the same with any budget airline flying to Prague on a Friday? Well I’ve never seen this on other budget airline, so maybe you can tell me? But then I’ve never flown to Prague on a Friday before.
But to be on the safe side, I won’t be booking them again, and I was so glad Sue wasn’t with me.
In fact if I could afford it, I wouldn’t be flying home with them on LS668 next week.. Feel free to transfer me to BA ( or even a train) if you read this before Monday…
Rob and Sue’s World Traveller travelled with Jet 2 to Prague in September 2017.