Anyone who’s anxious about flying knows the benefits of the in-flight cocktail cart, but there’s a fine line between being free of fear and being the person everyone else is afraid of, as passengers on a flight from Dubai to London discovered when a drunken woman stole food off their trays and generally acted like a complete jerk throughout the seven-hour flight.
According to The Daily Mail, Bela Chopra was already visibly sloshed when she boarded the plane, with bloodshot eyes and an unpleasant reek of alcohol. But everyone knows someone who’s a little afraid of flying, and as Gawker points out, “her inebriation might have gone unnoticed if she hadn't taken it upon herself to be really obnoxious.”
At takeoff, she jumped out of her seat and announced loudly that she was going to the bathroom. When told to sit down, she shouted profanity at the flight attendants and screamed for the plane to start playing music. When the meal was served, she started grabbing and eating food from other passengers’ trays.
Obviously none of the flight attendants were going to serve her from their selection of mini bottles at that point, but Chopra’d brought her own.
“She took a bottle from her handbag, and poured some gin into a plastic cup, which she consumed quickly,” said prosecutor Nikki Onuma-Elliott.
Most people get sleepy after a long bout of drinking, but Chopra apparently had energy to burn and a fair amount of gin in her purse, as she was still shouting profanities and jumping around when the plane landed at Heathrow.
Once she sobered up and faced charges (and probably a truly horrifying hangover) Chopra wisely did not try to pretend she wasn’t utterly intoxicated during the flight, but she did try to blame her behavior on a fear of flying and a lack of sleep.
Chopra faces possible jail time.