back to article German air passenger quaffs litre of vodka

A 64-year-old German air passenger almost popped his clogs earlier this week after quaffing a litre of vodka officials told him he couldn't take on the aircraft. According to Spiegel, the man was switching planes at Nuremberg airport en route from Egypt to Dresden. Security operatives informed him that, according to the terror …


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  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    top marks that man

    Now lets hope he sues the government for ridiculous anti-terror measures doing his liver in.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle



    I do love old people. Go gramps go! Prove how retarded and life threatening their petty laws are!


    Anon approves

  4. Rob

    If your gonna go, go with a smile...

    ... and 2 fingers up at the authorities, YAY for senility.

  5. Andy Hards
    Paris Hilton

    Bit stupid

    Allowing him to buy it duty free then not letting him take it on a connecting flight is stupid. It would have cost nothing to entrust the cabin crew with it until landing. But good on him for being able to down that much. I once saw a grizzly biker do a bottle of JD at a party. This was apparently his party trick. Someone told me he was gonna do it but until I saw it I didn't believe it.

  6. Anonymous John
    Paris Hilton

    What's the Paris Hilton connection?

    He wasn't driving a car.

  7. Frank Bough


    If you don't know that a whole bottle of vodka is lethal at age 64, then you'll probably never know. What a twat.

  8. Tim Lake

    I love the idea of this

    You can just picture his total defiance, making a big scene of downing the bottle and immediately realising he is heading for air passanger martyrdom

  9. Sulehir
    Thumb Up

    Hail to a new hero.

    With so many ridiculous new "anti-terror" laws, it is nice to see someone taking a stand (even if the actual choice of protest wasn't the best) I say that this weekend everyone should take a glass of vodka and toast this visionary.

  10. Chris
    IT Angle


    These laws are completely absurd.

    If he was going to blow up a plane with his 'suspicious liquid' surely he would done it on the Egypt to Nuremburg leg rather than wait for the leg to Dresden.

    Anyway, I thought 'duty free' goods were exempt from this in the first place!

    What's the IT angle BTW?

  11. Ferry Boat

    Hey Mr Bough

    He drank a litre and he didn't die. Please go to top of article and start again. Maybe that there cocaine affected your eyes.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    Nice one..gotta love the laws. Just after 911 I had some toothpicks confiscated as they could be used as a weopon, just to be given a metal knife and fork on the plane!

  13. Torben Mogensen

    Both parties acted stupid

    I think most of us can agree that downing a litre of Whisky is plain stupid, especially at age 64 when you should know better. A boy in 7th grade at my daughters school did the same during school a couple of years ago. Happily (for him), the hospital was fairly close. I was glad to hear that the other children just considered him stupid and not a bit heroic or cool.

    But I find the 100ml rules and the way they are handled equally ridiculous. On my last trip to the US of A, I bought a bottle of booze in the tax free shop, which I had no problem bringing on board the intercontinental flight. But when changing planes in Chicago I was likewise told that I couldn't bring it on board. Luckily, I had had to carry my luggage through customs, so I could just open a suitcase and put the bottle there (taking out something else to make room). But if you are just transiting to another international flight, you don't have that option. Knowing this, the tax free shops ought to inquire customers if they will transfer before allowing them to buy bottles. But, of course, they won't, as this will hurt sales.

    But tax free sales in airports is really quite silly. Planes carry tons of extra weight to carry goods that you (in most cases) can get in the airport where you land. They should really just let you select what you want before departure and let you pick it up at the destination airport. No hassle for the passengers to carry the stuff, no extra weight, no security issues etc.

  14. Ross Jeremy
    Paris Hilton

    He just didn't think about it

    What a fool, if he had just drank 900ml instead then he might have avoided this situation.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    In my rapidly departing youth, I could down a litre of vodka over an eight hour period as long as I did it at a slow and steady rate. However, on one occasion I overdid it and downed half a litre of cranbery Finlandia in half an hour. The result was sudden unconsciousness and a friend frantically checking my pulse. Nowadays it's strictly one or two shots of an evening ...

  16. Matt

    go for it

    the liver is evil and must die

  17. Mattyod


    If he'd transfered the contents of the bottle into 10 seperate 100ml bottles it would have been ok to take it on board?

  18. Steve Charlton


    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  19. Cameron Colley

    What _are_ the rules on this?

    Is the rule that the liquid must be bought post-security, or that it must be bought at the airport you are flying from? I recently flew from Germany to Heathrow, picked up 2L of whisky, and flew on to another UK airport without a second look from the airline staff -- what are the circumstances where you can't fly with Duty Free beverages?

    Being a fan of both flying and drinking this is an important issue to me.

  20. Graham Bartlett


    I'm not sure he was taking a stand - I'm willing to bet he couldn't stand afterwards...

    This sounds like a guy living the poem "When I am old I shall wear purple". Good on him for not giving a crap, even if it was a damn stupid thing to do.

  21. Illsay


    I expect to see this scene in a new episode of the Simpsons soon.

    It's Homer ofcourse and it's going to be the bottle of Wodka that he exchanged last minute for the perfume he bought earlier for Marge. Downing it he realizes it was a selfish though smart move after all.

  22. bluesxman


    I guess so ... but only if he could defeat the logistical impossibility of squeezing said 100ml bottles into a single, sealed 1 litre plastic bag.

  23. Hanni Ali
    Thumb Up


    Need I say more.

  24. Iain



    As long as they all fit into a clear plastic bag one litre in capacity.

    Don't ask me - I don't make this rubbish up.


  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Both parties acted stupid @ Torben Mogensen

    Actually Torben, Virgin Atlantic has a service just like that. You order on the plane, they'll deliver to your home doorstep on your return. No hassle, no fuss, no drama. Of course, that doesn't really work when you're trying to order duty-free gifts for your host(s) in your destination country.

    A large number of airports in the US and elsewhere have requirements for duty-free shops to keep hold of your duty-free purchase (especially when it is in a state that requires sales tax) until you board your plane, at which point you are required to show your receipt before being handed your bag of goodies.

    European airports clearly state that duty-free purchases cannot be made on certain items (such as tobacco and alcohol), while others don't offer duty-free for intra-EU travel at all.

    It would be nice if regulations surrounding duty-free stated that if a duty-free bag was sealed (and marked as duty-free), it should be allowed to go through a transit point without further penalties, but that would require security staff to make an executive decision... and we all know how that goes.

  26. H'arj Imladd

    I say good for him !

    It's a bloody stupid rule anyway, surely the authorities must know by know that the so called "Binary Liquid" pyrotechnics don't actually exist - at least not without a several hour period of privacy and the right tools (containers, ice, the right starter liquids etc) to perform a very exothermic reaction and thus precipitate out the required goods...

    Think anyone might notice you have a small chemistry lab running in the toilet for 5 hours? Thought not!

    Time for a conspiracy theory that the rule is only still there so that you have to buy overpriced drinks air-side of security!!!!!

    If you don't believe me, look it up on the interwebcomputerthingy. Oh hang on, best not do that actually, I can hear the black helicopters coming....

    Grabs Tangerine orange jump suit, drawstring hood and cellophane....

  27. Simon Neill

    did I miss something (again)?

    I thought SEALED bottles were ok, since anything with an intact seal surely has to contain what it says on the label not any potentially-deadly-after-three-days-in-a-lab "binary explosive"

    Plus, if I were to use vodka as a weapon it would be to club the next fool who tries to explain to me why I want a life jacket under my seat not a parachute. Swimming I can do, flying is still beyond me.


  28. Slaine

    it's all wrong

    the saying goes, "Don't Drink and Drive, Take Speed and Fly"... not "speed down drink and fly"... although, after 900mls of wodka I supose anyone could make that mistake.

    Mind you, a litre of flammable liquids, regardless of the container, is still a potential bomb so they shouldn't have let him on board anyway.

  29. Sacha TF Padovani
    Thumb Up

    So, now we DO need

    The Booze-angle icon!!

    possibly with the man's face on it.

    Cheers, everyone!

  30. Dave


    He's a legend in my book. yes stupid, but still got to say he has balls of steel for necking a litre vodders. truely a story you wouldn't believe unless you saw it.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Is a bottle of vodka at the age of 19 lethal as well? as that's my party trick!

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Grandad gets blitzed...

    ...on way to Dresden?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Now then

    For those that know, does it actually have to be in a bottle/container or could he just have fitted his 1 litre into the 1 litre plastic bag.

    Now there's an picture to imagine! if anyone tries it post the result on here, should be good for a giggle.

  34. Chris O'Shea

    Replies to several comments and personal experience

    @Simon Neill

    Doesn't matter if they are sealed or unsealed. It doesn't matter if you're willing to prove them safe by drinking some. You still can't carry them through security (which is the important bit) but you can buy them from shops once you are through security.

    @Cameron Colley

    It's the going through security bit ... if you buy them once you are through security you can carry them onboard the aircraft. If you have to go through security again, they will make you throw them away if you can't put them into your hold baggage.


    What the others have said, if you can fit 10x100ml bottles in a one litre bag you can bring them all (if you can fit 20x100ml bottles into a one litre bag you can bring them and your tardis too!) but certainly if you wanted to bring 70cl of wine, decanting it into 7x100ml bottles and then putting them all into one 1 litre bag would be fine (remember, you can only bring one 1 litre clear ziploc bag with liquids and gels in it, and that it is almost impossible to find a shop that sells one litre ziploc bags, Tescos only sell small/medium/large in my local shops)

    @Ross Jeremy

    Sadly 99% of security people won't allow you to bring, say, 100ml of suntan lotion in a 150ml bottle. I know it's silly, but if the contain is designed to hold more than 100ml (well, plus a small amount of air space near the top) then you can't bring it as carryon *unless it is empty*! So you can take an empty water bottle on board a plane, but not one with a small amount of water in it, even if it is less than 100ml (and yes, that has happened to me)

    And I had a similar problem with Nuremberg, in that I went through security and bought a bottle of water and a bottle of diet coke, and then had to change planes in Switzerland where security made me throw both of them away even though I'd bought them after security in Nuremberg ...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Stefan Paetow re the Duty Free issue

    “It would be nice if regulations surrounding duty-free stated that if a duty-free bag was sealed (and marked as duty-free), it should be allowed to go through a transit point without further penalties, but that would require security staff to make an executive decision... and we all know how that goes.”

    This is precisely the case, at least for intra EU flights. You CAN buy Duty Free liquids before the security check AND pass through one or more transit points. The trick is to inform the Duty Free staff that you have a connecting flight and ask them to seal your purchases. They put them in special sealable bags with an external (again sealable) pouch for the receipt. So long as you don’t break any of the seals you will be fine.

    What baffles me is why they DO NOT INFORM PEOPLE THIS IS THE CASE AND ADVERTISE THE FACT EVERYWHERE AT THE AIRPORT. Do excuse my capitals, but you would be angry too had you seen piles of drinks (and other expensive stuff like large perfume bottles) next to security check points, all because people don’t know they have to ask for the goods to be sealed (Duty Free staff not offering to do that by default is another, painful story – they have started doing that lately, but it certainly took them a good while…)

    Anyhow, the regulations are not (what a surprise) crystal clear (i.e. I thought it didn’t matter where you flew from, or where you were going so long as the goods were sealed, but it looks like this is the case only within the EU.

    BAA blurb [my comments in brackets]:

    Duty Free liquids

    • The following rules apply to Duty Free liquids (e.g. alcohol, perfume, make-up) purchased in an EU country or on an aircraft operated by an EU airline:

    - Duty Free liquids must be in a tamper-evident clear plastic bag [which you must ask for, and the Duty Free staff must provide and seal for you]

    - the bag must not have been tampered with

    - proof of purchase (e.g. a receipt) must be visible within the bag

    - the Duty Free liquid must have been purchased on the day of travel

    - Duty Free liquid items, which comply with the above rules, may be carried through both central search and transfer areas.

    • Duty Free liquid carried by passengers travelling from a destination outside of the EU on a non-EU airline is not allowed and should be voluntarily abandoned [nice one that, don’t you think – Pop I’m afraid the bloody security staff took that rare Malt I bought for you away – No we dint Sir, you “voluntarily abandoned” it!].

    • All other Duty Free products (e.g. solid cosmetics, cigarettes), purchased airside at any airport on their journey, can be taken through.

    • The Duty Free liquids may be carried in addition to the one piece of cabin baggage that is allowed per passenger. All other items must be carried within the hand-luggage [that one piece of hand-luggage is something else – if I am determined to blow up a plane having to carry everything in one bag is certainly going to stop me! for sure...].


    Most airlines (attempt to) explain this in their own words somewhere on their site, usually leaving out small details (like the fact that you have to BLOODY ASK AND INSIST most of the time, something that is clearly not happening quite often...). It would have been too hard to give out a leaflet clearly explaining the situation and options at check-in along with the tickets... (or online, or over the phone in the few cases where people have no luggage to check-in)

    Kudos to the guy, stick it up there!

    Bloody incompetent the lot of them

    P.S. Would Chuck Norris have to be sealed and tagged were he to travel? Is he classed as hazardous, explosive, or what?

    Lovely Paris, just because….

  36. Anonymous Coward

    while a liter is a lot

    Maybe he didn't like the idea of the security staff getting to drink his booze for free which is what happens when they confiscate it. It was dumb but some people don't take being robbed well.

  37. Dalen

    As we say in Russia...

    What's good for Russians, is deadly to Germans.

    My Gramps does that routinely.

  38. threaded


    Who says Germans don't have a sense of humour!

    I for one, would ask that you get hold of his address so we can all send him a Xmas gift.

    He deserves it for one of the best laughs this year.

    Incidentally I think these security regulations are just so much Emmanuel Goldstein.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    dumb regulations ought to be exposed for useless

    So you go through security, and they tell you you can't bring liquid or 'dangerous' items with you... then you go to the duty free.

    If I was a terrorist, I could easily buy some razor blades and glass bottles in the duty free area, go into a toilet and make some nice weapons, and get on the plane with no further security checks. Nail clippers? F*** that, I've got a toothbrush with razor blades fixed on it and broken bottles...

    The whole thing is not anti-terrorist, rather it's airports enforcing rules that make you purchase more at the airport, hence increasing their revenues.

    Try it. Go to duty free and buy some shaving equipment. Or rather, don't buy anything in duty free.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Silly man

    He should have poured some into a glass, had a sip, and then offered the rest of the vodka to the other people in the queue. He could have charged a small fee. He would be a hero, although I'm not sure if the flight would have gone well, with all the drunk people.

    I wonder if his urine is now alcoholic - can he light his piss? Could someone drink it, fresh from the udder? I cannot unthink that thought.

  42. Ishkandar
    Thumb Up

    @bluesxman and Iain

    No problem. He just drinks 100 ml of it and squeeze the other 900 ml into that bag !!

  43. Herby Silver badge

    As has been said in conversation

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    The problem is that the security people already have the frontal lobotomy. They need the bottle!!

  44. Martin Usher

    ..and he missed his plane

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, security.

    It almost makes you want to get a liter bottle of vodka, empty it, fill it with mostly water and then quaff it. Stare are the rent-a-moron, smile, and continue boarding.

  45. Tim Blair


    CCTV anyone? I'd love to see this hit utube......

  46. Sven Dack

    It ain't beer!

    @Ashley Pomery: Piss does not come from the udder, and men do not give milk.

    Some old people are quite stubborn and it proofs that people need to make the experience of an alcoholic overdose at any age. It is not only the youth that is constantly seeking their limits. Of course, it is easier to think he did it to rebel against security. May be that the next time he is boarding a plane he is going to blow him self up to show his protest.

    So this better be an example for not doing it at all rather than doing it anyway.


  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Had the same problem...

    A mate had a 750ml bottle of holiday fire water confiscated from Schiphol airport this year whilst trying to board the plane - having bought it about 100 yards back in the duty free.

    The bottle was still sealed in the duty free placcy bag when it went through x-ray, but the security bods still wanted to apply the 100ml rule. I offered to empty my bottle of aftersun and use that to mule some across the border, but the suggestion was not well recieved!

  48. Pieter

    the rules...

    as an airport Security Officer, I would like to point out that all comments regarding the rules about this issue, must consider the Schengen countries (SC). Info on which countries are and will become SC's, check out

    when one takes a flight regardless of the country of departure and arrival, one is subjected to the limit of a maximum of 10 containers of maximum 100 ml's ofo "liquids" taken along in hand luggage. The list of considered "liquids" includes gels, some creams, some types of cheese, pastes (toothpaste e.g.)), lotions, oils and cosmetics.

    when taking a connection flight FROM a SC TO another SC, OR from a non-SC to another non SC, no security checks of the hand luggage will be made, as long as one stays within the secure area of the airport (I.e. behind security check).

    in any other case (transit from SC to non SC or from a SC to a non-SC), one will have to pass border control (customs) and behind that are, right, the Security people again.

    At Brussels Airport (where I work) and many other in SCs, the airport authorities have separate piers for SC and non-SC. This enabled them to have the duty free shops being placed behind the security checkpoint of the SC part and THAT, Ladies and, Gentlemen, is when you can buy whatever you want.

  49. Taskis

    Puzzled By Praise

    Whether it's a ridiculous law or not, I don't know; or frankly much care. Personally I've never felt the need to fly with a litre bottle of vodka anyway. So maybe I'm not in a great position to comment on it (saying "it doesn't really affect me" would risk triggering the stock "first they came for the <whoever>" lectures).

    But the notion that this was some heroic act of defiance by a noble defender of civil rights? That's deluded. This was an idiot being bolshy when faced with a rule that said he couldn't do what he wanted to do. His supposed 'protest' was foolish, and it's only blind luck he's still around. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he is: better that than the alternative. But while we can be pleased he's more or less okay, let's not lionise him as some sort of revolutionary, eh?

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