People will go to any length to party these days, and apparently sitting outside on lawn chairs not breathing in each other’s faces seems to be too much to ask. I miss accidentally bumping into people in bars and then getting mean-mugged just like anyone else, but there’s a rumor going around that a select few nostalgic revelers are booking €9.99 flight fares just to go sit at an airport bar.
It’s all going down in Ireland, says Food & Wine. Ireland is under the Level 5 phase of “Plan for Living with COVID-19,” which means the public is advised not to do anything other than the basics, like shopping for groceries, exercising, and tending to family emergencies. Pubs and restaurants are all closed with the exception of takeout and delivery. The only place that’s open for food and alcohol is the airport, where restaurants are still operating normally, able to sell food and booze.
On November 5, The Angry Bartender Ireland, a popular Facebook group, shared a post showing a photo of three glasses of beer and a boarding pass with the caption saying, “When the pubs are closed and the only place serving is the airport so you book a £9.99 flight (that u have no intention of getting on) to go for beers with the lads, down there for dancing,” causing rampant online speculation that someone indeed did this.
I mean...I can’t say this isn’t somewhat brilliant, and about as cheeky as it gets. But an airport spokesperson told the Irish Mirror that it appears as if this never actually happened. “We have no evidence whatsoever that such activity is occurring, other than a single post on a specific Facebook page,” the spokesperson said.
“If, as it is claimed, four individuals engaged in this activity and booked flights at a cost of €9.99 each, then each would also have had to purchase a €9 meal. Therefore, the group would have had to spend €75.96, plus the cost of travel to and from Dublin Airport, before they bought a single alcoholic beverage,” they continued.
To be honest, I wouldn’t put this past anyone, but in the end, as many suspected, it was just a joke that spiraled out of control. The person responsible is a fellow named Paul Strain, who shared the photo, tagged his buddies, and the Belfast International Airport. By the time the Angry Bartender Ireland reposted it, the online prank was already spreading around. I just hope Paul didn’t give anybody any ideas, because at this point, I could totally see this happening.