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Flying home in high spirits

?YOU are like my brother?I am home?Oh!! I have seen you before here, brother. How are you?? Customs sleuths are quite accustomed to these routine lines from inebriated international passengers who arrive at the Amausi airport from either Jeddah, Sharjah or Dubai on early morning flights. ?We get at least one inebriated passenger in the Customs area almost every 10 days. They act overfriendly and sometimes are a little too conscious of their drunken state. This makes them extra polite and servile,? a Customs employee at the airport says.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 00:00 IST

“YOU are like my brother…I am home…Oh!! I have seen you before here, brother. How are you?” 

Customs sleuths are quite accustomed to these routine lines from inebriated international passengers who arrive at the Amausi airport from either Jeddah, Sharjah or Dubai on early morning flights.

“We get at least one inebriated passenger in the Customs area almost every 10 days. They act overfriendly and sometimes are a little too conscious of their drunken state. This makes them extra polite and servile,” a Customs employee at the airport says.

He says about 90 per cent of the international passenger arrivals at the Amausi airport comprise the labour class who are just too happy to be home on a holiday. “It’s not unusual for a Customs employee to find some inebriated passengers struggling to walk straight when they reach the airport,”  the employee says.

“We have specific directions from our superiors to treat these inebriated passengers with utmost courtesy and help them get over their drunken state, if possible, right in the Customs area. No Customs employee, or officer ever forgets to hand them a glass of water and make them comfortable, while their baggage is checked,” the employee adds.

There are inebriated passengers who keep saluting Customs officials and employees, or sometimes even try to hug them. There are even couples who arrive drunk and keep smiling after they check into the customs area, he says.
Then, there are passengers who dress up in gaudy suits and ties, almost like any wannabe Bollywood star. And they speak chaste Gorakhpuri with Customs employees.

While a class of inebriated passengers just forgets to pick up baggage, another refuses to get it checked.

“We are still fortunate that Amausi airport does not get inebriated passengers who have to be physically picked up from onboard by airport employees and brought to the Customs area. The standard procedure for all inebriated passengers is to make them sit comfortably and listen to them sympathetically, as they arrive in their homeland on a perfect holiday after many months of hard work abroad,” the employee says.

There are passengers who tend to even object to baggage checks by the Customs authorities and are persuaded to follow the rules.

There are also passengers who are not able to assess how many drinks onboard can keep them sober. During the flight, they tend to drink a lot, without realising that they will have to spend some time in the Customs area to get their baggage checked when they arrive in the airport, he says.

However, unlike many bigger airports where sometimes passengers arrive drunk and create a scene, there has not been such an incident yet at the Amausi airport, the employee adds.