Alcohol and Flying in the News: Comment from


Posted in Announcements

August 21, 2018 at 08:52

Recently a number of stories have appeared in the media on the issue of alcohol and flying.

The Civil Aviation Authority has revealed the number of incidents involving disruptive passengers between January and July this year, saying ‘passengers need to know they will face the full weight of the law should they be found guilty of disorderly behaviour.’

In addition, a study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies and the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, has found that two thirds of people have encountered disruptive passenger behaviour on flights and over half believe there is a serious problem with excessive alcohol consumption in air travel. The Institute of Alcohol Studies has recommended applying the Licensing Act to airports, allowing time restrictions to be imposed.

In response to this Phil Ward, Managing Director of said:

“These two separate reports are very welcome and prove one thing - disruptive passenger behaviour caused by drinking too much alcohol is an unacceptable issue that impacts airports, airlines, our crew and our customers. Although our crew and colleagues are highly-trained and do a fantastic job in sometimes difficult circumstances, it is unfair that they must be left to manage the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. At the same time, our customers travelling on their well-earned holidays should not be subjected to such behaviour on such occasions.

“We continue to support our Onboard Together campaign to tackle the issue, which we launched in 2015. The Civil Aviation Authority’s latest figures show that incidents of disruptive behaviour caused by excessive drinking show no sign of reducing, endorsing our position that this is a continuing issue. The figures also show that the time to put rigorous measures in place is long overdue.

“There are a number of good reasons why alcohol sold in airports should be managed under the same rules as on the high street, thus helping to curb excessive drinking. The claims that time restrictions on airport drinking could lead to people drinking more on the aircraft are completely misleading. As a further measure, the introduction of sealed bags for alcohol items purchased in Duty Free provides a simple practical solution to try and prevent the illicit consumption of duty free alcohol on board the aircraft.

“The majority of people get into the holiday mood without overdoing it, but a minority can unfortunately spoil it for everyone else. That is why we look forward to working with Government and our partners across the industry to ensure that our crew and customers can fly in a safe, trouble-free environment.

“Until then, as a family friendly airline flying millions of people on holiday every year, we will continue our zero tolerance approach to disruptive passenger behaviour. As well as taking steps such as issuing lifetime bans, we continue to have a number of successful court rulings in our favour, demonstrating that there can be very serious consequences if you act in a disruptive manner onboard an aircraft.”