Fresh calls for crackdown on drunk airline passengers

16th August, 2018 by Melita Kiely

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is encouraging more prosecutions to stamp out “violent and drunken” behaviour by passengers during flights.


A new report suggests drunken aeroplane passenger numbers are on the rise

Yesterday (15 August), the CAA revealed it had already received more than 200 incident reports regarding “disruptive passengers” from UK airlines in 2018 before the summer holiday season had got under way.

The group said this year’s figures “mirror previous years”, during which more than 400 incidents were recorded, “many involving acts of violent or intimidating behaviour”.

As a result, the CAA is asking airlines and enforcement agencies to “make better use of laws” already in place.

Richard Stephenson, director of the UK CAA, said: “Drunken and abusive behaviour on an aeroplane is totally unacceptable.

“Not only does it upset everyone else, but it can also jeopardise flight safety.

“Criminal charges should be brought against offenders more often to act as a deterrent – passengers need to know they will face the full weight of the law should they be found guilty of disorderly behaviour.”

Drunken shenanigans

The recommendation from the CAA comes in light of a new report published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) this week, which showed that 60% (three out of five) British adults who travel by air have witnessed drunk passengers while on a flight.

The YouGov survey behind the report also disclosed that 86% of respondents support implementing the same licensing laws applying to shops and bars selling alcohol on the high street to those located in airports.

Furthermore, 74% of those questioned supported a restriction of alcohol consumption at airports to just bars and restaurants, and prohibiting consumption of duty-free-bought alcohol in the airport.

A total of 64% of respondents supported breathalyser tests at departure gates, while 55% backed time restrictions on when alcohol can be sold at airports.

Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, Ryanair’s director of public affairs, said: “Problems do not arise from the sale of alcohol on board, as the measures are small, the flights short, and sales controlled by trained staff.

“Ryanair thanks the Institute of Alcohol Studies for its important contribution, and calls on the UK government to make the necessary changes.”

Last year, European airline Ryanair called for a ban on all bar and restaurant alcohol sales in UK airports before 10am in a bid to combat disruptive behaviour from passengers.

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