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Tuesday, 06 November 2018

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Last orders on morning drinking in airlines

Tuesday, 06 November 2018

Article Image 06 November 2018

For many, drinking in the airport is the start if the holiday, no matter what time your flight is. However, round-the-clock drinking at UK airports could become a thing of the past under proposals being put forward by the government.

The Home Office is set to launch a review of licensing laws at airport terminals across the country, which could signal an end to early-morning drinking in airport bars and restaurants.

This follows a call from airlines to crackdown on alcohol sales before flights following a spike in arrests for drunken behaviour, claiming they are saddled with the consequences of intoxicated passengers. Ryanair voiced its concerns about alcohol sales, advocating a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol before 10am. In September one of its flight to Ibiza was forced to return to Manchester airport 36 minutes into the journey because of a “disruptive passenger”. Police later arrested a woman on suspicion of being drunk onboard an aircraft.

In September, the airline industry warned that drunk passengers could expect to face fines of up to £80,000 if a plane has to be diverted because of disruptive behaviour. Passengers found drunk on a flight could be fined up to £5,000 and jailed for up to two years for breaching air navigation orders.

Flights to party destinations, including Ibiza, Marbella and Zante experience the most raucous behaviour from excessive drinking. Generally, the larger the group, the greater the chance of antisocial behaviour occurring either prior to take off or during the flight.

Alcohol-fuelled disturbances are on the rise with 417 reports of severe disruption mid-air were counted by the Civil Aviation Authority in 2017, a marked increase from the 195 cases in 2015.

In August last year, an investigation by BBC One’s Panorama revealed there had been a more than 70% increase in arrests relating to drunken behaviour on flights or at UK airports, rising from 225 in the year running up to February 2016 to 387 in the subsequent 12 months.