Limit booze sales at UK airports, airline warns after rise in drunken passengers

Ryanair has called on U.K. airports to restrict the sale of alcohol after it was reported that arrests of drunken passengers rose by 50 percent in a year.

Europe’s biggest airline said on Monday that it has already taken a number of measures to limit the amount of alcohol customers can consume on board flights, but that more needed to be done to curb pre-flight excessive drinking.

It recommended that airports:

  • Ban the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants before 10am
  • Limit the number of drinks per boarding pass to a maximum of two
  • Control the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants during flight delays

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), most incidents involving disruptive passengers on flights between 2012 and 2016 involved alcohol.

And on Monday, it was revealed that the number of people arrested by police at British airports jumped to 387 in 2017 from 255 in the previous year – an increase of 50 percent – according to figure’s obtained by the BBC.

“It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences,” Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said in a press statement.

Customer service has 'improved radically' in recent years: Ryanair CFO

“This is a particular problem during flight delays when airports apply no limit to the sale of alcohol in airside bars and restaurants. This is an issue which the airports must now address and we are calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol at airports, particularly with early morning flights and when flights are delayed.”

Last year, the U.K.’s aviation minister said that the way alcohol is sold at airports was being reviewed. And a report from a U.K. parliamentary select committee this year recommended the sale of booze be restricted to prevent further “dangerous situations”.

Jacobs added: “Given that all our flights are short-haul, very little alcohol is actually sold on board, so it’s incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights.”


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