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Chief Bakes

BBC: Drunk air passenger arrests up 50%

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Chief Bakes

Drunk air passenger arrests up 50%

  • 14 August 2017
  • From the section UK
Inside duty free shopImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption A House of Lords committee report called for tougher rules on the sale of alcohol at airports

Arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year, a Panorama investigation has revealed.

A total of 387 people were arrested between February 2016 and February 2017 - up from 255 the previous year.

Meanwhile more than half of cabin crew who responded to a survey said they had witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports.

The Home Office is "considering" calls for tougher rules on alcohol.

The arrest figures obtained by Panorama came from 18 out of the 20 police forces with a major airport in their area.

Trade body Airlines UK said it should be made illegal for people to drink their own alcohol on board a plane.

'Barmaids in the sky'

A total of 19,000 of the Unite union's cabin crew members were surveyed and 4,000 responded, with one in five saying they had suffered physical abuse.

A former cabin crew manager with Virgin, Ally Murphy, quit her job last October after 14 years and told Panorama: "People just see us as barmaids in the sky.

"They would touch your breasts, or they'd touch your bum or your legs. I've had hands going up my skirt before."

Image caption Ally Murphy left her job after 14 years

In July 2016 the aviation industry introduced a voluntary code of conduct on disruptive passengers, which most of the big airlines and airports signed up to.

The code's advice included asking retailers to warn passengers not to consume duty-free purchases on the plane, while staff are also asked not to sell alcohol to passengers who appear drunk.

Panorama found more than a quarter of cabin crew surveyed were unaware of the code of practice and, of those who had heard of it, only 23% thought it was working.

One anonymous crew member told Panorama: "The code of conduct isn't working… We're seeing these incidents on a daily, a weekly, a monthly basis. It's the alcohol mainly in the duty free that is the significant problem."


Alcohol in the air

  • Entering an aircraft when drunk or being drunk on an aircraft is a criminal offence, with a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment
  • Licensing laws which prevent the sale of alcohol outside permitted hours do not apply to airside sales of alcohol at UK international airports. Bars can remain open to serve passengers on the earliest and latest flights - from 04:00 in some cases
  • About 270 passengers passed through UK airports last year* and travellers spend an estimated £300m on alcohol at UK airports each year - around a fifth of total retail sales of £1.5bn**
  • The Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600% increase in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK between 2012 and 2016 with "most involving alcohol". They say the increase is partly down to improved reporting of incidents

Sources: Airlines UK* and UK Travel Retail Forum**


Manchester Airport is one of the signatories but when Panorama's undercover reporter asked at World Duty Free whether she could open alcohol bought at a duty-free shop to consume on the plane, she was told "officially probably not, unofficially I think you'll get away with it". Another shop in the airport did give the right advice.

World Duty Free said it was committed to dealing with the issue and that it displays "clear advisory notices at till points, on till receipts and on carrier bags that remind customers that alcohol purchases cannot be opened until their final destination is reached".

Airlines UK, which represents carriers such as Virgin, British Airways and EasyJet, wants the government to amend the law to make consumption of a passenger's own alcohol on board an aircraft a criminal offence.

'There for one reason'

Airlines can limit the amount of alcohol sold to passengers on board flights.

Low-cost airline Jet2 has already banned alcohol sales on flights before 08:00 and managing director Phil Ward agreed further action was needed.

"I think they [airports] could do more. I think the retailers could do more as well.

"Two litre steins of beer in bars, mixes and miniatures in duty free shops, which can only be there for one reason - you know, they're items that are not sold on the high street.

"We can't allow it not to change."

A House of Lords committee report earlier this year called for tougher rules on the sale of alcohol at airports.

Committee chair Baroness McIntosh of Pickering said: "We didn't hear one shred of evidence to show the voluntary code was either working now or had any possible vestige of success in working any time soon."

The Home Office said it was considering the report's recommendations, which include revoking the airports' exemption from the Licensing Act, "and will respond in due course".

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: "I don't accept that the airports don't sell alcohol responsibly. The sale of alcohol per se is not a problem. It's the misuse of it and drinking to excess and then behaving badly."

She said they were working with retailers and staff to make sure they understand the rules.

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ParochialYokal

It's unfair to restrict alcohol in its entirety but something does need to be done to change the attitude of British people to alcohol and flying.

 

The issue is that the party seems to start as soon as large groups of people rock up at the airport and book in for their budget airline.

 

 

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Cathedral Bobby

They should be stopped from even getting on the plane. There is nothing worse than being in a smarty tube, 20,000 ft in the air with the cast of Shameless

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ParochialYokal
They should be stopped from even getting on the plane. There is nothing worse than being in a smarty tube, 20,000 ft in the air with the cast of Shameless

 

They should be stopped getting on the plane if they are sloshed and are scutter class.

 

I'm on my hols right now and I'm fortunate enough to fly business class most of the time. I manage to polish off a heroic amount in the lounge before I get in the plane and then a whole lot more when I get airborne but I do it in a dignified way and with a stiff upper lip.

 

Bans on booze shouldn't be arbitrary. Just because the EasyJet flight to Benidorm often results in chaos doesn't mean that everyone else should suffer.

 

Airlines should be more empowered to deny entry, but there is a whole cohort of business class passengers who over indulge but don't then suddenly try to throttle their best mate or sibling. The common linkage here is a Jeremy Kyle cohort whom have no manners.

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Cathedral Bobby

Oooooh business class, luxury I cannot afford so I will just have to make sure that I sit no where near Mr Kyle's mates in the smarties tube pack em in, stack em high class.

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Chief Bakes

Ryanair calls for two-drink limit at airports

  • 14 August 2017
  • From the section UK
Ryanair planeImage copyright PA

Ryanair has called on UK airports to enforce a two-drink limit, after a BBC Panorama investigation suggested arrests of drunken passengers have risen by 50% in a year.

The low-cost airline has already banned customers from drinking duty-free alcohol on board.

A total of 387 people were arrested between February 2016 and February 2017 - up from 255 the previous year.

The Home Office is "considering" calls for tougher rules on alcohol.

The arrest figures obtained by Panorama came from 18 out of the 20 police forces with a major airport in their area.

Ryanair already stops people flying from Glasgow Prestwick and Manchester to Alicante and Ibiza from bringing alcohol on board the aircraft at all.

The company is urging airports to ban the sale of alcohol before 10am and to limit the number of drinks per boarding pass to a maximum of two.

Ryanair's Kenny Jacobs said: "This is an issue which the airports must now address.

"We are calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol at airports, particularly with early morning flights and when flights are delayed."

'Barmaids in the sky'

p05cbt9l.jpg
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAlly Murphy: "Drunk passenger tried to open plane door"

Trade body Airlines UK said it should be made illegal for people to drink their own alcohol on board a plane.

Meanwhile, more than half of cabin crew who responded to a survey said they had witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports.

A total of 19,000 of the Unite union's cabin crew members were surveyed and 4,000 responded, with one in five saying they had suffered physical abuse.

A former cabin crew manager with Virgin, Ally Murphy, quit her job last October after 14 years and told Panorama: "People just see us as barmaids in the sky.

"They would touch your breasts, or they'd touch your bum or your legs. I've had hands going up my skirt before."

Speaking to Radio 5live, DJ Judge Jules, said he witnessed the same sort of behaviour.

"People sort of stealing stuff from the drinks trolley, people groping the cabin crew, people groping one another. I mean the list is endless," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A House of Lords committee report called for tougher rules on the sale of alcohol at airports

In July 2016 the aviation industry introduced a voluntary code of conduct on disruptive passengers, which most of the big airlines and airports signed up to.

The code's advice included asking retailers to warn passengers not to consume duty-free purchases on the plane, while staff were also asked not to sell alcohol to passengers who appeared drunk.

Panorama found more than a quarter of cabin crew surveyed were unaware of the code of practice and, of those who had heard of it, only 23% thought it was working.


Alcohol in the air

  • Entering an aircraft when drunk or being drunk on an aircraft is a criminal offence, with a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment
  • Licensing laws which prevent the sale of alcohol outside permitted hours do not apply to airside sales of alcohol at UK international airports. Bars can remain open to serve passengers on the earliest and latest flights - from 04:00 in some cases
  • About 270m passengers passed through UK airports last year* and about a fifth of all duty-free purchases involved wine and spirits**
  • The Civil Aviation Authority reported a 600% increase in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK between 2012 and 2016 with "most involving alcohol". They say the increase is partly down to improved reporting of incidents

Sources: Airlines UK* and UK Travel Retail Forum**


Airlines can limit the amount of alcohol sold to passengers on board flights.

Low-cost airline Jet2 has already banned alcohol sales on flights before 08:00 and managing director Phil Ward agreed further action was needed.

"I think they [airports] could do more. I think the retailers could do more as well.

"Two litre steins of beer in bars, mixes and miniatures in duty free shops, which can only be there for one reason - you know, they're items that are not sold on the high street.

"We can't allow it not to change."


Your tales of drunken passengers:

  • "One passenger was so drunk he had to have a member of crew do up his seat belt. During landing we had passengers standing up, despite repeatedly being told to sit down. I heard the most despicable things, totally racist and sexist and disgusting." Nikki Webber
  • "There was one woman whose language was vile all through the flight with the hen party. The last straw was once the plane had landed, she walked up the aisle and shouted the vilest language in front of my son." Sharon Richards
  • "As the plane is landing... the lads remove their (seatbelts) and start scrapping really badly. I looked around and I saw one lad kick the girl behind me. They kicked me and without thinking about it I heard myself shouting really loudly at them to sit down and put their seatbelts back on." Tania Chambers
  • "One passenger was so drunk by the end of the flight, he was unable to leave the aircraft unaided by the time we arrived. The departure time was before 8am." Paul Shah
  • "I was seated just behind a stag group who had been drinking in the airport and continued to drink duty free clear spirits from water bottles on the flight. The airline staff did not serve any alcohol that flight and moved a family with young children." David Moult

A House of Lords committee report earlier this year called for tougher rules on the sale of alcohol at airports.

The Home Office said it was considering the report's recommendations, which include revoking the airports' exemption from the Licensing Act, "and will respond in due course".

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: "I don't accept that the airports don't sell alcohol responsibly. It's the misuse of it and drinking to excess and then behaving badly."

She said they were working with retailers and staff to make sure they understand the rules.

Watch Panorama: Plane Drunk on Monday 14 August on BBC One at 20:30 BST and afterwards on BBC iPlayer

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ParochialYokal
Oooooh business class, luxury I cannot afford so I will just have to make sure that I sit no where near Mr Kyle's mates in the smarties tube pack em in, stack em high class.

 

My business class holiday costs the same as a holiday for a similarly aged colleague with a family of four.

 

Children and a wife or nice holidays without an ear ache? I made my choice lol

 

The issue is that budget airlines have become 'party planes' and also many families of today consider their children to be the centre of the universe. The result? Nobody gives a stuff about anybody else and are just out for themselves.

 

There isn't an easy solution but people have become so selfish because it just isn't worth the hassle of being polite.

 

If you are sitting on a plane next to screaming, misbehaving behaved children and scutter parents then would anyone bother to mitigate their alcohol intake or language? That's not my personal opinion but a reflection on human nature. Rather than everyone showing consideration to others ('mutual altruism') people seek to maximise their own gain. It's a retrogression of human nature.

 

Funny how it mainly just impacts to the Brits, though. We pretty much do scrape he barrel when it comes to being the scutters of Europe.

 

 

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Zulu 22

Well who serves them the alcohol airside. I can only talk of Ringway Airport, oops sorry Manchester International Airport.  I can never understand why the airports bars serve unlimited drinks to passengers 24/7.  I have seen many who can hardly stand being admitted to planes. The airlines then sell them even more drink when they are already abusive and foul mouthed. It is never pleasant with a family having to endure these "Jeremy Kyle" idiot's who have no consideration, at all, for others. 

Who is to blame the airports and airlines for selling them booze, all in the name of profit.

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obsidian_eclipse

They should make it for every round of drinks the passengers buy the pilot has one too.

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