Rise in arrests of drunk air passengers

Xavier Trudeau
Août 14, 2017

"People just see us as barmaids in the sky", she reveals. 'They would touch your breasts, or they'd touch your bum or your legs.

Another former cabin crew manager, Laura Hodge, was a passenger on a flight to Ibiza in June this year. And they were serving beer predominantly I remember. In my peripheral vision, out of the corner of my eye, I could see one of the ladies was obviously sat on the guy's knee.

The Panorama producers surveyed 19,000 of the Unite union's cabin crew members, of which 4,000 responded. In the year running up to its introduction last August, the airline had refused boarding to more than 500 passengers because of disruptive passengers and issued more than 50 lifetime bans.

The Civil Aviation Authority has reported a 600% increase in "disruptive" incidents on flights in the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2016, with "most" involving alcohol although it put this down to an improvement in the reporting of such incidents rather than an actual rise in their occurrence.

The company is now 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.

"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.

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.

Boarding planes with alcohol purchased in duty free is also said to be behind the rise in the number of arrests.

Jacobs said that as Ryanair flights were short-haul "very little alcohol is usually sold on board", and it was "incumbent on the airports" to introduce preventative measures to curb excessive drinking.

Terry Tozer told Julia Hartley-Brewer that authorities, airlines and airports are "passing the parcel [on the issue] and looking after their commercial interests" because alcohol sales are a major form of income.

"The industry is working hard to tackle the issue and previous year launched a code of practice to create a common, consistent approach that co-ordinates and enhances existing efforts to prevent disruptive passenger behaviour".

The Home Office said ministers were considering the peers' report. The way airports make their money is expecting passengers to spend a lot when they're there, and the biggest thing is alcohol'.

Panorama: Plane Drunk is on BBC1 tonight at 8.30pm.

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