Round of drinks

Do Brits have a drink and fly problem?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bottle of wine on its side
An increasing number of headlines of drunk Brits on planes have been making the news and that is increasing the pressure on the UK Government to take action.  
The U.K’s Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad has said that alcohol sales at airports will be examined. The new minister stated that he did not want to ‘kill merriment’ but would look at what times alcohol was on sale as well as passenger screening.
Although the Government said that they would not specifically address the issue, with 442 reported cases in the last year, there is increasing concern that action needs to be taken.
Flying can be an anxious time for a lot of passengers and the last thing that they want to encounter is a drunk and unruly passenger on board.
Some case has seen drunken passengers attacking airline staff, the police and even those that they were travelling with. In one recently documented case, a passenger is accused of trying to bite his partner's cheek and in another, a plane was diverted so a passenger could be removed, as he was threatening a family on board and punching seats. In that particular case, the offender was barred from the airline for life and slapped with a hefty bill for damages.
Not all cases of drunken passengers make headlines for the wrong reasons. A couple of years ago one young British nightclub goer found himself waking up in a toilet cubicle in Charles de Guille airport. He had decided on his way home to re-route and head to the airport instead. He became a hit on social media with the worse thing being that he had to pay for his flight home,
The rules and regulations on drinking on board an aircraft can quickly become confusing. For example, there is no legal limited to what you can drink on a flight but it is an offence to be drunk on a flight. Go figure that one out.
The measure would appear to be if a passenger becomes rowdy or aggressive.This would give the airline the right to refuse boarding to that individual. If the offence is serious enough, the plane may well be diverted so the offender can be arrested.
Airlines have collectively raised their concerns with the Government, but no official resolution has yet to be offered.
Despite the lack of action from the Government, airlines, police and retailers have taken their own action in stating new guidelines for buying alcohol before a flight. The guidelines stipulate that all purchases must be in a tamper proof bag and be placed in a separate location once the passenger has boarded the plane.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the problem of drunken and disruptive passengers is much smaller than in the 1990’s when the issue was at its peak. It is possible that in this age of social media that cases or more documented than they once were.
If you are unlucky and find yourself delayed due to a drunken passenger it is important that you know you will not be entitled to compensation but to find out when you are read here.