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Published on : Monday, August 14, 2017
Between February 2016 and February 2017 a total of 387 suspected drunken passengers were arrested, 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 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.
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 complained: “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.”
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.
Manchester Airport is one of the signatories but when an 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.
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.
Tags: UK airports