Airports across the UK have been advised to impose tougher restrictions on alcohol sales in the departure lounge after new figures have revealed the number of air rage incidents have tripled over the last three years.
In 2011 there were 39 cases of disruptive behaviour on British planes including bomb threats, assault on cabin crew, smoking in the toilets and trying to gain entry to the cockpit. In 2012 this rose to 47, in 2013 there were 85 instances and by 2014 the total number of cases had risen to 114.
Alcohol has been cited as a factor in the sharp increase as passengers are consuming large amounts in departure lounges while waiting to board their flight. An industry insider said that many of the incidents are linked to long-haul stag parties with groups encouraging each other to drink heavily even before departure.
Earlier this year a Ryanair flight to Dublin had to be diverted after a drunk man stripped semi-naked and allegedly started throwing punches and on a separate flight, a young woman was arrested after becoming drunk and abusive while on a delayed flight.
A spokesperson for the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) commented:
“There is no excuse for rude or aggressive conduct by passengers towards cabin crew or fellow passengers on board aircraft. It is actually a specific criminal offence to be drunk on board an aircraft and refuse to comply with instructions from the captain. We support UK airlines’ efforts to deal with disruptive passengers to ensure the safety of all those on board and we welcome criminal prosecutions where appropriate.”
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