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Holidaymakers 'should face airport drinking curbs'

13 April 2017 10:24

A Lords committee has called for airport drinking curbs

A Lords committee has called for airport drinking curbs

Restrictions should be put in place to curb the drinking of alcohol before early-morning flights, a House of Lords committee has suggested.

The Select Committee on the Licensing Act 2003 has recommended that bars and pubs in airport departure lounges should no longer be exempt from the Act.

Members of the committee said the change should be introduced by the Government before 2017 is over.

It commented : "No-one travelling on an international flight can fail to notice that, once they have gone through customs, control of the sale of alcohol seems to be relaxed, and the permitted hours even more so.

"The incidents occurring on flights are notorious, sometimes requiring flights to be diverted, and more often than not, such incidents are the consequence of alcohol consumed airside before the flight."

Risks of heavy drinking

Heavy drinking before, during and after flights can lead to mishaps and painful accidents.

While travel insurance can cover people against medical expenses while they're abroad, it might not apply to incidents caused by over-consumption of alcohol.

Growing number of incidents

Offering evidence to the Lords committee, Jet2 said its staff had to deal with 536 disruptive incidents in the summer of last year, and that more than half were fuelled by alcohol.

Between 2014 and 2015, the Civil Aviation Authority also saw a 36% rise in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK. And, added to this, data from Alcohol Concern has suggested that close to one in five holidaymakers drink before a flight.

Industry view

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: "The industry works in partnership with the police and airport authorities to tackle any problems at airside venues.

"We would be happy to review these arrangements and extend them where necessary, but the current penalties for passengers who cause flight disruption are rightly severe."