One Of The UK's Biggest Airlines Wants To Limit How Much We Drink At Airports

Photo: Matthieu Joannon
Flying in economy on certain airlines is bleak at the best of times, but the experience could be about to get even less pleasurable if proposals from Ryanair come into force. The budget airline wants UK airports to introduce a two-drink limit and ban sales of alcohol in bars and restaurants before 10am.
This means that when we're stuck next to a wailing baby or in the middle of a rowdy Amsterdam-bound stag do, the pleasantly numbing effect of a few G&Ts could soon be a thing of the past. However, Ryanair's reasoning is admittedly quite compelling.
The airline cited a recent investigation by the BBC's Panorama which showed there was a 50% spike in arrests of drunken passengers in the year to February 2017, when 387 people were arrested, compared with 255 in 2016, reported the BBC.
The short-haul airline already prohibits passengers from drinking duty-free alcohol on its flights, and people flying from Glasgow Prestwick and Manchester to Alicante and Ibiza are banned from bringing any booze on board whatsoever.
Kenny Jacobs from Ryanair said passengers' drunken conduct "is an issue which the airports must now address", and that the company particularly wants to see alcohol sales curbed during early morning flights and when flights are delayed.
While we may have our own (selfish) reservations about the two-drink limit, the results of a major cabin crew survey make us think it may not actually be the worst idea. More than half of the 4,000 respondents from the Unite union have witnessed disruptive drunken antics at UK airports, while a fifth said they'd been physically abused by an intoxicated traveller.
Ally Murphy, a former Virgin airlines cabin crew manager, told Panorama she believed passengers "just see us as barmaids in the sky". She quit her job last October after 14 years because she'd had enough of the abuse, adding: "They would touch your breasts, or they'd touch your bum or your legs. I've had hands going up my skirt before."
However, the Airport Operators Association refuted the claim that the availability of alcohol at airports is irresponsible. Karen Dee, its chief executive, said it was "the misuse of it and drinking to excess and then behaving badly" that was the problem. Nevertheless, the Home Office said it's considering a ban and will respond to the proposals in due course. Watch this space.


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