For travellers across the UK, enjoying a tipple is an essential ritual for preparing to relax and enjoy a break. In fact, you could argue that a trip to the airport Spoons is as customary as security checks. But one campaign is fighting to halt this habit - or at least reduce it drastically.
The “One Too Many” campaign launched in July, spearheading the aviation industry’s first major attempt to curb passengers hitting the bottle while travelling. The goal of the initiative is to remind passengers of the serious repercussions at stake from excessive alcohol consumption, including denial of boarding, plane diversions, being banned from airlines and even prison sentences of up to two years. These passenger disturbances can be costly, with diversion fees of up to £80,000 in extreme cases.
The UK Travel Retail Forum (UKTRF), the Airports Operators Association (AOA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airlines UK (AUK) have supported the campaign, with twelve airports across the nation supporting the campaign pilot.
The UK’s aviation minister, Baroness Sugg, said in a statement: “Disruptive passengers have the potential to ruin other people’s flights, and this campaign is an important new step to ensure all passengers are aware of the consequences they face if they behave disruptively after drinking before or on board a flight. I am pleased to see the industry come together to ensure the experiences at our airports and on flights remain positive for everyone.”
Right now, passengers are not allowed to consume alcohol purchased at Duty Free onboard. Instead, they can buy drinks from the cabin crew on the plane. That said, cabin crew are required by law not to serve alcohol to anyone who appears to be drunk.
This isn’t the first time the issue of disorderly passengers has surfaced. In 2017, budget airline Ryanair called for the ban of alcohol sales before 10am, in a bid to reduce problems of unruliness before they begin. More recently in November 2018, the UK government has asked for the publics’ views on introducing licensing laws in airports, asking for evidence which could support new legislation.
We asked our users what they thought about proposed changes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the topic of alcohol reduction polarised opinion.
Many users were in favour of the crackdown, citing past negative experiences.
“Actually a limit should be imposed. There are those that obviously can't handle their drink and makes it a bad experience for the other. Case in point of people being escorted and arrested off a plane for drinking and fighting onboard. Why should the other passengers (and indeed the crew) have to endure that?”
“I think there should be a limit, we were delayed slightly one year and a gang of lads were over intoxicated and one almost knocked my two year old flying! Thankfully I had her hand. His friend apologies, pity the numpty didn’t though!”
Some users felt that the campaign was an infringement on their rights, or that it took an enjoyable element away from the experience of flying.
“Why take the fun out of flying?!”
“That’s part of the whole experience and your holiday!”
However, others took a more balanced stance, claiming that the actions of a few shouldn’t dictate those who are capable of drinking without becoming disruptive.
“Why should responsible drinkers be punished for the actions of the irresponsible? I like a drink or two and on long haul can be relaxing. You can drink on trains and boats nobody regards them as travelling pubs. A bit of common sense should prevail over cracking a walnut with a sledge hammer approach.”
“I’m an adult and I can drink responsibly. Why should I go without because others can’t do the same? I say No to arbitrary limits as every body has their own limit (except for the crew, they shouldn’t be drinking while working!)”
“As usual a small minority of idiots spoil things for the masses that by and large know how to behave like civilised adults after a glass or two”
If you ask us, we believe there are benefits and drawbacks to this campaign. On the one hand, the chances of drunken behaviour ruining flights for more reserved passengers could be more limited. After all, few things dull the holiday excitement on your flight like being surrounded by a noisy crowd under the influence.
Similarly, letting loose and unwinding with a few drinks is arguably harmless, provided it is done so quietly and with respect for fellow travellers in mind. A tipple can also soothe pre-flight nerves for anxious passengers.
What are your thoughts on the campaign? Is indulging in one too many simply part of the relaxing holiday experience, or is a sensible crackdown - no pun intended - worth a shot? Let us know your thoughts!