In a bid to try and tackle disruptive behavior caused by alcohol, Jet2 have announced that they are to stop selling alcohol before 8am across all their routes. The ban will come into force from Monday making them the first European airline to introduce such a measure – but will it realistically make any difference?
It is nothing new to read a flight being diverted midway due to a passenger becoming disruptive – with the plane being met authorities to escort them off. Personally I cannot believe people start drinking that early anyway, but obviously they must!
It was ‘New Labour’ which introduced 24 hour drinking back in 2003 in a bid to reduced binge drinking and bring it in line with European café culture. In the last two years there have been over 400 “alcohol related’ air-rage arrests and surprisingly – or maybe not, most are Brits. Perhaps in order to make it more effective they should have followed the old UK licensing hours and made it 11am – but if airports are still permitted to sell outside of these hours it will be of little use.
Aviation law forbids anyone to be drunk on an aircraft – can you imagine what would happen in an emergency. The new aviation minister Lord Ahmed is looking at the licensing laws at airports in a bid to reduce drink fuelled air-rage – but for many, having a drink before they fly is part of the experience. It is all down to moderation, but drinking while eating breakfast at 7am to me is a step too far. However, alcohol sales both at the airport and onboard are lucrative, but currently there are no licensing hours at UK airports so perhaps this should be the first thing the minister should address. Surely anyone who appears even remotely drunk and disorderly should be denied boarding anyway – and it is down to the cabin crew to refuse alcohol to anyone they deem as having had too much and causing problems to other passengers.
Only this morning police had to be called to a RyanAir Ibiza bound flight from Manchester after two male passengers started fighting – it was due to depart at 6:50am but not known if alcohol was involved… if so it would have been consumed at the airport as the flight hadn’t yet taken off.
Will other airlines follow suit I wonder – will all the stags be avoiding Jet2 now? Benidorm is known for its cheap booze and the reason many come here, to party away at affordable prices. A lot of bars are reliant on their business - it is only a small minority who go overboard and get rowdy.