Drunken tourists fighting on a flight to Spain. | Instagram


Over the past ten days, there have been two serious incidents on board flights from the UK to Spain involving passengers who have had too much to drink before boarding and have then continued to drink during the flight.

In theory, ground staff have the right to stop a passenger from boarding a plane if the person is considered to have drunk too much and pose a potential threat other passengers and even the aircraft.
However, such action is seldom taken, plus once they are in the skies, passengers are able to continue drinking.

But the continuing number of incidents have sparked a fresh debate about airport and onboard drinking in the UK.

The Bulletin recently ran a story about the problem with a survey asking readers “Should boozing and flying be banned?” and 72 percent voted yes.

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Last year, passengers travelling from the United Kingdom to Spain with Ryanair were banned from consuming the alcohol they had purchased from duty-free on board.

It was already prohibited to consume personal alcohol on any airline, but Ryanair, the low-cost carrier, felt compelled to implement additional measures due to the numerous diversions and incidents that had occurred on their flights.

The change affected the most popular holiday destinations in Spain, including Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga, Palma, and Tenerife. When booking a ticket with Ryanair, passengers received the following message:
“In order to prioritise the comfort and safety of all passengers, Ryanair will implement the following restrictions on your upcoming flight to Spain:
“Customers will not be allowed to carry alcohol on board and all cabin luggage will be searched at the boarding gates. Any alcohol purchased in airport shops or elsewhere must be packed carefully in a suitable item of cabin baggage, which will be tagged at the gate and then placed in the aircraft hold free of charge if you have purchased priority boarding or have a small piece of hand luggage.

Passengers who have purchased wine, beer, or spirits will have their alcoholic beverages stored in the hold and can retrieve them upon arrival in Spain.
Ryanair emphasised, “We are not banning or confiscating duty-free items.”

Passengers who are discovered hiding alcohol and attempting to bring it on board the aircraft face the possibility of being removed from the flight, with no refund or compensation provided.”