Airport drinking is a matter of growing concern. | Archive

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The BBC's Panorama yesterday broadcast a report entitled Plane Drunk. It revealed that arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by over 50% in a year. Between February 2016 and February this year the number was 397. Over the previous twelve months there were 255.

Panorama surveyed 19,000 cabin crew; 4,000 responded. More than half said that they had witnessed disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at airports. One in five said they had suffered physical abuse.

In July 2016 a code of conduct for dealing with disruptive passengers was drawn up. Most airlines and airports signed up to it. But Panorama found that a quarter of the cabin crew surveyed were unaware of the existence of the code. Of those who were aware, 23% said that the code wasn't working.

One airline worker placed the blame for incidents primarily on the sale of alcohol in duty free. Another identified the worst routes for incidents. Named were those to Alicante, Ibiza and Palma.

The Home Office is looking into reforming the Licensing Act and therefore revoking airports' exemption from this.