Selling alcohol at airports

By | Category: Travel news

banning alcohol sales at airports may be the solution to the fast-growing anti-social behaviour on flights

How often do we hear of flights being diverted or passengers being restrained because of alcohol? Not very often is the probable answer.

But how often do you fly or experience, at the airport, behaviour which seems to be the result of over-indulgence in alcohol?

That I see much more often. And last year, the BBC’s Panorama, ran  a programme about the problem.

Now it is reported that Ryanair has called for more restrictions on alcohol sales at airports It wants a regulation that there is a two-drink limit for passengers (it has suggested this before) and a ban on alcohol sales in airports before 10am.

What has brought this call about is because a flight from Dublin to Ibiza had to land in Paris last Saturday after three passengers became unruly due to drink.

It and other airlines have previously been concerned about passengers drinking too much on particular routes ( Ibiza being one of them) so is it time to do something to crack down on those passengers who can make life difficult for other passengers?

Is it any different from tolerating drunken passengers on the last train home on Friday or Saturday nights or during December when the office Christmas parties are in full swing?

Because incidents on planes are regarded as being more serious, any occasion of bad behaviour tends to make headlines. That airports (be it duty free shops, bars or restaurants) make a lot of money for selling duty free alcohol make explain why there seems to be little support from airports. Airlines also make a lot of money from selling duty free and drinks on board but the bad publicity and costs incurred when a plan has to be diverted to offload disruptive passengers probably outweighs profits on some routes.

Why should airports be able to sell alcohol throughout the day when they have no control on how much people drink? On a plane you can see how much a person consumes. At an airport people could have a drink at one place and go on to all the other outlets so how could Ryanair’s suggestion of a two drink limit be enforced? A person might have one drink or a dozen and no-one would know. If Ryanair unilaterally decides that it will only provide two drinks per passenger per flight, so be it.

Rather than airports shutting down the debate by saying that any alcohol sales would penalise the majority, they should consider the numbers affected when drinking becomes excessive.

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