Thursday 29 September 2016

Budget airline tackles air rage by banning alcohol sales... before breakfast

Mile-high moratorium

Published 06/08/2016 | 09:59

A Jet2 aircraft lands at Toulouse-Blagnac. Photo: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
A Jet2 aircraft lands at Toulouse-Blagnac. Photo: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Passengers drinking on board. Photo: Deposit

Jet2.com, the UK low-cost carrier, has claimed to be the first European airline to ban alcohol sales... before 8am.

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The airline, which flies to 17 destinations from Belfast International, announced the measure to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour on flights.

Alcohol has been cited as a common factor in air rage incidents - most recently in the UK aviation industry's Code of Practise on Disruptive Passengers.

Jet2.com's announcement comes as part of its Onboard Together campaign, which has seen more than 500 passengers refused travel and over 50 of those given lifetime bans since its launch in 2015.

The new rule will take effect from Monday, August 8.

“We believe that stopping sales of alcohol before 08:00BST on our morning flights is an effective way to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and comfortable journey, said Phil Ward, the airline's Managing Director.

Passengers drinking on board. Photo: Deposit
Passengers drinking on board. Photo: Deposit

Ward also called on airports and retailers to follow Jet2.com's lead, and to support a call for fully sealed bags for alcohol purchased in airports.

Airport bars and restaurants often fall outside of normal licensing restrictions, enabling the airside purchase of alcohol from first to last flights.

Last week, the UK's new aviation minister, Lord Tariq Ahmad, said he plans to look at how alcohol is sold at airport bars, restaurants and duty-free shops after a spate of incidents involving drunk passengers.

"I don't think we want to kill merriment altogether, but I think it's important that passengers who board planes are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers," Ahmad said in an interview with the Press Association.

Disruptive incidents remain rare on flights, according to the UK aviation industry's Code of Practice, "but can be costly and cause delays".

The Code encourages a "zero-tolerance" approach, including the full reporting of incidents and the denial of boarding where necessary.

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