Could alcohol be banned at airports?

We all like to think we’re good at ‘handling’ our alcohol, but many people who drink can become worse versions of themselves, susceptible to becoming more aggressive or emotional, or just plain silly. That said, alcohol is generally not a good mix with most things.

One such thing is flying. Taxing enough on your body as it is, there’s nothing worse than sharing a small, confined space with a drunken idiot, particularly when that space is 30,000 feet above the ground.

While there’s not much else to do at airports, or on planes for that matter, drinking to pass the time may not be an option for much longer. Ryanair, one of the UK’s biggest budget airlines, is calling for revised regulations around airport drinking.

The budget airline is proposing airports ban the sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars before 10am and enforce a two-drink policy.

Australians allegedly spend a quarter of a billion dollars each year on pre-flight drinks; the BBC has reported a 50 per cent spike in arrests associated with drunken passengers from February 2016 to 2017; and with all research pointing to increased amounts of passenger drinking at airports and on planes, it might only be a matter of time before this proposal is implemented.

In further support of the suggestion, a major cabin crew survey conducted by Unite union revealed that more than half of the 4000 respondents had witnessed disruptive drunken behaviour at airports. Even more alarming, a fifth of those surveyed said they’d been physically abused by an intoxicated passenger.

Ryanair spokesperson, Kenny Jacobs, said intoxicated travellers are “an issue which the airports must now address”. The airline already does not allow passengers to consume duty-free alcohol and on some routes to Alicante and Ibiza no alcohol may be brought on board at all.

Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, countered that alcohol at airports wasn’t the issue, arguing that “the misuse of it and drinking to excess and then behaving badly” was the real problem. However, the Home Office stated it was considering a ban and would respond in due course.

If bans do become established, it’s highly likely that airports in Australia and around the world will follow suit. It’s an all too common scenario of a few ruining it for everyone.

What do you think about Ryanair’s proposed revisions of alcohol consumption at airports? Should people be allowed to drink before or during a flight? Or is this one situation that calls for everyone to be sober?

Written by SJ

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