UK. Jet2.com is to ban the sale of alcohol before 8am BST onboard all its morning flights and has called for airports and retailers to follow its lead.
The airline said the ban was designed to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour. It will come into effect on Monday (8 August).
The move comes in the wake of media reports that airlines are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of licensing laws at airports amid warnings that they are “saturated with booze”. Airports and retailers have been accused of acting irresponsibly in not controlling alcohol consumption levels of passengers who later cause disruption on planes.
There have been several incidents of drunken inflight behaviour by British passengers recently, some linked to the onboard consumption of duty free liquor bought at the departure airport. On 29 July an Englishman was banned from flying with Jet2 for life and billed £12,000 after his aggressive behaviour led to a Cyprus-bound flight being forced to land in Manchester.
Jet2.com said airports and retailers should also “trade responsibly and similarly ban alcohol sales before 8am BST”. The airline also encouraged industry partners to support the call for fully sealed bags for alcohol purchased in airports to prohibit the illegal consumption of personal alcohol before and during flights.
Jet2.com Managing Director Phil Ward said: “We have decided to follow up very quickly on my comments made last week, by taking positive action to allow the millions of customers and families who fly with us to travel with confidence and have a great experience with Jet2.com.
“We believe that stopping sales of alcohol before 8am BST on our morning flights is an effective way to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and comfortable journey. We understand that we’re the first of the European airlines to take this bold step and call upon industry partners in airports to also trade responsibly.”
The ban further supports the airline’s ‘Onboard Together’ campaign which aims to reduce incidences of disruptive behaviour on its flights. The initiative has seen more than 500 passengers refused travel with over 50 of these given lifetime bans since it was launched in 2015.
A voluntary code of practice on disruptive passengers was developed last month by members of the British Air Transport Association, the Airport Operators Association, the Airport Police Commanders Group, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, and the UK Travel Retail Forum.
Jet2.com is among the airline signatories, along with easyJet, Flybe, Monarch, Thomas Cook Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and others.
Airport signatories include Manchester Airports Group and London Gatwick, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Glasgow airports.
It states: “The purpose of the code is to create a common, consistent approach that co-ordinates and enhances existing efforts to prevent and minimise disruptive passenger behaviour.
“Signatories to the code participate voluntarily because they are committed to ensuring passengers have a consistently safe and enjoyable experience when flying for work or leisure, and to providing a safe and pleasant work environment for their employees.”
The code can be viewed here.