Number Of Passengers Arrested For Being Drunk On Planes Has Risen By 50%

Also known as: The Kate Moss

Number Of Passengers Arrested For Being Drunk On Planes Has Risen By 50%

by Miranda Aldersley |
Published on

It will go down in history as a seminal pop culture moment: Kate Moss yelling ‘basic b****’ at the pilot while Easy Jet cabin crew escorted her from the plane. Now, it seems, the general public are following suit – with UK airports reporting that arrests of drunken passengers have risen by 50% in the last year, according to a BBC Panorama investigation.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has seen a 600% increase in ‘disruptive passenger incidents in the UK’ between 2012 and 2016, with "most involving alcohol". Not so surprisingly, the most disrupted routes are to Spanish holiday resorts like Alicante (the provincial home of Benidorm), Palma and Ibiza. Crafty Brits are appearing to use aeroplanes as convenient mobile venues for pre-drinks, with many heading straight from baggage claim to the strip.

Opinion is split over what is causing the rise – after all, people have always been allowed to drink on planes. Links have been suggested with a huge boom in the stag and hen party industry. With half of Britons now going abroad to celebrate imminent nuptials, that is a LOT of thirsty traffic. To quickly cross-reference – yes, Benidorm and Ibiza feature in the top 10 destinations for Hens and Stags. A certain viral video from last month featuring a Hen Party being kicked off their Ryanair flight to Alicante springs to mind.

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Of course, pre-wedding revelry is not solely responsible for the increase. The CAA purport that improved reporting of these incidents is partially responsible. Incidents are also easier to prove, because the chances are another passenger has recorded it on their iPhone – although you would think this would put people off - the last thing you anyone wants is a viral video of themselves outdoing Kristin Wiig in Bridesmaids.

But while for most people getting a bit pissed at 30,000 feet is just harmless fun, or even accidental (it’s the altitude!!) sometimes the ramifications are more serious for airline staff – particularly women. Ally Murphy, a member of Virgin Airlines cabin crew for 14 years, told the BBC, 'people just see us as barmaids in the sky. They would touch your breasts, or they’d touch your bum or your legs, or I’ve had hands going up my skirt before.' As the trend moves towards aeroplanes becoming transitory bars, it seems to be bringing with it the gross behaviour we are sadly all too familiar with back on the ground.

It is already illegal to be drunk on-board an aeroplane, but the Home Office is considering imposing tougher regulations on alcohol. This is likely to be stricter enforcement of the ban on passengers drinking their own alcohol on board, and greater fines for disorderly conduct. So, if you just want to drink gin and read High Life, like us, you’ll be fine.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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