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Low-cost inflight drinks blamed for air rage rise | Travel News | Travel


Airlines have been accused of fuelling air rage while they take advantage of multi-buy alcohol deals.

The Sunday Express has uncovered scores of examples of cut-price drinks offers which campaigners imagine encourage air rage incidents.

The findings come just months after two flight attendants were left bloodied and bruised after an unruly passenger alleged to be drunk beat them up on an easyJet plane travelling from Gatwick to Faro, Portugal.

The most recent figures also reveal the variety of mass brawls, sexual assaults and physical violence on flights soared to 1,028 in 2022 – nearly triple the figure for 2019.

EasyJet offers an “any two spirits for £10.50” deal in addition to “two for £9.50” offers on beers, wines and cocktails akin to Aperol Spritz.

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Rival airline TUI has the same set of offers including, “buy two wines for £11”, “buy two Heineken, Mag-ners or BrewDog for £9” and “buy any 5cl spirit and mixer for £7.50”.

Jet2 offers a 3 beer and cider deal for £13.50 under the banner, “crack open and luxuriate in…”, with similar “two for £12.50” deals on premium wines and spirits. The airline also promotes a “two for £10” deal on cocktails akin to “All Shook Up Strawberry Dalquiri” and “All Shook Up Passion Fruit Martini”.

UK airlines have an obligation to report cases involving intoxicated, violent or unruly passengers to the Civil Aviation Authority. MPs are resulting from debate whether a change in law is required to handle the issue.

Gareth Johnson, Tory MP for Dartford, says he backs banning “violent individuals who cause mayhem on planes from flying”.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: “Though the overwhelming majority of journeys are trouble-free, there are cases every 12 months where people’s flights are disrupted and even diverted due to drunk rowdy passengers.

“Airlines and airports have a responsibility to work together to make sure alcohol is sold and consumed responsibly each before and through flights, and will put passengers before profit, by limiting promotions that encourage excessive drinking.”

Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: “Excessive drunken behaviour on planes could make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe. It’s vital airlines and airports have sensible policies in place, akin to matching the licensing hours of normal premises.

“It’s also vital people aren’t encouraged to drink to excess by irresponsible multi-buy discounts.”

Sue Taylor, head of alcohol policy for Balance, the North East Alcohol Programme, said: “The cheaper that alcohol is, the more available it’s, the more we see an impact when it comes to ailing health, crime and disorder.

“We’d like to look beyond blaming individuals and have a look at the broader environment where alcohol is being irresponsibly priced to encourage drinking well above low-risk limits.”

EasyJet, said: “Now we have strict guidelines concerning the consumption of alcohol onboard and our crew are trained to refuse alcohol to anyone who appears to be drunk. We refute any suggestion this promotes increased individual consumption because the deal is designed to supply value to customers travelling together.”

TUI said: “The protection and security of our customers and crew is at all times our highest priority.

“We don’t serve alcohol to passengers who’re disruptive or noticeably drunk.”

Jet2 was contacted for comment.

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