The majority of holidaymakers back plans to clamp down on passengers drinking alcohol before and during early morning flights in a bid to curb air rage, reveals research from World Travel Market London released today (Monday 7 November) at the event.
The report reveals more than a quarter of people (27%) have experienced a disruptive passenger on a flight and almost three quarters (73%) agreed with the recent decision by airline Jet2.com to ban the sale of alcohol on board in the mornings. Only one in ten said they disagreed with Jet2.com’s policy on not selling alcohol before 8am.
The issue of alcohol on flights and air rage is becoming increasingly concerning, with the number of ‘dangerous’ in-flight incidents on UK airlines rising fourfold in three years, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. The CAA says UK airlines reported 85 air rage incidents in 2013, but the figure soared to 386 last year.
Figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also show air rage is a global problem. Last year there were more than 10,854 incidents worldwide, equating to one incident for every 1,205 flights. The previous year, there were 9,316 incidents.
A significant proportion (11%) involved physical aggression towards passengers or crew, or damage to the aircraft. Alcohol or drug intoxication was identified as a factor in 23% of cases, though in the vast majority of instances these were consumed prior to boarding or from personal supply without knowledge of the crew, said IATA.
IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac has described air rage as: “simply not acceptable”. “The increase in reported incidents tells us that more effective deterrents are needed. But we cannot do it alone,” he said.
IATA’s concern is echoed by Jet2.com Managing Director Phil Ward, who says ‘pre-loading’ is the issue and wants airports and retailers to clamp down on pre-flight alcohol sales. Jet2.com is calling for fully-sealed bags for alcohol purchased in airports, which it has been trialling at Manchester and Glasgow airports. As part of Jet2.com’s clampdown on bad behaviour, more than 500 passengers have been refused travel since 2015, with over 50 of these given lifetime bans.
Cabin crew have also had enough. In an article in The Independent in September, UK travel journalist Simon Calder said cabin crew now add ‘night club bouncer’ to the list of roles they are expected to carry out in the skies.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “The reported increases of air rage are concerning and many do seem to be alcohol-related. “Most of us wouldn’t consider downing a pint of lager at 6.30am during our normal daily routine, yet at airports and on board aircraft, alcohol is so readily available and as a consequence many of us have experienced an intoxicated passenger on a flight. “Our research shows that many people are concerned about air rage and want stricter controls on pre-flight and in-flight alcohol sales.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
WTM London 2016 will be revamped as a three-day event from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November, with opening hours extended from 10am – 7pm for all three days.
World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM London.
WTM London is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM London will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with more than 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together more than seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.