Airport Bars: The Crackdown On Airport Drinking

There’s something deeply upsetting knitting itself through the furrowed brows of government officials and airport security: a crackdown on airport drinking to minimize airport drunkenness. We already know that we shouldn’t get completely wasted at airport bars, but a total crackdown? Come on.

However, it seems some people really can’t hold their liquor. On-board disruption as a result of passenger drunkenness is a growing problem for the global airline industry. Airport bars don’t always notice, but the flight attendants will. Newsflash: there are other ways to deal with airport stress than getting tipsy at airport bars.

For Those of You That Get Your Fix At Airport Bars

Airport bars are not necessarily a safe haven anymore. Let’s look at the UK. Leisure airline Jet2.com and World Duty-Free partnered up in an effort to reduce the illegal consumption of pre-purchased alcohol while in the air.

The Times of India claims that the airline now incorporates strict limitations on how much alcohol passengers can consume. This means you should sober up outside of the bar prior to flying. Perhaps an airport coffee shop or something else to do in the morning?

Alcohol Limits for Travelers

Air India became the first airline with an alcohol limit for travelers. Flyers in both the first and business class lounge at the Delhi Airport cannot get wasted prior to flying. This article at munchies.vice.com claims, “Flyers are now restricted to three 45-millilitre servings of spirits, two 200-millilitre glasses of wine, or three pints of beer. Those traveling on domestic flights will not be served any alcohol.”

Another article from Conde Nast Traveller quotes Britain’s new aviation minister, Tariq Ahmad. It says he wants to work towards lessening the bad behaviour that results from excessive alcohol consumption. Yes, we agree – drinking and flying can be a scandalous combo.

Ahmad sees a problem with getting drunk and misbehaving at airports. With that, he’s issued a huge crackdown on the sale of alcohol in airports throughout the U.K.

“It’s important that passengers who board plans are also responsible and have a responsibility to other passengers and that certainly should be the factor which we bear in mind,” Ahmad claims. “If you are a young family traveling on a plane you want to go from point A to B, you don’t want to be disrupted.”

airport bars
PHOTO: Sergei Zubkov/flickr

Are Airport Bars to Blame?

The World Travel Market (WTM) trade show polled 1,000 people who travel regularly and the findings were shocking. Almost all of them claim that they’ve dealt with a minimum of one disruptive passenger while flying. What’s even more unexpected is that 73% reported that they’re in agreeance with the new crackdown on airport bars. These people want alcohol banned – especially for early morning flights.

When asked about the research, WTM’s senior direct, Simon Press, told The Telegraph, “Our research shows that many people are concerned about air rage and want stricter controls on pre-flight and in-flight alcohol sales.”

The fact of the matter is that aviation law doesn’t allow being drunk on an aircraft. According to the Independent, airlines actually possess the right to refuse passengers that they believe pose a threat to the safety of the aircraft and anyone on board.

So next time you find yourself boozing at the airport bars, remember – you might not make it on your flight if you’re overly intoxicated.

Louie Levey

Louie is a writer, entrepreneur, and digital nomad who is constantly traveling in search of new experiences. He is a firm believer in few things being better than good conversation.

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