Jet2’s ban on morning alcohol rejected by Scottish airports

Jet2 has banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights. Picture: PA
Jet2 has banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights. Picture: PA
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The airline leading the battle against unruly passengers has announced an early morning alcohol ban, but Scotland’s busiest airports have declined to follow suit.

Jet2 will not sell alcohol on flights until 8am from Monday in its latest step to curb disruptive and abusive behaviour.

It called on airports and other airlines to do the same, but Edinburgh and Glasgow have rejected the move.

The airline flies more than 40,000 passengers a week from the two airports. It is the fourth largest at Glasgow and fifth largest at Edinburgh.

Jet2 has already imposed lifetime bans on more than 50 of the worst offenders across its network. Nearly 500 more have been refused travel since last year.

It has found some passengers turning up for early morning flights already drunk.

Jet2 has also helped pioneer sealed bags for duty-free alcohol bought at Glasgow Airport last autumn so passengers can’t drink it on board. The in-flight curfew could be followed by “dry” flights, which managing director Phil Ward has threatened to introduce.

Ryanair banned alcohol on flights from Prestwick to Ibiza in April.

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Mr Ward said yesterday: “We believe stopping sales of alcohol before 8am 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 UK government announced last week it would consider greater alcohol restrictions for fliers.

Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad said this would include the opening hours of airport bars.

A code of practice on disruptive passengers was published last week following collaboration between airlines, airports, the police and retailers.

It includes airport shops advising passengers not to drink alcohol they have purchased before or during their flight, and training staff in bars and restaurants to limit or stop the sale of alcohol if they are concerned about disruptive behaviour.

However, Scotland’s two main airports said they had no plans for new restrictions.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport, the country’s busiest, said: “We’re open to evidence based approaches to solving issues in our airport. There is no evidence from airlines, Police Scotland and our retailers that this is a problem at Edinburgh so we will not be making any changes.”

Glasgow Airport said drunken incidents in the terminal were “extremely rare”.

It said a “Campus Watch” scheme had been launched three years ago with Police Scotland to address disruptive behaviour. It worked closely with retailers and airlines “to pre-empt and address this type of unacceptable behaviour”.

A spokesman said: “Any form of disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated at Glasgow Airport.”

Civil Aviation Authority figures showed the number of disruptive passengers has nearly tripled in three years from 39 in 2011 to 114 last year.

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