Drunken passengers spark review on sale of alcohol at airports

The drunk passenger was on a Jet2.com flight to Cyprus
The drunk passenger was on a Jet2.com flight to Cyprus

The way alcohol is sold at airports is to be examined amid a spate of incidents on planes involving drunk passengers, a minister said.

Lord Ahmad, aviation minister, pledged to consider what more can be done to make air travel an “attractive sector for all” which is “safe and secure”.

He made the comments as an airline handed a passenger a £12,000 bill and a lifetime ban after his “abusive and aggressive” behaviour led to a plane being diverted to Manchester.

Joshua Strickland, 21, of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, “illicitly” drank alcohol he had brought on to the aircraft and threatened a family on board the July 13 flight from Leeds Bradford to Larnaca, Cyprus, budget carrier Jet2.com said.

The airline added that when a member of the cabin crew attempted to calm him down he made “physical threats towards her and also began to punch the seats”.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said he was charged with acting in a way to endanger an aircraft or a person on that aircraft.

Jet2.com has a “zero tolerance” policy against disruptive behaviour by passengers. More than 500 of its customers have been refused travel, with over 60 of those given lifetime bans.

Recent police statistics show hundreds of passengers were arrested on suspicion of being drunk on a plane or at an airport in the last two years.

Figures obtained following freedom of information requests showed at least 442 people were held between March 2014 and March 2016.

Lord Ahmad said: “If you’re a young family travelling on a plane you want to go from point A to B, you don’t want to be disrupted.”