Lonely Planet Writer

Air rage spike as boozy passengers treat planes like nightclubs

Passengers who sneak secret supplies of alcohol on board airplanes are responsible for the 40% increase in air rage incidents over the past year.

Planes re-routed to avoid military exercises along China's southern coast. Image by Frank Kovalchek / CC BY 2.0
Planes are being treated as nightclubs by some boozy passengers Image by Frank Kovalchek / CC BY 2.0 Image by Frank Kovalchek / CC BY 2.0

Reports back to base from cabin crews says this booze culture has led to inebriated travellers treating airplanes like nightclubs.

Passengers sneak drink bought at duty free on to go on binge session while flying
Passengers sneak drink bought at duty free on to go on binge session while flying. Image by Edwin Land / CC BY 2.0

The Daily Express reported that among the problems crews have encountered are assaults, brawls between drunks, criminal damage to property and bomb threats.

The mindset of such passengers is to load up on drink at the airport before boarding with their own private stash to consume on the journey.

More than 270 cases involving alcohol-fuelled travellers were reported in the year up to March 2105 – a massive rise from the previous level of 190, figures from the civil Aviation Authority reveal.

The managing director of Jet2.com, Phil Ward, said they had witnessed seen a 20% spike in such behaviour, saying that problems mainly occurred from groups heading abroad to celebrate, with nothing only booze on their minds. ‘They want to get lashed’, he said, adding that they stock up in Duty Free, having already arrived with a can in their hand at the airport.

Mr Ward said it was time such passengers realised that an aeroplane is not a nightclub where you can step outside for a breath of fresh air.

Philip Baum, an Aviation security expert told The Sun drunken passengers should face tougher penalties.