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Call for 'banned by one, banned by all' policy to deter bad behaviour on planes

Published 18/09/2016

Budget airline Jet2.com banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights as part of a commitment to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour
Budget airline Jet2.com banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights as part of a commitment to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour

The number of air rage incidents on UK airlines has quadrupled over the last three years, it has been revealed.

There were 386 dangerous incidents in 2015, compared to 114 in 2014 and 85 in 2013, according to figures seen by BBC Radio 5 live Investigates.

The statistics, compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), come after budget airline Jet2.com banned the sale of alcohol before 8am on its flights as part of a commitment to tackle disruptive and abusive behaviour.

Phil Ward, managing director of the airline, said so far this year it had issued life-long bans to 22 passengers.

He told BBC Radio 5 live Investigates that the aviation industry should adopt a "banned by one, banned by all" policy to deter bad behaviour.

"I think it would act as a very strong deterrent and in fact there is some work with all the airlines together going on to bring that to the table, to see if that can be correctly arranged between us all," he told the programme.

"It's not going to happen overnight. But it's something we've all agreed is a good practical solution, we just need to work out how to do it between us consistently, so that it's managed correctly."

Mr Ward told BBC Radio 5 live that problems are often caused by passengers drinking ahead of their flights in airport bars.

"You can see it every day where people are drinking pints at six in the morning," he said.

"I'm not trying to spoil people's holidays at all but it's not normal to drink a pint at six in the morning and that then manifests itself on-board the airplane where the alcohol takes a greater effect."

Jet2.com announced it had banned alcohol on early-morning flights last month.

It said it was the first airline in Europe to make the move and called on others to follow its lead.

The Department for Transport said it supported efforts to tackle the problem and welcomed the British Air Transport Association's Code of Practice, which was recently published.

The code, supported by airlines, airports, the police and retailers, aims to create a consistent approach to minimise disruptive passenger behaviour.

A spokesman said: "Passengers who become disruptive on flights cause distress to other travellers, create knock-on delays to other flights, and in rare cases can even put flight safety at risk."

"Passengers should be able to enjoy journeys from the UK's airports without having their journeys spoilt by a disruptive minority," he added.

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