Drinking and air travel have always gone together. Airports have bars, planes serve booze—try finding that kind of convenience taking Greyhound! But in a speech last week, Robert Goodwill, the UK’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State suggested it’s time for his country to have an “open, public debate” on “the problem of passengers who become disruptive on flights, particularly after drinking alcohol.”
According to Goodwill, the request comes from the airlines themselves, saying “several” had contacted the government, with one airline reporting over 360 incidents over the summer. “We don’t want to stop passengers enjoying themselves or prevent people from flying,” said Goodwill, “But we do want people to put a break on before things get out of hand.” Let’s pause here to give a quick toast to anyone who would stop flying all together because they aren’t allowed to drink enough alcohol. Get those guys a Xanax prescription; they’ve earned it.
Goodwill’s solution: Everything from having “clear warnings about the risks of drunkenness displayed on the airport’s bars and tables” to identifying “the most trouble-prone flights.” Sorry, London-to-Cancun. Save your partying for the beach.
Delayed flights are also cited as an issue. “For some passengers, a delayed flight means that the first drink of the holiday quickly becomes the first 3, 4 or 5 drinks,” he said. Exactly, the problem isn’t your drinking, it’s that the airlines need to get their shit together.
“Our aim should be to ensure that flying is a safe and enjoyable experience for all travelers, and that flying doesn’t end badly for the careless few,” Goodwill said, wrapping up on the topic. Alright, now that that’s over, can we have an “open, public debate” on why airport bars think they can charge $9 for a Coors Light?