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Pilots urge passengers to be mindful of alcohol consumption during peak air travel day

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) warns passengers to not get carried away with their pre-flight drinks ahead of the busiest day of the year for UK air travel.

 Friday 27th July is set to be the busiest day in history for UK departures, with almost 9,000 flights taking off.

The warning comes after a rise in disruptive passenger incidents in recent years, many as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.

The Civil Aviation Authority has previously reported that disruptive passenger incidents increased 600% between 2012 and 2016.

BALPA warns that disruptive passengers are not only a nuisance but are a safety concern and those who cause problems should face the full force of the law.

BALPA Head of Flight Safety, Dr Rob Hunter, said:

“BALPA doesn’t want to ruin people’s fun, but the growing trend amongst some passengers in drunken disruptive behaviour is concerning.

“Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is dangerous: should there be an incident, someone who is severely inebriated might not be able to follow the instructions given to them, or hold up an evacuation.

“If a flight has to be diverted as a result of an incident, this can cause misery for other passengers and costs the airlines an awful lot of money.

“We also see examples of passengers becoming violent. Crew should not be expected to deal with any sort of verbal or physical aggression.

“Passengers should take note – if you cause disruption to a flight through violent or drunken behaviour, you could be facing a whopping fine, or even prison time.”

BALPA is one of many organisations that has signed up to the UK Aviation Industry Code of Practice on Disruptive Passengers.