Many of these were found to have threatened staff or other passengers.
Figures obtained by the Press Association through Freedom of Information requests showed at least 273 people were held in 2017 and 2018. Actual figures though will be higher as the Met Police, which covers Heathrow and Sussex Police, who look after Gatwick, did not offer any details.
Examples of passenger drunkenness included one intoxicated person who was fighting another passenger on board a plane, while another report found a 51-year-old threatening customer services staff with a knife after being prevented from travelling.
Those convicted of being drunk on an aircraft can face a fine or up to two years’ imprisonment.
Of the 273 cases obtained by PA, 90 were onboard planes while the rest took place inside airports.
It comes as the Home Office continues its review of the rules around airport drinking, considering whether to implement new rules which would mean no alcohol can be sold before 10am without an exemption.
A spokesperson for Airlines UK told Sky News: "The problem of disruptive behaviour has got progressively worse over a number of years, despite the best efforts of industry to tackle it.
"There is no evidence to suggest these incidents won’t persist without the active involvement of government."