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Travel industry news

25 Mar 2019

BY James Chapple

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Disruptive passenger incidents ‘steady’ amid growing passenger numbers

The number of disruptive air passenger incidents remained steady last year despite a near 9% increase in air passengers departing UK airports.

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Disruptive passenger incidents ‘steady’ amid growing passenger numbers

New figures from the CAA reveal 413 such incidents were reported in 2018, down slightly from 417 in 2017 and 415 in 2016, although still a significant increase on the 195 reported in 2015.


The CAA says the figures relate to all passenger incidents threatening the safety of an aircraft. Data for 2017 showed 31% of incidents were “explicitly linked” to alcohol.


Glasgow airport reported a 52% decrease in outbound alcohol-related offenders, while Heathrow reported one incident of alcohol-related disruptive behaviour per million departing passengers.


Police figures, meanwhile, highlight a 23% reduction in incidents of disruptive behaviour at Manchester airport, while Birmingham airport reports incidents down 20% year-on-year comparing H2 2018 to H2 2017.


Penalties for disruptive behaviour include being denied board, a fine of up to £80,000 and jail.


Last year, trade associations representing airlines, airports and retailers teamed up with the government and three airports - Manchester, Gatwick and Glasgow - to launch public awareness campaign One Too Many last July.


This was extended in December with the support of a further four airports, including Heathrow and Liverpool John Lennon. Many airports have since implemented their own awareness initiatives, with a trial at Stansted of in-terminal ambassadors being considered for rollout across the Manchester Airports Group.


CAA director Richard Stephenson said: “The UK Civil Aviation Authority has been working with the industry to lower the number of disruptive passengers incidents in airports and on flights.


“We welcome all efforts to reduce these incidents and encourage the industry to continue to work together to tackle this issue. Every passenger expects their flight to be enjoyable and trouble-free.


“Disruptive behaviour is totally unacceptable and can lead to prosecution, a fine, or a prison sentence of up to five years. The Civil Aviation Authority calls on everyone to respect their fellow travellers and behave responsibly at all times.”

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