Having too much fun on your next UK flight could cost you £80,000

Have fun—just not too much fun.
Have fun—just not too much fun.
Image: AP/Scott Heppell
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It’s no secret that Brits love a drink. And nowhere is this more true than on board a flight to their holiday in Ibiza or Benidorm.

But the UK airlines and airports who serve those passengers? Not so much. Such a problem is the “antisocial behavior” of groups of holidaying Britons, that a public awareness campaign backed by the UK’s aviation minister is urging travelers to think twice before having yet another gin and tonic—or face the consequences.

The One Too Many campaign asserts that “up to two-thirds of incidents caused by irresponsible drinking when traveling have involved those traveling on group holidays including hen and stag parties,” (the British term for pre-wedding bachelor and bachelorette parties).

The campaign—which is also backed by the UK Travel Retail Forum, the Airports Operators Association, the International Air Transport Association, and Airlines UK—is bringing attention to the penalties that can be applied for those who are having too much fun, including £5,000 ($6,650) and two years jail time for not complying with air navigation orders in flight and banning passengers from airlines. Even more stern is the £80,000 fine passengers will have to fork out if their excessive merriment causes a diversion and unscheduled landing of a flight.

This comes in addition to a call from airlines for airport retailers to impose limits on the amount of alcohol they serve passengers waiting for their flights. Airlines like Ryanair complain that their crew are left to deal with the effects of passengers who’ve had one (or three) too many in the departure lounge—which they say happens far too often.