Pre-flight drinks: A fifth admit being drunk before flying

Boozy brits are shaming the UK by drinking more and more before flights even though airlines are trying to clamp down

If you’ve ever had to share a flight with boozy holidaymakers while jetting off on business then you’ll know the scenario all too well.
In fact, “Get as many in as you can” seems to be the mantra of more than 20% of UK holidaymakers, says car hire firm, which carried out a survey of holidaymakers flying to popular holiday locations such as Tenerife, Spain and Ibiza.
The results of the survey showed that 7% of those asked were drinking five or more pints and 15% drinking three to four pints (or equivalent) before boarding the plane.
One respondent said: “I’m going on holiday and I’m going to have a good time. The party starts the minute I’m in the airport – me and the lads usually have a good few pints before the plane.”
Another said: “To be honest we had a few in the minibus even before the airport, but that’s when the holiday starts, and we’re here to have fun!”
The survey follows Ryanair’s call for airports to limit drinks to two per person but, according to, the challenge is how the airports police this.
It says airports make a good profit from the bar areas in airports with many airports investing heavily in creating new spaces for travellers to enjoy themselves pre-flight.
The survey of holiday makers in October 2017 found that:
7% – 5 or more pints (or equivalent)
15% – 3-4 pints
32% – 1-2 pints says the popularity of “pre-drinks” before flying could be very difficult to clamp down on. People are used to drinking before going to the races, nightclubs or other events. The popularity of all-inclusive and free drinks in bars on holiday mean that holidaymakers are simply reacting to what they are used to.
Julie Shuttleworth of said: “Perhaps it’s the stress of flying these days, all the extras, the uncertainty, the rush and push to get on – people just want to zone out of it all. Or maybe they are just starting their holiday fun early by having a few drinks.”
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