Spanish authorities are calling for a blanket booze ban across all airlines and at airports, to crackdown on drunken holidaymakers. Tourism leaders have said “courage and ambition” is needed to tackle the alcohol problem which they say is the cause of many deaths in the country. They hope to change a mindset which links getting drunk with sun-soaked holidays in what they brand “drunken tourism”. Officials called a meeting in Majorca, which they believe to be one of the hotspots for trouble.
During the event, it was suggested the measures could begin at the airport, with travellers not being permitted to walk through the duty free booze aisles.
Chief Inspector of the National Police José María Manso later told the Spanish press: “Alcohol should be banned on flights and at airports, the only thing you see is selling and selling more alcohol at Palma airport, it’s a shopping centre where alcohol and more alcohol are sold.”
One representative of a British airport said: “The key is prevention, preventing these passengers from getting on the plane” and even drinking in establishments where alcohol is sold.”
A police chief them emphasised the call on Europe to implement the ban.
He said: “We have already banned smoking.
“People can’t light up for three hours when flying from the UK to Spain so why do they have to drink? What are we waiting for?”
It remains to be seen whether the measures will be implemented.
They were debated under Chatham House rules, which meant representatives could make their case without having to reveal their identity.
The proposals come shortly after budget flight operator Ryanair called for a drinking ban at airports.
Last year, it reiterated the need for airports to end early morning boozing for passengers.
Airlines have suffered from a number of delays from intoxicated passengers who have to be removed from the flight.
Previously, a drunk man dressed as Tinkerbell was removed from a Ryanair flight after being abusive to cabin crew while under the influence.
The budget airline is now requesting that airports do not sell alcohol before 10am in the terminals.
Meanwhile, it has also suggested a two-drink policy per passenger, which could be regulated by scanning boarding passes.
Airports are currently exempt from the Licensing Act which restricts the time people can be served alcohol.
Ryanair said in a statement: “Ryanair’s number one priority is the safety of our customers, crew and aircraft and we have a zero-tolerance policy towards alcohol and disruptive behaviour.”