250 million people fly in and out of UK airports every year and the vast majority enjoy a stress-free flight that gets them to their destination on time. But for a small minority, their flights are ruined by the aggressive and disruptive behaviour of fellow passengers.
Around 200 incidents involving disruptive passengers on board aircraft happen every year.
Most, though not all, of these incidents involve the over-consumption of alcohol and can happen at any time of day or night. Sometimes the cause of the on-board disruption is a single passenger, sometimes it's a group: always it is unacceptable.
Going on holiday is an exciting time and a chance to let our hair down, but that is no excuse for rude and aggressive behaviour from passengers, which can disrupt journeys and pose a flight safety risk. Witnessing drunken and abusive behaviour aimed at other passengers, or all too often cabin crew, is certainly not the best way to kick-off a holiday.
It may come as a surprise to some, but being drunk on board an aircraft is a specific criminal offence. People may also not realise that causing serious disruption that poses a risk to flight safety can lead to prison time.
We are clear that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and that is why we support the aviation industry's efforts to address this issue - including the British Air Transport Association's (BATA) industry code of practice - which aims to combine the efforts of airlines, airports, police and others within the industry to help tackle the problem.
But ultimately, passengers are responsible for their own behaviour and as we head into the busiest time of the year for aviation, we urge everyone to respect their fellow travellers (and of course the cabin crew) who are there to ensure their safety at all times. This way, everyone can relax, enjoy their flight and have the best possible start to their holiday.