A Leeds-based airline says it has stopped more than 450 people from flying so far in 2015 because of their unacceptable behaviour amid concerns about rising numbers of disruptive passengers.
Jet2.com says the number of passengers refused entry to its planes, which includes 50 given lifetime bans, is a “substantial increase from previous years”.
The budget airline, based at Leeds-Bradford Airport, has launched a campaign, Onboard Together, in a bid to stamp out disruptive behaviour across the aviation industry and educate passengers about standards of behaviour on flights.
Among recent cases was that of a couple from Leeds fined after admitting to being drunk and abusive on board a plane during a flight back from Lanzarote.
Michael Best and Doreen Tasker became aggressive towards staff on board a Jet2 flight bound for Leeds Bradford Airport in the early hours of July 20 this year.
A court was told there was an issue between Tasker and a female air steward when she was told not to stand up and instead sit down and put her seat belt on. Tasker and Best were both drunk at the time.
I am a nervous flyer. This might end up in your face.What one Jet2 customer, who was holding a plastic glass, told an air steward on a flight to Leeds from Lanzarote in July
Tasker was holding a plastic glass and said to the air steward: “I am a nervous flyer. This might end up in your face.” Best was heard to say to Tasker: “Just bash her on your way out.”
The company is leading a call for the aviation industry to bring in stronger measures to deal with disruptive passengers, whose bad behaviour is often fuelled by drink.
Managing director Phil Ward said: “There have been more than 450 passengers refused travel due to unacceptable behaviour since January this year and we have given 50 of these lifetime bans.
“This is a substantial increase from previous years and, as such, we are consulting with government bodies and MPs to support the rollout of our Onboard Together initiative to stamp out disruptive behaviour across the industry.
“We are encouraging all organisations that are negatively affected by disruptive passengers on flights to support Onboard Together as a consistent, cross-industry campaign to educate and inform passengers and help improve behaviour.
“We value the support of MPs with an interest in this area as well as the Department for Transport for the launch and rollout of this campaign. This will ensure that passengers get a unified message across their journey no matter where they are flying from, or who they are flying with.
“As part of this, following the successful completion of the trial we are currently undertaking with World Duty Free at Manchester and Glasgow Airports, we want to make tamper-proof duty-free bags mandatory across UK airports.”
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, there were 114 cases of ‘disruptive passengers’ recorded on British planes in 2014, nearly as many as recorded across the US during the same period.
Recently, Yorkshire MP and Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill made a speech to The Airport Operators Association raising the issue of disruptive passengers and calling for a more cohesive approach across the industry.
Jet2.com, which has a fleet of 61 aircraft, operates from seven UK airports: Belfast International, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.