UK Home Office Considers Limiting Alcohol Sales in Airport Bars

Say goodbye to your 7 AM pint, lads.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna
09 January 2018, 2:15pm

Photo via Flickr user

Jamie McCaffrey

There really is nothing better than a 7 AM airport pint, amirite? You’ve peeled yourself out of bed after exactly 3.5 hours of anxiety-ridden sleep, somehow made it to Victoria Station *and* managed to not start a fight with the Gatwick Express staff—all within 45 minutes. Once the airport is in sight and you definitely, probably, maybe have your passport, there’s only one way to celebrate: an extremely incongruous breakfast pint.

Possible to secure at any time of day or night, the airport drink is a tradition for most British travellers looking to further fracture international relations. However, the phenomenon of the all-day pint could soon be over, as the Home Office looks to extend regular alcohol licensing laws to airports.

A House of Lords report states that it will begin reviewing the implications of extending normal licensing rules to airports, following a report from the Licensing Act Committee that calls for stricter limitations. This would mean limiting the hours alcohol could be sold in airport pubs, bars, and restaurants, as well as closing establishments that contravene these limits.

A Home Office Spokesperson told MUNCHIES: “Hundreds of millions of passengers travel through the UK’s airports and they should be able to enjoy their holidays without having their flight disrupted by a small minority of people.”

British pub chain JD Wetherspoon, however, disagrees with the call for this change in alcohol licensing at airports. Chairperson Tim Martin told us: “I am surprised that pubs are felt to be the source of the problem. I would favour a more targeted approach aimed at certain bars or certain airports, if problems arise, rather than draconian action across the board.”

But with a 50 percent increase in arrests of drunken flyers, perhaps stricter licensing laws at airports wouldn’t be such a terrible idea. The Government has already introduced rules to stop passengers from getting totally boozed, including one that requires all duty-free alcohol to be sealed in plastic bags and making it a criminal offense to board a plane when drunk.

And hey, let’s not forget that some air passengers show great initiative when it comes to enjoying a drink under strict airport rules on alcohol—like that woman who downed an entire bottle of cognac before boarding a plane because she couldn’t take it with her. Hero.