One of the biggest dangers to any flight is a passenger who is out of control. This is why the only alcohol consumed by passengers on board an aircraft is that which has been served by the airline crew. You may NOT open up your duty free on board and help yourself to your own booze.
The crew are their primarily for the safety of not just you but all on board. If you become intoxicated on a flight you could become a danger to others so that is why your alcohol consumption has to be under the control of the flight crew.
Disruption due to drunk passengers in n the cabin creates danger for everyone including distracting the crew from their normal safety duties, and causing a real hazard in the event of an emergency evacuation when every passenger needs their wits about them.
I witnessed recently an Emirates crew on an Airbus 380 DXB-BKK flight in the upstairs Business Class offload six male passengers who immediately after boarding had opened up their Duty Free and started to drink and annoy the other customers. This was before Emirates even had a chance to serve them a pre-departure champagne.
What potentially could have been a serious situation was handled in a discrete and professional manner by the crew who under the circumstances had decided that these passengers could not be permitted to continue. Their bags also had to be located and offloaded.
Aviation law forbids anyone being drunk on an aircraft, and airlines have a right to refuse to carry passengers that they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of the aircraft.
Alcohol is the principle trigger of inflight disruption. In the two years to March 2016 an average of four people a week were arrested on suspicion of being drunk on a plane or at an airport.
So what about at the airport? Airlines can refuse to carry passengers who are in their view intoxicated. You can have DENIED BOARDING stamped on your ticket and added to your reservation. You are likely to find your subsequent reservations cancelled and your chances of any kind of refund very limited with no compensation under EU Passenger Rights.
The good thing in Scotland is that handling agents work to a high professional standard. It might seem tempting to get rid of a drunken passenger by letting them board the plane and removing the “problem” from the airport. This does not happen because we have a high standard of service ethic.
For many Scots, having a wee bevy before they fly is part of the travel experience and it also helps fill the hanging around time at the airport.
There is a pleasant change happening at Scottish Airports where in the departure lounges there is now a greater emphasis on food and non-alcoholic drink choices.