Nearly 450 airline passengers have been arrested on suspicion of being drunk in the past two years, police figures have revealed.
Intoxicated travellers who sexually abused staff, urinated in public and were too drunk to fasten their seat belts were among those held, an investigation by the Press Association has found.
The figures have emerged as a woman was arrested at Southend Airport after allegedly attacking an easyJet crew member.
Figures obtained through freedom of information requests show at least 245 people were arrested on suspicion of being drunk at a UK airport between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2019.
A further 204 arrests were made relating to alleged drunkeness on planes, figures from the police forces that gave information reveal.
The ages of those detained ranged from 20 to 58.
The most arrests on aircraft or at airports were made at the UK's busiest airport Heathrow, with 103 people held.
More from UK
This was followed by Gatwick where 81 people were held, Glasgow where 47 were held, and Liverpool where there were 40 arrests.
Requests for information were sent to the 16 forces which cover Britain's 20 busiest airports.
The true numbers of drunk passengers arrested will almost certainly be higher as three forces – including Greater Manchester Police – did not provide figures within the time limit.
Passengers convicted of being drunk on a flight face a maximum £5,000 fine or up to two years in prison.
The sale of alcohol once a passenger has gone through international airport security in England and Wales is not regulated by licensing laws.
This means rules designed to stop alcohol sales to already drunk customers and prevent irresponsible promotions do not apply to them.
A Home Office consultation on whether legislation should be amended closed in February, but no decision has been announced.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, has described the arrest figures as "ridiculous".
He has also demanded the introduction of new laws to reduce the number of passenger who drink too much before and during flights.
Mr Alderslade said: "There is no credible reason we've heard – other than commercial gain – why airport bars and duty free are not licensed in the same way as any pub or restaurant on the high street.
"Likewise, why are duty-free shops still able to sell miniature bottles of alcohol, including at the airport gate? We know miniatures are sold for one reason only – to encourage immediate consumption, including on the plane."
At Bristol Airport, one passenger was arrested on suspicion of being drunk on an aircraft and sexually assaulting fRead More – Source