European airline mandates three drink limit to curb unruly passenger behavior

A major European airline has implemented a three-drink limit to crack down on unruly passenger behavior.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced Tuesday that due to the rise in flight attendant-reported incidents detailing reports of intoxicated passengers causing problems last summer, it would be implementing a mandatory drink limit on flights within Europe.

“We had a few situations last year, but I can’t go into the details. These are not hard and fast rules, but guidelines that cabin crew can lean on so that if passengers appear to be getting too drunk they can be asked to stop drinking,” Malin Selander, a spokeswoman for SAS, told Sweden’s The Local.

“Drinking can be a problem for security and we also want to make sure that all our other passengers are having a good time and not being disturbed by others.”

SAS, which is owned by Denmark, Norway and Sweden carries about 30 million passengers per year and flies to almost 100 destinations.

The airline is following in the footsteps of Ryanair. This past April, the discount carrier revealed that it banned passengers from bringing their own alcoholic beverages aboard the route between Glasgow Prestwick Airport and the party island of Ibiza in Spain, known for its raucous crowds.

Jet2, a British budget airline, recently announced a zero-tolerance approach to drunk or unruly passengers and has already issues a lifetime ban to two men.

Last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade group that represents many of the world's largest airlines, reported significant increases in airline-reported incidents of unruly passenger behavior.

"The numbers have indeed risen alarmingly over the last year or two," Tony Tyler, the CEO of IATA, said last June during the trade group’s annual general meeting in Qatar.

Tyler reported that the group has been collecting data regarding in-flight incidents since 2007.  Major airlines reported over 20,000 incidents of unruly passenger behavior between 2010 and the end of 2013, according to data collecting from the IATA.