We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.
For more information, please read our cookie policy.

UK-EU Transition

References to EU regulation or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate description of your obligations or rights under UK law.

Are you aware of the consequences?

Disruptive passenger behaviour is one of the main reasons for aircraft diversions. Disruptive behaviour in-flight or on the ground can affect your safety and the safety of fellow passengers. Besides safety implications, it can have serious consequences, including civil prosecution. Airlines have a right to refuse to carry passengers that they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of the aircraft, its crew or its passengers.

The punishment for disruption varies depending on the severity. Acts of drunkenness on an aircraft face a maximum fine of £5,000 and two years in prison. The prison sentence for endangering the safety of an aircraft is up to five years. Disruptive passengers may also be asked to reimburse the airline with the cost of the diversion. Diversion costs typically range from £10,000 - £80,000 depending on the size of the aircraft and where it diverts to.

We are working with airlines, airports and the Department for Transport to identify and develop new strategies that can minimise the frequency of these occurrences.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour

  • Drug/alcohol intoxication
  • Refusal to allow security checks
  • Disobeying safety or security instructions
  • Threatening, abusive or insulting words
  • Endangering the safety of aircraft or other person
  • Acting in a disruptive manner

Latest from UK Civil Aviation Authority

  1. Consumers urged to check for financial protection as holiday bookings set to rise
  2. UK Civil Aviation Authority set to create new Environmental Sustainability Panel
  3. Website changes

View all latest news