British tourists warned that flying drunk could cost them £80,000. Warnings of harsh penalties for disruptive in-flight behaviour have been issued as part of a campaign to reduce the number of problems experienced on flights between the UK and Spain.

AESA (the Spanish State Agency for Air Safety) and British airports have joined forces in launching a prevention and awareness campaign. Their aim is to “make passengers take into account the sanctions they will face if they behave badly”.

The departure country regulates the amount and type of the fine. For flights leaving Spain the maximum for bad behaviour is 5,000€. However, if the plane diverts as a result it is a whole new ball game. If causing a diversion the fine ranges between 10,000 and 90,000 euros.

For flights departing the UK, the range of penalty is between £5,000 and £80,000. But in the UK proceedings come with the added possibility of up to 5 years in prison.

“Is it ‘cos I’m British?”

You may ask, ‘Why are they just picking on the British?’

Well according to figures from AESA for flights from Ibiza last year, you’d be right. In 2017 there were two fines issued for disruptive behaviour on flights out of Ibiza, one Spanish national and one Foreigner.

But it does seem as if the majority of problems caused by excess are on the way to Ibiza. Perhaps people are leaving the island too ruined to cause any more trouble, because the national figures make for shameful reading.

In 2017 AESA issued sanctions against 326 passengers on flights leaving Spain. Of that 326, well over half, 196 were British.

AESA Sanctions 2017

Nationality Number
Total 326
British 196
Spanish 53
Germany 19
Ireland 15
France 11
Poland 9
Belgium & Romania 3
Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland 2
Finland, Greece, Norway and Russia 1


The 326 people received fines totalling 221,325 euros. The fines were for many reasons including lighting a cigarette and aggression. However, according to AESA sources the biggest problem is drunkenness, and the biggest culprits are the British.



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