Glasgow Airport praised for success in tackling disruptive passengers
The UK Aviation Minister has praised Glasgow Airport for halving the number of offences involving disruptive passengers.
Baroness Vere travelled to Scotland for its launch of Campus Watch 2019.
The scheme, which involves bar and restaurant employees working with security staff and retailers to highlight incidents to the central control room and share information, has been running since 2013.
During her visit, Baroness Vere met staff involved in the campaign who spoke about the 50% reduction in the number of offences involving disruptive behaviour since 2017.
While noting other airports do similar, Baroness Vere told the Press Association: “I know that Glasgow certainly is the leader in all sorts of different ways and they were one of the first to do it.
“What’s really interesting in Glasgow is that we can see that it’s had a bit of an impact.
“Of course (staff) can’t be eyes and ears for absolutely everything all the time.
“It really helps because otherwise you might have passengers who get refused service in one bar, think they’ll have a go in another bar and if you have Campus Watch that other bar can say ‘actually, no, that bloke in the yellow hoodie – we’re not going to serve him’.”
She added: “The other thing they do is they then mark that person’s boarding card to make sure that when they go check in, the airline is aware ‘just be careful with that person, keep an eye on them’.
“It’s one of the many good things Glasgow is doing to make the passenger experience more pleasant.”
When asked if it meant a possible reduction in opening hours of some of the air-side bars, she said: “I don’t think we’re quite there yet because I think most people want to enjoy their holiday.
“And travelling to the airport can sometimes be a bit stressful, you’re up really early in the morning.
“It’s absolutely fine to get to the airport, have a nice glass of something, put your shoes off and read your book.
“What we just don’t need is people coming here and drinking too much.”
As part of an investment into facilities, £8 million was used to upgrade the airport ahead of Emirates operating a Dubai service – on the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the A380 – which began last month.
There could also be more traffic coming to Glasgow, with the long-mooted expansion of Heathrow Airport potentially bringing in many more passengers.
Baroness Vere said: “Once Heathrow has expanded, 15% of the slots will go to domestic routes.
“What we want to make sure is that the benefits of expansion are expanded around the country.
“Obviously Glasgow will benefit from that, many other regional airports will benefit from that.
“But that’s not to say it’s just all about flying through Heathrow.”
She added: “From Glasgow you can get some really great long-haul direct routes. There’s sometimes no need to go through Heathrow at all.
“I think there’s two options there and it’s about giving choice to people and as much connectivity as possible.”
Glasgow Airport managing director Mark Johnston said: “Instances of disruptive behaviour remain extremely rare and I’m confident our Campus Watch programme has played a key role in ensuring the vast majority of our passengers travel through the airport safely, responsibly and without incident.
“Offences involving disruptive behaviour were halved last year at Glasgow Airport and we are seeing a further reduction this year to date, so Campus Watch is having a positive effective and our zero-tolerance approach is getting through to the tiny minority who fail to act in a responsible manner.
“For many of our passengers, the arrival at the airport signals the start of their holiday and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.
“We want to ensure our passengers continue to enjoy a pleasant, safe and disruption-free journey and Campus Watch is in place to ensure it’s a memorable one for the right reasons.”