Russia may ban duty-free items on planes
February 5, 2013
The duty-free and cigarette stops in Russian airports may soon have new regulations, as a number of issues involving drunken passengers on flights has caused the government to reevaluate a few things, according to Reuters.
State television broadcasted footage of someone taking an amateur video of a few drunk passengers on a plane who ended up physically fighting. These fights escalated and ended with the plane being forced to land in Uzbekistan on the way to Thailand.
As a result, a member of the State Duma, which is the lower house of parliament, explained that the assembly may come up with some sort of legislation that would ban duty-free liquor and cigarettes from being brought onto planes. This will even be applied if the items are in sealed bags.
"We would like to prepare it (the legislation) before the end of this session," Interfax news agency quoted Vitaly Yefimov, the first deputy chairman of the Duma's transport committee, as saying. "Changes are needed to end such uproar on planes. It's a direct threat to flight security."
Out of all of the incidents reported, only one case resulted in a Russian passenger facing charges. These days, flights on Russian airlines are more comfortable than they once were, when people would have to move to the front or back of the plane through cigarette smoke. However, drinking is essentially a way of life in Russia, as alcohol consumption per capital in Russia is the fourth highest in the world, the World Health Organization reports. This includes when Russians fly, as they often have a drink.