Why Do Airports Have Bars Selling Alcohol at 7.00am?

Matt and I flew to Gran Canaria yesterday from Leeds Bradford Airport.

Leeds Bradford is by far the most convenient airport for us, but every time we use it we are disappointed by the catering facilities – or more to the point by the lack of them.

Of course you can get the usual fast foods (i.e. burgers and takeaway sandwiches).  But the only reasonably OK coffee shop is situated before security.

After a few near misses in the past, we like to get through security before relaxing with a coffee and breakfast – especially with the heightened security measures in place at the moment.

After going through security there are no ‘proper’ coffee shops or quality food chains like Pret a Manger or Giraffe. Instead there is a self-service cafeteria, a sports bar, and a very large bar with a rather awkward ordering system.   You queue up to place your order, give a table number, and then go and sit at your table and hope your order doesn’t take too long to arrive.  Fine when the bar is quiet, but chaotic at peak times.

Now don’t get me wrong – the bar serves decent coffee, orange juice, toast and various other breakfast options.  And the orders usually arrive promptly.  I am not criticising the bar or its staff in any way.

But it is not to everyone’s taste.   And, to bring me to the question posed in the title, it never ceases to amaze us that some people are drinking alcoholic drinks at 7.00 am in the morning.

And I don’t mean just one drink – at both bars we saw tables piled up with empty pint glasses.  And there were groups who were very obviously showing the effects of having drunk a significant amount.  At 7.00 am.

So Why Should Airports Serve Alcohol at Breakfast Time?

Let’s face it – the last place you want people to be showing the effects of alcohol is on a plane. Or being ill for that matter.

Of course most people don’t pose a problem.  But there have been a number of publicised cases where planes have been delayed, or even diverted to land at alternative airports, because of alcohol-related behaviour.  And to be fair, excitable loud groups can be unpleasant and worrying for other passengers and staff.

Surely it is not a good idea to encourage holiday makers and travellers to be drinking alcohol before the plane has even taken off. Even (or especially) if they are going to stag or hen parties or sports events.  You are limited in the amount of alcohol you can consume on the plane, so why allow people to drink a lot before they get on?

And everyone should have a responsibility to consider the comfort and safety of other passengers and flight staff.


If airport bars did not serve alcoholic drinks first thing in the morning, and were limited in how much they could sell at other times, I am sure the vast majority of people would not miss it.

And if, instead, there was a wider choice of tea and coffee shops, and other eateries, many people would have a much more pleasant journey through the airport and a more relaxing flight.

Fortunately our flight to Gran Canaria was very quiet, but we think others may have been different.

Of course this is purely our opinion – we would love to hear yours.  Please leave your comments in the box below.

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