Minimum drinking age on BA flights

Old Feb 24, 2024, 7:38 am
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Minimum drinking age on BA flights

My son is 15 years old currently and we are travelling on CW to HKG next month.

He was asked by the cabin crews whether he would like a glass of champagne as a welcome drink, and a glass of port after the meal services in the last two flights. So I suppose that drinking is allowed for a 15 year old on BA flights?

He told me he would like to try on some low alcohol cocktails or baileys. I am not opposed to that, but is it legal for him to take a glass of champagne?
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 7:49 am
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AFAIK It's 18 on BA. I am sure that's regardless of where you are travelling to.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 7:58 am
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I don't think it's illegal as such (in UK law anyway) to offer alcohol on-board to under 18s. It is BA policy though. If you have no objections and he's not been asked (and lied about) his age then I'd just let him take it when offered on the understanding that on other flights he might not get so lucky.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:06 am
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At 15 I had a breakfast bottle of champagne (cost 1) on a GVA-LHR on the way to EDI for Easter holidays. No one batted an eyeliduntil my little brother grassed me up to my ma. I was on a pretty tight leash that Easter 🙄
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:25 am
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The BA rule is 18 years old, but it's not a legal requirement as far as I know, whereas being drunk of an aircraft would be illegal regardless of age. If someone slightly younger has a modest drink with their parents' consent and supervision then I don't see it as an issue, and I certainly wouldn't think it appropriate for passengers to show documentation of their age during the cabin service. As someone who referees rugby occasionally, some of the youngsters are pretty successful in looking - and more importantly acting - older than their birth certificate.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by layz
I don't think it's illegal as such (in UK law anyway) to offer alcohol on-board to under 18s. It is BA policy though. If you have no objections and he's not been asked (and lied about) his age then I'd just let him take it when offered on the understanding that on other flights he might not get so lucky.
Only absolute age-based prohibition is against giving alcohol to under 5's in England & Wales (Scotland has no minimum age)...

Also, an aircraft isn't licensed premises, it's outside the remit. Same for a train, but while in motion. This is why, technically, you cannot be served alcohol on the train while it's in a station. It's also why the usual license condition of 'must provide free drinking water' doesn't apply to aircraft and trains.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:42 am
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Meh, I was getting served in pubs at 14. If you look old enough, have the chutzpah/charm, and can be responsible, nothing wrong with that.

(I think I achieved 2 of those, on a good day...)
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by cauchy
Only absolute age-based prohibition is against giving alcohol to under 5's in England & Wales (Scotland has no minimum age)...

Also, an aircraft isn't licensed premises, it's outside the remit. Same for a train, but while in motion. This is why, technically, you cannot be served alcohol on the train while it's in a station. It's also why the usual license condition of 'must provide free drinking water' doesn't apply to aircraft and trains.
In the good days of GNER they'd often start serving drinks in the restaurant upon boarding and before the train departed.
When I used to use the Caledonian Sleeper you could order from the lounge car long before the train departed
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by layz
In the good days of GNER they'd often start serving drinks in the restaurant upon boarding and before the train departed.
When I used to use the Caledonian Sleeper you could order from the lounge car long before the train departed
Call the armchair lawyers in! https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...17/section/173

An activity is not a licensable activity if it is carried on

(a)aboard an aircraft, hovercraft or railway vehicle engaged on a journey,

....

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) the period during which an aircraft, hovercraft, railway vehicle or vessel is engaged on a journey includes

(a)any period ending with its departure when preparations are being made for the journey, and

(b)any period after its arrival at its destination when it continues to be occupied by those (or any of those) who made the journey (or any part of it).
Is a train 'engaged on a journey' when it stops at an intermediate point?
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
I certainly wouldn't think it appropriate for passengers to show documentation of their age during the cabin service.
when i looked younger i remember, after requesting liquor from the beverage cart, being asked "what year were you born?" by the FA as if they were playfully quizzing me to make sure i was of appropriate drinking age. i agree it would be inappropriate to be carded during service but the crewmember was tactful and i thought it was cute.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by bigdog2
when i looked younger i remember, after requesting liquor from the beverage cart, being asked "what year were you born?" by the FA as if they were playfully quizzing me to make sure i was of appropriate drinking age. i agree it would be inappropriate to be carded during service but the crewmember was tactful and i thought it was cute.
Gets out a calculator (or a calculator app on your phone, or perhaps one of those casio watches if you're a certain age) and types in the current year -18 and reads out the result

Originally Posted by cauchy
Call the armchair lawyers in! https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga...17/section/173

Is a train 'engaged on a journey' when it stops at an intermediate point?
I wonder if the Caledonian Sleeper has a licence to serve alcohol at the stations it starts at as sometimes the lounge car on these trains is open a long time before departure. Some end up having dinner and going to bed before it departs.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 10:32 am
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16 and 17 year olds can have an alcoholic drink with a meal in licensed premesis, as long as it's bought and paid for by someone over 18.

Would then a 16 year old be allowed wine with a meal service?
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by LancashireFlyer
16 and 17 year olds can have an alcoholic drink with a meal in licensed premesis, as long as it's bought and paid for by someone over 18.

Would then a 16 year old be allowed wine with a meal service?
That rule is irrelevant because it doesn't apply here. It's whatever BA sets as a rule and the cabin crew interpretation of it.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 10:43 am
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I think that in much of Europe (uk included), the fact that your son is indeed with his parents would be taken into account by the crew as it should be. I personally dont see a problem here.
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Old Feb 24, 2024, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
I think that in much of Europe (uk included), the fact that your son is indeed with his parents would be taken into account by the crew as it should be. I personally dont see a problem here.
What if the flight is in US airspace or flying to the US? They are very odd about such things.
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