The level of drinking at airports has risen drastically in the past three years, new research reveals.

The number of passengers choosing pre-flight drinks increased from 31% three years ago to 42% by the end of 2018.

And those consuming between four and eight units of alcohol has also doubled in three years, rising from 5% to 10%.

When asked about their personal experiences, 21% of consumers polled by Holiday Extras felt that excessive drinking at airports is far too commonplace – almost double the amount of people that felt it was an issue in 2015.

The findings come just weeks after the government started a consultation on changing the rules around the sale of alcohol at airports in England and Wales.

As part of the consultation, the Home Office is exploring the impact of applying the 2003 Licensing Act to all airports.

This could then result in an end to the extended drinking hours available to airport passengers, particularly early in the morning.

Airlines such as Jet2.com and Ryanair are among carriers campaigning against excessive pre-flight drinking of alcohol amid rising incidents of air rage.

Holiday Extras editor-in-chief Seamus McCauley said: “Following the government’s consultation announcement in November, we wanted to revisit some of our past research to explore how airport drinking habits have evolved.

“A rise in the number of people drinking at airports needn’t be an issue if those drinks are enjoyed responsibly.

“However, it is concerning to see excessive airport drinking becoming a more common issue in just three years.”