Easy on the Champagne: Think Before You Drink on the Plane

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Imagine you’re embarking on a wonderful vacation. The aircraft has taken off, and you’re in a happy and celebratory mood. Is it a good idea to uncork a bottle of champagne mid-air? Maybe not. In fact, it might be a better idea to wait to crack the bubbly until after you land. Read on, and you will understand why.

Easy on the Champagne: Think Before You Drink on the Plane

To drink or not to drink in the air

Once you’ve made it through ticket lines and security searches, you might think that an in-flight cocktail or three is a very good idea. You might be wrong. When you are hurtling through the air at 36,000 feet, the air is not very breathable. For this reason, aircraft cabins are pressurized. Aircraft air at that high altitude provides a lot less oxygen than your body is normally used to breathing, too. Combine these factors, and you may find yourself become far more intoxicated by one cocktail than you would on the ground. If you have a tendency toward airsickness, low oxygen and liquor can make you feel much sicker, explains Thrillist magazine.

Show up at your connecting flight with booze on your breath, and the crew might not let you board. Be belligerent, and you could even get yourself arrested at the airport. Stick with tea, coffee, fruit juice, or plain bottled water. You’ll be sober when you land as well as more apt to catch your connecting flight without incident.

Why drinking on a plane is different

Due to the decreased pressure inside an aircraft cabin, your body is less able to absorb oxygen. This condition, called hypoxia, can produce lightheadedness and make you feel drunker faster. Dry cabin air coupled with the diuretic effects of alcohol can cause you to become very dehydrated. To counteract this condition, be sure to drink plenty of clean bottled water, whether or not you imbibe in flight, advise experts at KLM Airlines.

If you do opt to enjoy libation aboard an aircraft, do so in a most moderate manner. Bear in mind that 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of wine, and 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of 80 proof distilled spirits constitutes one serving. Drink no more than one serving per two hours in the air, chase it with plenty of clean bottled water, and boost your chances of avoiding intoxication.

Drink water instead

The arid environment inside an aircraft cabin plus the TSA no-liquids rule combine to create super dehydrating conditions. Sip water in lieu of liquor as you fly, and lessen your chances of feeling tired and hungover when you check into your rooms at the Renaissance Marriott Indian Wells Luxury Resort or wherever you are lodging.

If you’re going to drink, drink smart. Drink water, and don’t overdo it on the booze. There will be plenty of time to enjoy a cocktail once you’ve arrived at your destination and checked into your hotel.

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting information! I am all for a nice glass of champagne (or two) but while flying I stick to bottled water and perhaps a coffee that I bring onto the plane myself, depending on the timing of my flight.

  2. I am so nervous when I fly that I always order white wine. It makes me take a nap which helps me get through the flight! 😉

  3. I never knew all this information. I wonder if that is why so many people get crazy mid-flight? I think I’ll choose water for sure!

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