Airplanes and alcohol simply don’t mix, and this applies not only to the pilot, but to the passengers as well. If you are a non-drinker or someone who only drinks on occasions, it is quite easy to understand why it is not good to drink and fly or fly and drink.
It is unfortunate, but not all drunk or tipsy passengers will stop after a few shots or just sleep off the drunkenness. Certain intoxicated passengers can puke in the bathroom, block the aisles, or worse, cause a disturbance while in the air, making the flight a dreadful experience for the other passengers.
If you have flown with a drunken passenger who made the flight so terrible, you would appreciate the airlines/carriers that are voting to ban alcohol in their flights. While there are laws that regulates, even restricts, the serving and the consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is obvious that these are not foolproof. A lot of passengers still get hammered while on a plane.
While some airlines are pushing for the banning of alcohol, there are airlines that still continue to allow passengers to consume alcohol, as long as the booze is served by the airline. Some perceive the act as a way to make additional profit for the airline from their captured consumers. With the sordid possibilities, would the extra income they can generate be worth the risks?
Why Keep the Alcohol Grounded
If you’re a drinker, you may have been tempted at one time or another to drink while your plane is navigating at several thousand feet in the air. Drinking would let you kill the long hours with nothing to do but sleep and eat. If getting on board had been one stressful experience, the motivation can be stronger. No, not everyone who drinks while flying is a certified alcoholic; some may have good reasons.
Yet, there is still that chance that you can cause the other passengers distress. This is not the only reason why you must lose the booze when flying. Christopher Elliott of the Tribune Media Services shares the 7 reasons to lose the booze in flight through a CNN –Money Section blog.
“Here are a few reasons for keeping the cocktails grounded:”
- “Alcohol heightens a stressful experience.” Know that the alcohol can make you more anxious and stressed. Karen Sternheimer, a sociologist from the University of Southern California says, “Drinking on planes has unique hazards, particularly as flying becomes more stressful.” You can cooperate better with the flight crew and the airport security if you are sober.
- “There’s nowhere to run.” If trouble arises, remember that you are trapped in that “… metal tube … blasting off at hundreds of miles per hour.” If everyone bored during the flight will find their release in alcoholic beverages and the flight attendants will just willingly serve shot after shot, imagine what kind of trouble they will have in their hands once several of the passengers get hammered by the booze.
- Drinks on a plane aren’t just intoxicating — they’re toxic. “Higher altitudes do amplify the effect of alcohol…” says Ashley Halsey, a spokeswoman for American Behavioral…” At an altitude like 36,000 feet, the air is thin, which is why planes have pressurized cabins. Thus, alcohol can impair a person’s logic and judgment while flying thousands of feet in the air. According the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), UK’s fight regulator, the low air pressure in the higher altitude can effectively thin the blood and make the alcohol more potent.
- It’s annoying. Consider being the non-drinking passenger who has to stand the drunken behavior of a passenger or a group of passengers who have decided to start their merrymaking on-board your plane with non-stop drinking. You’ll be annoyed. So would the other passengers be if you or your group would inconsiderately be drinking the whole flight.
- It’s embarrassing, too. As the effect of the alcohol seeps into your blood and into the brain (which can be pretty fast when you are thousands of feet in the air), you can lose your inhibition. You may make the crew and some passengers cracking up, but how does it feel being the “entertainment” of many passengers once sobriety returns? Not everything you do under the influence is something you can be proud of.
- You could relapse. It is common for many alcoholics to experience relapse after a shot of alcohol while on a plane. “… a plane trip is a relapse waiting to happen, say experts. If you are recovering, don’t even take a sip out of boredom. Make a plan to be able to manage the flight without resorting to alcohol.
- How are you getting to your destination? If you are driving home from the airport, you can’t drink and drive. Even if you are not driving, you don’t want to miss your turns, especially if you are navigating unfamiliar streets and places. You can keep your wit intact when you don’t drink while on the plane.
Elliott says, “I don’t consider myself a modern-day prohibitionist, but I think these practical reasons for keeping the skies alcohol-free make sense. Why not wait until you’re home to crack open a bottle? It could make your next flight a better one — if not save your life.”