How does alcohol affect you during flight?
Do you get drunk more easily in a high altitude? We unveil the truth about the old myth.
So you’ve packed your bags, made it to the airport, past check-in and security, and got through all the usual airport routines. Finally, the plane is up in the air, making its way towards your holiday destination! Is there any moment more suitable for a celebratory glass of bubbly or a relaxing sip of wine?
But – is it true that alcohol affects you differently up in the air?
No definitive proof of stronger effects
According to an old myth, getting tipsy is easier on the plane than on the ground. However, studies have not found any proof of alcohol affecting the body differently during flight.
Instead, experts have suggested that the lower air pressure in high altitudes may result in hypoxia – a slight oxygen deficiency in the body – which causes feelings of dizziness that passengers may mistake for an increased level of intoxication. In other words, the high altitude does not affect how quickly you get drunk, but you might feel like it does.
Moderate use of alcohol is always a good idea
Alcohol should, however, still be consumed in moderation during flight. Dry cabin air and lower air pressure can have a dehydrating effect on your body, and excessive alcohol use may worsen the effect. It’s recommended that you only drink moderate amounts of alcohol during flight – and focus on drinking water and other hydrating liquids instead.