Flights for many flyers are an opportunity to relax and enjoy a drink after the stress of getting through the airport. However, indulging in too much alcohol could be a mistake, according to one member of cabin crew. British Airways flight attendant Rob Staines told Business Insider that he advised against too much boozing – but not for the reason you might think. Drinking too much alcohol while on a flight could result in dehydration.
“We do offer some fantastic wines,” Staines told the US website, “but I would try not to overindulge on alcohol. It’s just really dehydrating.”
If passengers become too dehydrated the risk of health problems during and after the flight increase.
The Aerospace Medical Association advises passengers to drink at least one cup (250ml) of water per hour while flying.
Cabins on commercial airliners are kept at a humidity level of 20 per cent, revealed Teletext research.
This is five per cent lower than the relative humidity of the Sahara desert, potentially leading to dehydration-related health issues such as headaches and sore throats.
Alcohol could also affect you much more while in the air than it would on the ground.
“When on a plane, the barometric pressure in the cabin of a plane is lower than it normally is,” Dr Clare Morrison, from online doctor MedExpress, told HuffPost UK.
“This decreased pressure means that the body finds it harder to absorb oxygen – this can produce light-headedness or hypoxia.”
“In other words, the lower level of oxygen in your blood means that you may seem drunker in the air than you would on the ground after consuming the same amount of alcohol.”
As part of the attempt to clamp down on drunken and unruly behaviour on a plane, passengers are now banned from drinking any beer, wine and spirits bought in duty-free.
Under new measures, any alcohol purchased at airport duty-free will need to be packed into a sealed plastic bag. These special bags are branded with the instruction: “Do not open alcohol purchases until your final destination.”
Plane passengers will be unable to open them, as only scissors or knives could cut through, both of which are banned from hand luggage, reported The Times.
The rules are being implemented by World Duty Free, which is the sole provider of duty-free stores at most major UK airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester and Birmingham.
Meghan Markle – wife of Prince Harry – was previously an advocate of drinking wine on a flight.
In fact, her number one piece of advice to pass the time while flying was to drink alcohol, she said during a photo shoot with Good Housekeeping in 2016.
“The best way to kill time on a flight is to drink wine and watch movies,” Meghan said, adding, “It’s like a vacation in the sky.”