Why Drinking And Flying Don’t Mix

You know the old saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Well, that old chestnut does not apply when you get good and roaring drunk on a flight.

In this scenario, you may be handcuffed, duck taped, physically restrained, and even put in restraints and then on arrival to your destination,- arrested and thrown in jail. And your career or at least your air traveling career may be prematurely terminated. So here are some words of warning and wisdom.

Simply don’t drink and fly and this is why:

First Rule:

The airplane is not your neighborhood bar. In the latter case, if you are a bit tipsy, and you fall on your face or make an unfortunate pass at the buxom bartender, the male bartender or bartenders or a heavyset bouncer, named Cheech, will firmly escort out of the bar and into a cab, if you are lucky. If you are not so fortunate, the cold pavement may meet your face with an unmistakable thud.

But since 9/11, there is zero tolerance for any boozy or drunken misbehavior on an airplane full of jammed in passengers. World famous French actor, Gerard Depardieu, drunk to the gills, was caught urinating into a bottle, badly. He was forcibly restrained and arrested on his arrival at the next destination.

Then there was the dude, who after a few drinks, started physically harassing the stewardesses and his seatmates. His punishment was that he was forcibly restrained with duct tape, even his mouth. And then on arrival, thrown into a foreign jail where individual rights and freedoms were not always observed to the letter.

duct tape man on airplane
The Duct Tape Man. Image via The Fix.

Second Rule:

You know another old saying, “ Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.”

Well, when you are flying in the air at 36,000 feet, the air is not breathable. That is why the cabin is pressurized. But there is still less oxygen to breathe in a plane, than on terra firma. Studies have shown that in this situation, booze metabolizes faster in your bloodstream. And though you have only drunk a couple of glasses of wine or drank two bottles of beer, you could quickly become in this rarefied closed environment, a raging out of control drunk.

Third Rule

Though you may be inebriated, you have been able to hold it together for the entire flight.  You have now landed, are you out of the woods? The simple answer- not really.

Because airport officials have the right to deny passengers, who look and sound drunk, from boarding connecting flights. Your connecting flight in Chicago, for the flight to the Florida coast and an awaiting three-day cruise. Out of the window, as you are prevented from boarding any plane, as you appear drunk.

Another unintended consequence of your airplane-based drunkenness is that your deeply discounted rent a car is out of the question, as the rental company looks very unkindly to having their Ford Fusions, driven off by a drunken fool.

Bottom line if you lose control on the airplane. Urinate on your seatmate, by mistake, thinking this was the washroom, or belligerently assault the stewardess because she forgot to bring you your meal or over-priced mystery meat entrée, you could be fined, imprisoned and placed on a “no-fly” list.

Which will prevent you from flying in or out of the United States,  even if you were Hillary Clinton’s most successful financial donor and favorite frumpy granny pantsuit manufacturer?


UPDATED December 24, 2018


Mitch Wolfe

Mitch is a writer, author and cultural commentator who is both a hopeless and hopeful romantic. He loves to travel and comment humorously on his misadventures.

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