There are a lot of reasons why people drink before and during a flight. Some want a drink to calm their nerves, others to help with sleep (which is a horrible idea), out of habit or celebratory (that annoying bachelorette party that doesn’t realize there are other passengers on the flight). Whatever your reason is, the potential costs often outweigh the short-term benefits.
#1: Alcohol dehydrates your blood – It’s no secret to anybody who has ever had a hangover, alcohol consumption is a net loss of hydration in your blood. When you’re recovering from this lack of water in your bed, you can just suffer from headaches, being light headed and other classic hangover effects. However, on a flight it becomes much more dangerous. Dehydration thickens your blood due to less water circulating. When your blood thickens it moves much slower. This is compounded by the lack of blood movement on a plane due to sedentary sitting. Thicker blood along with lack of movement of that blood allows your bloods clotting factors to take hold in your legs’ veins. When these blood clots are released they can cause pulmonary embolisms (killing off parts of your lungs), heart attacks or strokes. If these don’t kill you, they’ll permanently damage you.
The PediGlide addresses one of these issues by keeping your feet mobile and active throughout your flight. By keeping your leg muscles moving, blood will continue to move in and out of your legs, possibly helping prevent blood clots.
#2: Alcohol and Altitude Don’t Mix – Technically, your blood alcohol level at 30,000 feet and 30 feet above sea level are the exact same. However, even with our flight being pressurized the air in the plane is still thinner than on the ground. The effects of altitude and alcohol are a double shot of sickness which can include nausea, fatigue, an unsteady gait and headache. This is mostly due to hypoxia, lack of oxygen getting to your brain.
#3: Missing your flight and/or connection – Since 9/11 flight attendants are not the white-gloved delicate attendants your parents may have known. The flight crew have been given a lot more authority and have a much more dangerous job. Part of this new power is the ability to deny you access to your flight if you appear too intoxicated. This is not like a 0.08 BAC that can get you in trouble behind the wheel of a car, this is completely subjective. The flight attendants can also have security waiting for you when you land if during the flight you have been too drunk or too annoying. Again, this is completely subjective. Go ahead and plan on missing your connecting flight if you have to meet with security, processing and calming you down will take a while.
#4: People will hate you – Let’s be honest with ourselves, nobody likes being sober next to one or more drunk people. One or two drinks are fine, but once you become that annoying passenger who won’t stop talking with booze-breath, people will despise you. You will also have to get in and out of your seat a lot to use the restroom, climbing over your fellow passengers. For the sake of everybody around you, either avoid alcohol or please be sure to mind your mini-shots.