Why You Feel More Intoxicated During your Flights

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Have you ever wondered why you feel more intoxicated up in the air? We will explain about the myth of whether you get more drunk up in the air or not.

Also Read: Tips from a flight attendant

for long been speculated amongst travelers if you get more drunk in the air or not. This isn’t that surprising since there are several reasons why you feel more affected by the alcohol while sitting on an airplane.

After a study had been made by Dr. Bhushan Kapur from the University of Toronto, it was clear that the alcohol level in your blood does not increase at high altitude. Instead, there are other factors that make us feel more intoxicated while flying.

Factors that plays a part

The air pressure is one reason why we feel drunker while up in the air. According to the World Health Organization, the pressure inside the aircraft cabin corresponds a height of 1800 – 2400 meters above sea level. This means that our ability to take in oxygen decreases, because the higher up you go, the harder it is to breathe. USA Today reports that some people’s ability reduces by as much as 20 percent.

The higher you fly, the thinner the air becomes, and although many have the ability to adapt, it’s still easy to suffer from a mild or moderate altitude sickness. Symptoms of altitude sickness include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and headaches, which are also the same symptoms that may occur during intoxication.

In addition to these factors, there’s also a risk of dehydration. The humidity in aircraft cabins is only around 20 percent while a normal humidity oscillates between 40 and 70 percent. It’s important to drink a lot of water when you’re up in the air, especially for long-haul flights.


You will, therefore, not be more intoxicated in the air (as long as you do not drink more than usual of course). However, it’s the altitude, humidity, air pressure and dehydration affect your body, making you feel more intoxicated while flying. It’s not the flight attendants who lace your drinks, and it’s, unfortunately, no magic inside the aircraft that makes us more intoxicated.

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