Why plane passengers get too drunk

Allison Yee

It’s all part of the holiday adventure – getting a little giddy over a celebratory glass of champers in the lounge, and then having a few wines when you’re finally in the air.

After all, you’ve dished out that much money on your ticket, it’d be rude not to take advantage of the drinks trolley, right?

Source: Giphy

But it looks like some travellers are getting a little too happy when it comes to mid-air drinking, with arrests for drunkenness at UK airports and on planes found to have risen by a whopping 50 percent.

An investigation by BBC’s Panorama found that 387 people were arrested from February 2016 to February 2017, a significant increase from the same period a year earlier.

We're all partial to a celebratory champers - but some people get a little carried away. Photo: Getty

No surprises here, but it's a problem that affects Aussies too, with the Gold Coast Bulletin reporting that more than 1500 people were arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour in Queensland airports over the past three years.

According to experts, it’s not just the amount of alcohol – but the effects of flying – that can affect someone who has been drinking.

“When on a plane, the barometric pressure in the cabin of a plane is lower than it normally is,” Dr Clare Morrison told the Huffpost UK.

Flying can actually make you feel drunker than you are, say experts. Photo: Getty

“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 more drunk in the air than you would on the ground after consuming the same amount of alcohol.”

It’s a problem cabin crew are all too familiar with.

The BBC investigation reports that more than half of the 4000 air staffers surveyed have witnessed or been subject to abuse – of a verbal, physical or sexual nature.

RELATED: Bizarre things flight attendants see on the job
RELATED: Why plane seats don’t always line up with the windows

The problem is now being addressed by airlines, with popular European budget carrier Ryanair now pushing for alcohol sales to be banned before 10am, and boarding passes to be shown when purchasing alcohol in the airport – and capped at two drinks.

Tracey Bolton knows first hand how a few pre-flight bevvies can spiral out of control, after her drunken mid-flight romp with a man who had a pregnant fiancée, went viral in June.

Pics of Tracey romping mid-air with a fellow passenger went viral. Photo: Snapchat

Flying from Manchester to Ibiza – which British flight attendants say is one of the worst routes, along with flights to Alicante and Majorca – Tracey was left regretting her pre-trip drinking after photos emerged of her straddling stranger Shaun Edmondson.

“I am absolutely mortified. What started as a bit of drunken madness has gone worldwide,” she said at the time.

Want more celebrity, entertainment and lifestyle news? Follow Be on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.