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Experts Agree: Alcohol Should Stay Off Aircraft

With airlines going dry in the skies, a group of experts say that might be the best idea for the future. Between the way alcohol affects the body at high altitudes and the dangers of drunk flyers, some believe that airlines shouldn’t serve alcoholic beverages at cruising altitude.

To serve alcohol, or not to serve alcohol: This is the question airlines have been debating between the remnants of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in unruly passengers traveling. A group of experts are advocating for prohibition to be extended indefinitely in the skies. Denver ABC affiliate KGMH-TV reports several experts say alcohol should be left on the ground, and not served at high altitudes.

Political Divides and Face Mask Rules Make Bad Combination with Alcohol

The continued national public transportation face mask mandate and political divide is creating a difficult time for consumer aviation. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the vast majority of unruly passenger reports referred to the agency are focused on those who refuse to wear a face covering. Adding alcohol to the situation may only make the situation worse.

“So now you have a political division going on…and now we’ve got to go deal with somebody who’s being a jerk,” Jeff Price, aviation professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, told KGMH. “Occasionally sometimes they’re being a jerk because they’ve had too much to drink.”

Dealing with attitudes are just one issue with serving alcohol on aircraft. Researchers say that serving beer, wine and liquor at cruising altitude can also have negative affects as well, such as exacerbating the traditional signs of drunkenness, including headaches and dehydration.

Flight attendants who spoke to KGMH also said they though extending prohibition on flights is ideal, but they are concerned more flyers will try to bring their own alcohol onboard. Federal law prohibits anyone from consuming alcohol that was not served to them by an airline.

Airlines Still Split on Serving Alcohol On Flights

As it stands today, airlines are still split on whether or not they should serve alcohol aboard flights. While Delta Air Lines is continuing to offer adult beverages, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have stopped serving alcohol with no timeline on when they may return.

jahason August 2, 2021

Leave out alcohol and spend the money on better food, soft drinks and coffee instead.

deadinabsentia July 25, 2021

I fly baked. 50-80 MG of edibles and the hours literally fly bye. Alcohol leaves you feeling rubbish on arrival. Thank god for legalised weed.

wedgette July 14, 2021

Once again, a few bad apples ruin it for everyone else.

chollie July 11, 2021

This would have been a much better article if the author had addressed the rise (?) of unruly alcohol-fueled passengers on non-US airlines. Are Asian or European carriers plagued by a similar rise in bad behavior? If so, how are they responding? The article is absolutely based on two people's opinions - nothing from the passengers. Advocating banning alcohol in-flight because some jerks (no actual data supplied) who behave badly are intoxicated is as silly as banning all children and all pets because some children and pets behave badly.

AADFW July 10, 2021

Here's a statistic for everyone. Since the beginning of this year, the FAA has received more than 3,200 reports of unruly behavior by passengers. Roughly 75% of the cases stem not from alcohol, but from passengers who refuse to comply with federal mask mandates. Alcohol has been made a red herring for the real problem.