This weekend I read the report about far more drink fuelled incidents on aircraft, ‘air rage’, and the fact that some airlines are thinking of banning alcohol altogether.
In the past this news could have really stressed me, after all, I am and was a regular flyer on business and the thought of having to spend a few hours in the sky without the comfort of a gin and tonic after take-off and then regular mini bottles of wine during the flight would have been unthinkable. ’What will I do with myself? How can anyone cope for so long without a drink?’, I would have thought.
Now I don’t care. I don’t care that they might ban alcohol. I don’t care when I fly that I can’t have a drink because I Don’t Drink, and I enjoy the flight far more. In my book One Less for the Road I talk about this issue some more. Here is an extract:
So what is it like flying sober?
Bloody marvellous is the short answer. Have you noticed how much stress you get waiting for the steward/ess to serve the first drink? Waiting whilst they make their way slowly down the aisle. Knowing you are going to have a drink when they finally reach you just makes you more desperate for them to get to you. It is probably like quitting drinking for a month (I wouldn’t know), you just can’t wait for the month to end so you can get smashed – what a nightmare of stress.
Of course if you are travelling business or upper class you won’t be having to wait, but I have been lucky enough to travel business class once or twice and I found it awkward. They give you a glass to drink, you toss it back within seconds and then you either have to wait ages for a top up or you start to feel embarrassed that you have to ask for more, and then more and then more!
Does waiting for a drink on the plane ever get to you?
Not caring when the trolley gets to you is just one aspect that is so much better without alcohol. The flight itself is more enjoyable, you feel fresher and more relaxed – believe me, it is the opposite of what you imagine where drink would be the thing that relaxes you. And when you get to the other end you are fresh as a daisy, you can far better cope with all the aggravation of customs and getting your baggage, and delays become less of an issue, after all, you are not desperate to get to your hotel for a drink so can take a far more laid-back perspective on events as they unfold. I wouldn’t want to go back to travelling drunk ever again.
The really big bonus from flying sober is that with alcohol being a diuretic you dehydrate far less without it, especially as you will be drinking non-alcoholic liquids instead. This was the real killer for me – even if I was flying now and I wanted an alcoholic drink (which I wouldn’t), the very thought of all the illness, pain and discomfort the dehydration would cause would be more than enough to make me change my mind.
I do of course care that there are people behaving in a way that is unpleasant and could be dangerous to others, but then I don’t want to bang the ‘ban the drink’ drum having been there and done that as an alcoholic myself for all those years, so I will let someone else do the banging. Instead I am content to spend my energies helping others quit the drink so they can not care about news like this as well.