‘Yes, we keep a tally and it's obvious when you're drunk’: Flight attendant reveals what cabin crew REALLY think of your in-flight drinking
- MailOnline Travel spoke to a flight attendant about drinking etiquette
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that enjoying a glass of wine on the plane makes for a sensible coping strategy.
But what about three glasses and a whiskey chaser? And so long as you behave yourself, does your flight attendant even care?
MailOnline Travel quizzed an air hostess from an American airline, who wishes to remain anonymous, to find out what's acceptable, what isn't, and what the cabin crew is really thinking as they hand over those miniature bottles.
As demonstrated by Kristen Wiig in this infamous scene from Bridesmaids (pictured), it's easy to overdo it at 37,000 feet and yes, your cabin crew will notice
First of all, just how common is it for people to drink on the plane? And how much is normal for those who do?
'When you think about it, being on board an aircraft is really one of the only situations in which it's vaguely socially acceptable to day-drink by yourself,' she remarks. 'So people do.
'The majority of passengers who drink will have two. One when service commences and another one with a meal. Then there are always the ones who can knock back four. It's easy to overdo it.'
While the validity of the claim that high altitudes will get your drunker faster is still the subject of debate, there are other factors at play.
'Being stuck in a seat, particularly on long-haul flights, means you're metabolizing alcohol at a slower rate than you would be if you were moving around,' she explains.
'And you're more likely to be drinking faster if you're bored and complacent, which you probably are.'
MailOnline Travel quizzed an air hostess from an American airline who admits that one or two tipples can actually make passengers 'more polite, friendly and mellow'
In regards to whether cabin crew keep tabs on how many drinks passengers are getting through, that's a resounding yes.
'We are trained to monitor people using a traffic light system,' she reveals. 'If you're exhibiting "green" behaviours then we're fine to serve you, if you're moving into "yellow" territory then it's time to slow down, and as soon as you enter "red", we cut you off.'
Red behaviours, she explains, include spilling things, walking unsteadily, appearing 'glassy-eyed' and slurring.
'It's a red flag if someone is getting up to use the lavatory more often than normal,' she adds. 'Or when they start pulling seemingly sly tricks.
'People often think they can sneak in extra drinks by requesting them from a different flight attendant each time. Actually, you're just drawing more attention to yourself.'
Red flag behaviours include spilling things, walking unsteadily, appearing 'glassy-eyed' and using the bathroom more than usual - after which it's 'cut-off time'
So isn't the process of 'cutting someone off' an awkward affair?
'Every time,' she agrees. 'It's embarrassing for all involved. I quite often just pretend I haven't noticed the passenger who's waving me down for another drink until they give up. That or I just "forget" their order.'
And while it's certainly not uncommon for this to incite a disgruntled or even angry response, a 'green' level of inebriation can actually make for a better passenger.
'To be honest, a drink or two makes most people more polite, friendly and mellow. Which is really the best mindset to be in when you're sharing a confined space with strangers.'
'For me, it makes guys more likely to flirt,' she admits. 'And for you, any hangover you might happen to cultivate will be worse than usual.
'Flying is very dehydrating anyway, and chances are you won't have had a decent sleep.'
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