Tag Archives: alcohol

The not-so-friendly skies …

xlargeYou may recall my post about being a flight attendant, and that the job was not for the faint of heart. You may recall me saying there were days when I wanted to lock myself behind the flight deck door and not come out again.

The photograph to the right is Exhibit A why.

Said photo, the story goes, is from an Iceland Air flight, taken by a passenger, in the aftermath of an on-board episode involving (naturally) alcohol. The gentleman in question, en route from Reykjavik to New York City’s Kennedy Airport, is alleged in news reports to have engaged in activities such as hitting people, screaming profanities and spitting. The cabin crew were forced to break out the restraints and duct tape.

I had such an incident on a flight from Mexico to Toronto. And, naturally, there was alcohol involved. The episode didn’t result in use of duct tape or restraints, but did result in law enforcement officers meeting the aircraft in Toronto.

Current research says that the effect of alcohol is not amplified at higher altitude, but my experience says otherwise. Although an aircraft cabin is pressurized, the pressure is usually set at an atmospheric pressure equivalent to 7,000 to 9,000 feet. The air at that pressure level is thinner. The theory once was that due to the reduced pressure, oxygen up-take by blood hemoglobin is reduced, making alcohol effects more pronounced. As I say, science has apparently debunked this as myth, but I sure have ample real-life evidence suggesting otherwise.