Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly Drunk?

Any list of tips for “surviving” a long flight includes some variation of this rule:

“Avoid alcohol!”

That’s fine and well if flying for long periods of time is enjoyable for you. I imagine it is not, as it is not for me, despite the frequency with which I fly. For me a drink (or two. Or three. Or fuck it, I’m on vacation!) is as ritual as binge watching all the movies I would never pay (in money OR time) to watch from the in-flight entertainment. Over the trips I’ve figured out a few things that make catching a buzz at 30,000 feet not only fun but functional-as in when I land I’m still functional. Here are my tips.



Elevator Beer

Pretend you can’t hear it asking you to hold the doors.

Wat? Stay with me here: Not all alcohol is created equal. Plane drinking is like day drinking. The best booze for the perfect AirBuzz is low in alcohol by volume. That doesn’t mean you can’t drink liquor, just mix it with water or seltzer, not something that hides the taste and encourages you to drink more (sugar won’t help your cause, either).




You know I’m all about that base.

Of water. The reason to avoid alcohol is because it dehydrates you. If you’re gonna drink you gotta replenish as you go. The best way to do this is to have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage, but I always start with at least one full glass of water before anything else (this helps with ice-free cold beverages like beer or wine too, see below). I know you’re thinking that means a ton of trips to the bathroom. Yes. It does. But you didn’t want to sit still in a glorified high chair for eight hours, anyway, did you?



Bloody Mary

The remedy.

Salt is bad. B12 is good. If you have a go-to hangover cure (see mine below) consider bringing the ingredients with you on the flight so you can spring into action if you over-indulge. Keep in mind some things will be available on the plane (coffee comes to mind).

My hangover cure:*

Small low sodium V8

5 Hour Energy (I only drink about half. caffeine slays me)

2 Aspirin or Ibuprofen

8oz Water or Gatorade

Take one hour before you want to get out of bed (set an alarm if it helps)

*Not FDA approved. May cause nausea, vomiting, or excessive hair of the dog.

Keep your cold drinks cold hack!


Step 1: Order. When you ask for your drink also request a glass of ice water (make sure you get the ice!)

Step 2: Chug. The water, that is. Now you’ve got your hydration base taken care of and you’ve created your cooler.

Step 3: Stack. Put the cup containing the drink you want to keep cold into the cup with the ice. It won’t fit at first (but it won’t matter because it will be cold at first) but as the ice melts (and your drink wants to warm up) it will create a chiller.

Step 4: Enjoy your cold beverage and be sure to give a wise but generous nod when your neighbors inevitably steal this trick.


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