How to not get them high 35,000 feet high

Being inebriated on international flights is not a condition confined to Indian men. But they do have a special place on the slippery mantelpiece in this department. Being high some 35,000 ft high is one thing – the point of having a drink or two or three being to be suitably relaxed and floating in the clouds disregarding life’s many turbulences. But even as there has not been a serious empirical breakdown of nationalities in terms of in-flight drunken behaviour, apocryphally, the percentage of Indians who have taken the sauce too much and made a nuisance of themselves on board a plane is reportedly – there, we get the word again – very high.

Nursing a drink responsibly, we have come to our own sociocultural explanation of this phenomenon. It may be the novelty of being served alcoholic beverages ‘free of charge’ (every airline ticket factors in every passenger not being a teetotaller in its price) that gets Indian male travellers on international flights lose not just their inhibitions but their understanding of decency too. Like going on a storing/tanking up spree before a dry day, the Indian man confronted with a theoretically unlimited supply of liquor loses all perspective and dignity. Our solution? Perhaps allowing domestic flights to ply alcohol – for a price – could make for temperance instead of the trademark turbulence.

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