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Bottoms Up! Aussies Waste No Time Downing a Drink Pre-Holiday

October 18, 2016 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Everyone knows Australians love a drink – and it appears we are living up to our boozy reputation with a cheeky airport tipple part of the journey for the majority (60 per cent) of fliers, according to the first #AirportLife survey from


Pouring into the drinking habits of Australian travellers, the research found that ‘holiday time’ starts early for most jetsetters, as almost half (47 per cent) of respondents admit to having their first pre-flight drink before midday, and a fifth (21 per cent) before 9am.

Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, said: “It’s astounding to see the number of people who opt for a drink as soon as they arrive at the airport, no matter the time of day. It seems the airport is a place where the normal rules of life are suspended.

“The reasons we’re choosing to have a tipple are less surprising however. After the stress of packing, getting to the airport and queuing through security, half (49 per cent) of respondents said it was a way to celebrate and kick off the holiday, while 60 per cent said they have a bevvy to simply kill time before boarding.”

According to the research, locals consume two drinks on average at the airport, spending $21.70 each visit on alcohol – which equates to almost $210.5 million1 per year – with beer being the drink of choice for men (55 per cent) and wine for women (32 per cent).

One in three however, admit they have had “one too many” before getting on a plane, with the offenders most likely to be those aged 18 to 29 years old. A staggering one in five respondents said they, or someone they know, have been told that they can’t get on a flight because they’ve had too much alcohol.

“With four in 10 people (39 per cent) unaware that high altitude can increase the effect of alcohol on the body, we need to be mindful that our mentality to ‘cut loose’ on holiday, even before we’ve left, may have consequences,” said Mr Graham.

Additional key findings include:

 Men are more likely to have a drink at the airport (67 per cent) and during a flight (73 per cent) versus women (52 and 59 per cent respectively)

 Australians are keeping up with the mother country, where 62 per cent of Brits head to the bar once they pass through airport security, and are bigger airport drinkers when compared to Kiwis (46 per cent) and Americans (49 per cent)

 Four out of five (80 per cent) West Australian respondents enjoy a drink on a flight, with those from the state also the most likely to enjoy a beverage before take-off (64 per cent)

o During the flight, it is respondents from New South Wales who appear to be the next most likely to have a drink (68 per cent), followed by those from Queensland (66 per cent), South Australia (65 per cent) and Victoria (64 per cent)

o In terms of pre-flight drinking, the states rounding out the top five are New South Wales (63 per cent), Victoria (59 per cent), South Australia (58 per cent) and Queensland (57 per cent)

 South Australians were found to have the biggest thirst, drinking on 2.6 drinks each average, with West Australians coming in second (2.4 drinks)

For more information or to search your next holiday, visit, and to join the conversation online #AirportLife.

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