Canadians' Airport and Inflight Drinking Habits Examined in Survey

Survey Says: Those Who Do, Drink Early and Often

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Nov 3, 2016) - Whether it's to calm nerves, pass the time during a flight delay, or celebrate the start of a vacation, Canadians like to raise a glass at the airport -- or in the air. And some of us like to do both (go figure)! Fully 70 per cent of Canadians drink en route to their destinations with 60 per cent saying they get started early by drinking at the airport bar, according to a survey of over 1,000 Canadians by, the champions of simple travel search.

In the airport and in the air
Half of men surveyed who grab a drink at the airport bar view a beer as their top drink of choice. Wine (18 per cent) and hard liquor (14 per cent) run a distant second and third, and only 10 per cent of men opt for a cocktail. Of the women who stop in for a beverage, 30 per cent choose wine at the airport bar though almost as many select a cocktail (27 per cent) suggesting a celebratory mood pre-flight. And the time they are most likely to belly up to the bar is when they have a long layover (26 per cent), followed closely by a delayed flight (24 per cent) and when headed out to their destination (22 per cent).

In-fight beverages are also a big part of travel for many. Fifty eight per cent of Canadians say they imbibe mid flight, including 13 per cent who do so on every trip. For 32 per cent, though, it's free booze that entices them to partake on a plane.

Perhaps because of time zone changes and crazy departure times, an early start to drinking seems to be part of travel, with 37 per cent of those who drink when they travel admitting they start earlier than usual on flying days. The top reason these respondents cite for drinking is celebrating getting away (27 per cent), followed by boredom (17 per cent), socializing with travel companions (15 per cent), and being anxious about flying (11 per cent).

The excitement of a vacation can lead some travellers to overindulge. About 18% of men (and 8% of women) who tipple when they travel report feeling intoxicated in the airport or on a flight, and 21% of all those surveyed report seeing other passengers who are disruptively intoxicated.

Vacation celebration
The survey also revealed that 41 per cent of all Canadians stick to their usual drink when on vacation, while 28 per cent switch to a drink more in keeping with their destination. Tequila might be in order if jetting off on a Mexican sun holiday, or a mojito for those vacationing in Havana.

Vacation is also an excuse for many to throw schedules out the window. About a third of Canucks have downed their first cocktail or beer before noon on vacation, with 15 per cent saying they have gotten started before 10 am (Bloody Caesar anyone?) And taking the holiday spirit to its obvious conclusion are those who admit spending more on booze than food while on vacation: 18 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women.

Age and alcohol
If you think the younger travellers are the biggest drinkers, you would be right: 78 per cent of those ages 25-35 will make a stop at the airport bar, with 21 per cent saying they do so every time they pass through the airport. This age group is also most likely to drink on the plane with 68 per cent reporting they do so, including 17 per cent who drink on all their flights.

But it's the under-25 set who throw off the drinking shackles and opt for a more adventurous approach to drinking when they travel. Only 28 per cent of that age group say they would drink the usual type and amount when on vacation. Instead 31 per cent would opt for something more in keeping with their destination, and 26 per cent saying they view a trip as the time to drink whatever, whenever. No other age group had more than 20 per cent taking the "all bets are off" approach to imbibing. Makes sense since millennials are reportedly more likely to collect experiences than souvenirs while travelling (even if the experience they collect is a hangover).

For more details on what, when, where and how Canadians like to drink while jetting around the globe, check out the full results of's latest travel habits survey here: Bottoms up: Drinking habits of Canadians while travelling.

Findings are based on an online survey of 1,004 Canadians conducted in a 48-hour period between October 26 and 27, 2016.

About, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating more than C$4 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from more than 120 travel businesses -- for whom it has driven more than C$80 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

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Website: blog post with the results from a survey on the drinking habits of Canadians while travelling. Over 1,000 Canadians were asked about their whens, whats, hows, whys and wheres of drinking when flying. So, how does your celebratory style compare with the rest of the country? Read on to find out.