One for the plane - nearly half of Kiwis hit the bar at airports before take-off

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Nearly half of Kiwi air travellers head to the airport bar for a drink before take-off, according to a new survey which the flights website that commissioned it describes as astounding.

The survey for Cheapflights NZ found 46 per cent of passengers indulge at the airport bar with a pre-departure drink.

Kiwis consume almost two drinks on average at the airport, spending $17.40 each visit on alcohol, which adds up to about $43.6 million a year.

A survey found 46 per cent of Kiwi passengers indulge at the airport bar with a pre-departure drink.

Source: Supplied

The favourite tipple is beer for men, with 54 per cent ordering an ale and wine for women, with 41 per cent having that.

Interestingly, 49 per cent of parents also admitted to having a tipple at the airport to make the prospect of travelling with kids more bearable.

The survey found 'holiday time' definitely starts early for more than a third of jetsetters, with 37 per cent admitting to having their first pre-flight drink before midday, and one in 10 before 9am.  

"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," said Nathan Graham, regional sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ . 

Our mentality to ‘cut loose’ on holiday, or even before we’ve left, may have consequences"
Nathan Graham, regional sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ

Fifteen per cent of those surveyed went on to admit they have had "one too many" before getting on a plane, with the offenders most likely to be 30 to 44 year olds. 

Just seven per cent of respondents also 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 30 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, or even before we've left, may have consequences," Mr Graham cautioned. 

It seems Kiwis are actually conservative when compared to Brits, Aussies and Americans as 62 per cent, 60 per cent and 49 per cent of travellers in those countries respectively, enjoy a drink when travelling. 

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