An archive image of a Spanish airport. / EFE

Sky drinking

The drink trolley on flights seem to take ages to arrive; maybe that's why people down pints before boarding


Some people may find it hard to believe, but there are those who enjoy eating and drinking in airports, in spite of the fact that the prices are inflated to include the airport authorities' vicious franchise fees.

Of course, there are no licensing hours, and it is not unusual to see men quaffing pints at nine o'clock in the morning. Perhaps they are unsure about any in-flight drinks service so are taking no chances.

  • Gabo Do Xil O Barreiro

  • A white wine from Valdeorras, developed by wunderkind and Spain's youngest winemaking star, Telmo Rodríguez.

  • This is a varietal Godello, of limited production and high quality It goes to market without aging. Around €8, and well worth looking for.

Sociologists maintain that travel broadens the mind to such an extent that we do things we would never do at home, and a change in our drinking habits is one of them.

We often drink more than is customary, and for those unable to relax sufficiently before being whisked into the skies, alcoholic content is important.

A couple of stiff scotches or gin and tonics work wonders, and if the measures are too small because of the stingy optics behind the bar, a hip flask is a lifesaver and a money-saver.

Once airborne, the drinks trolley seems to take hours to arrive, and protests will not help; (although I do remember a Gib Airways hostess who amazingly brought an apron full of miniatures to deposit in my lap).

So, what about BYOB, as restaurant slang goes? Laying out my pull-down tray once on a BA Malaga-London flight, the hostess caught sight of my bottle of manzanilla and commented, "Ah, you are obviously accustomed to flying out of Gibraltar," before asking me to put it away and buy from the in-flight service.