Here’s Why You Always Crave Ginger Ale on Airplanes

Updated: Jul. 14, 2021

It’s strange that you always ask for ginger ale when on an airplane, but never when you’re on the ground. Don't worry, there's a reason behind your craving.

Here’s Why You Always Crave Ginger Ale on PlanesOksana-Mizina/Shutterstock

Once you are comfortably traveling to your destination at cruising altitude, you can’t help but feel giddy when you hear the drink cart rumbling down the isle. What will you choose this time? A ginger ale? Tomato juice? Tea with lemon? More often than not, you will probably find yourself asking for the bubbly, champagne colored drink, ginger ale. Even if you never crave it while on the ground, it might be your go-to drink while in the sky, and there’s a good reason behind it. Speaking of traveling, make sure you never do these things on an airplane.

If you find that you are one of the people asking the flight attendant for a Canada Dry every time you fly, you’re not alone. A Reddit user posted the question, “Do you order ginger ale on planes, but not on the ground? If so, why?” and then, below it, stated, “I always see people drinking ginger ale on planes, but almost never off them. I drink the same thing on planes than I do on solid ground, and it’s not ginger ale, but I keep feeling like there’s something everyone else is in on and I’m not.”

The post got almost 200 replies and had many people questioning why they too crave ginger ale on planes. So what gives? When you’re in the air, always follow these etiquette tips.

Ginger has a soothing effect on stomachs, so many people ask for the drink to calm their stomach from the stress of traveling or the turbulence of the plane. But, when you look into it, ginger ale doesn’t contain that much real ginger; it’s actually the carbonation that is settling your stomach. Sherry Ross, MD, of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, says it has to do more with the placebo effect.

“You’re buying into the power of suggestion,” Ross told Woman’s Day. “We’ve learned from our mothers and grandmothers, who brought us ginger ale and chicken noodle soup when we were sick as kids, that ginger ale works.”

So next time you’re feeling nauseous while traveling, it’s the carbonation in the ginger ale that is helping you feel better. In that case, feel free to order cola or lemon-lime soda instead. It will have you feeling just as good. Once your stomach is settled, it’s time to take a nap. Here is how to sleep well on an airplane.

Source: Woman’s Day