The lights are dimmed and the people sitting around you are either or asleep or fully invested in the inflight entertainment. It’s now or never.
One by one you let the tears fall as you sob silently into your flimsy polyester blanket. Lion King gets you every time.
But don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to research commissioned by Gatwick Airport, 15 per cent of men said that they were more likely to cry while watching a film on a plane than if they saw the same movie at home or in a cinema, the UK Times reported.
Only six per cent of women experience the same urge.
Why the heightened emotion? Could it be a remnant of the trauma of travel itself, the exorbitant airport prices or the fact that the person in front of you has reclined their seat during meal services so you’re stuck balancing your tray on your chest?
“There are many reasons why our emotions may feel heightened on a flight and one of the most interesting is a possible physiological link between altitude and emotion,” the biologist Emily Grossman said.
“Some believe that the slight reduction in oxygen levels at high altitude might affect the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, thus altering our mood and potentially making some of us more susceptible to feelings of sadness.
“Altitude can certainly make us feel more tired, which is known to decrease our ability to be able to manage negative emotions, perhaps explaining our reduced threshold for tears.”