If it's free drink it up. Otherwise, most fliers pass on the alcohol.

That’s what travel website CheapFlights.com found in its latest study that centers on the drinking habits of stressed-out travelers walking through airports around the world.

The website queried over 1,000 travelers about their drinking habits in various stages of walking through an airport or flying on an airplane. What they found is that the experience, good or bad, can definitely drive many to imbibe.

For example, the study found that 39 percent of those polled admit that they will pop a cold one and drink earlier in the day than they usually do when traveling.

Seeing as how its "Vacation-o’clock" anytime we fly, we see that number as remarkably low. Perhaps it’s the party animal in us but the proper time to imbibe and let loose is about the time you step through TSA – being poked and prodded has that effect on us.

Now onto the subject of paying for alcohol. It’s obvious that anyone would be more inclined to drink merrily if they aren’t paying for it-- but the discrepancy between the drinkers and non-drinkers is staggering when you consider in-flight costs.

The website states: “Of all of those surveyed, 37 percent admit to drinking on the plane. But, free is key — 20 percent of Americans will only partake when they don’t have to pay.”

That number sounds about right. For some reason, paying an exorbitant fee for beer or cocktails at the airport is okay to stomach. But the second we're ariborne, we put the card away and hope the in-flight entertainment options are enough to placate the nerves.

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Perhaps it’s the long line at the bathroom to consider or merely the uncomfortable environs. But it’s clear that most of us will only knock one back if it’s on the house, er, plane.

The study also offers other delicious tidbits, such as habits broken down by geographic region.

The male members of the travel community preferred beer when air bound at a clip of 48 percent while females enjoyed the vibrant tastes of cocktails (28 percent).

And the airport watering hole, as you might expect, is about as popular as the Starbucks: “79 percent of men and 73 percent of women who drink when they travel do spend some time in an airport bar.”

Basically, you are hardly alone in needing to quench that stress-fueled thirst for alcohol when you're hopping from airport to airport while traveling on business or holiday.

Sure we may opt for a different poison here and there, but, according to the study, a lot of us clamor for the sauce the moment we get to the airport.