This is NOT a drill. I repeat this is NOT a drill. 2020 just keeps getting worse and this proves it. Despite alcohol sales increasing during the Coronavirus lockdown, air travel will now be a sober experience. Yes, Airlines including Easyjet, KLM, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines and Asia’s Virgin Australia are all suspending part of their alcoholic drinks service in response to COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, soft drinks and water for everyone. A true tragedy.
So why are they cutting out alcohol? Well, it’s all part of its widespread revision of the industry’s food and drinks services to minimize all interaction between passengers and crew members. Basically, health experts want to ensure a safer journey for everyone inside. The decision comes as face masks became mandatory on all flights around the world, which was new legislation introduced in January 2020 to curb the “antisocial behavior” on flights.
According to CNN, many airlines are limiting their drink options to water. This is the only way of ensuring passengers lingering over their refreshments for no longer than necessary. British low-cost airline Easyjet, resumed their domestic routes across France and the UK in June, alongside several international routes. While customers can bring non-alcoholic drinks and food onboard, at the beginning the only refreshment on offer will be water which needs to be requested by the crew.
As far as food services, those will resume in the coming months. Virgin Atlantic will be issuing passengers with “Health Packs’ which include surface wipes, hand gel, and facemask, and will also temporarily remove alcohol on board. UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, is also using alcohol service in a short-haul economy only, but customers will be offered complimentary refreshments along with a bottle of water. All special meals and hot meals are temporarily unavailable. Irish budget airline Ryanair has also resumed their limited flight schedule. All pre-packaged food must be pre-ordered before flying.
Delta Airlines isn’t serving alcohol on domestic flights or while in the Americas, but wine, spirits, and beer can be found on all other international flights. As far as American Airlines, they are limiting food and drink service in the main cabin, according to flight destinations and length. As far as access to alcohol, well it is the preserve of long-haul international flights and people in first class. In Asia, Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific will still have drinks available, but the pre-meal bar and pre-poured drinks are temporarily suspended.
For Virginia Australia, it is serving all of its passenger’s complimentary water and a small snack. But, any additional drinks and food aren’t currently available for onboard purchases. So, our advice is if you’re traveling this summer…pack plenty of water bottles, healthy snacks, and keep your mask on when you’re not eating or drinking.
Honestly, this is pretty devastating to me. As someone who needs a good pick me up during a plane ride because I’m terrified of flying, this sucks. How dare you take away the right to get drunk on an airplane? Shame on your airlines! It’s the end of the world as we know it. Here’s to hoping they don’t ban alcohol at bars. It’s a sad sad day indeed.