Global pandemic gets worse as airlines stop alcohol service

No more G+Ts or Bloody Marys at 31,000ft...

31w ago

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things about the world. It’s changed the way we shop, the way we exercise, the way we live... and the way we travel.

But it’s just got a whole lot worse.

Several airlines, including KLM, Delta, American Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet have all announced they are suspending their in-flight alcohol services.

This is of course in order to minimise the number of interactions between crew and passengers. But it will also make flying a hell of a lot worse.

Is there anything better than a gin and tonic at 31,000ft? Ok, maybe a Bloody Mary at 31,000ft. But apart from that…

Some airlines will offer water, with others offering water and soft drinks. And if you're one of the lucky ones in Business or First Class, you're likely to be unaffected.

Virgin Atlantic has said onboard meals will be delivered in a way where they come straight from a controlled catering environment to the customer’s seat, reducing interaction. Quite what popping a sealed tiny bottle of wine on a tray would add to that interaction, I don’t know.

It has however said the alcohol ban is a temporary measure, and will be under constant review.

EasyJet has said it is limiting its passengers to a glass of water, with no food service available. The golden age of flying is truly upon us.

Expect to see bookings on British Airways Business Class increase, as it has announced it is not suspending alcohol sales, despite reworking its food and drink offering to reduce contact. However, BA won’t be offering alcohol to those in ‘Euro Traveller’ class on short-haul flights.

KLM has suspended the sale of booze and hot drinks, but passengers will be able to buy pre-packaged refreshments, and you can have a glass of water or a soft drink.

Aussie airline Qantas has also joined the party and suspended alcohol sales for now, with no food available on domestic flights either.

Meanwhile Delta is stopping the sale of alcohol on its domestic flights in the US, and on flights to Canada, Mexico or South America. Lucky if you’re going international, as the beer, wine and spirits will still be flowing.

American Airlines is offering a ‘restricted’ food and drink service, with alcohol only on offer on long-haul flights, or for the fancy lot in First Class.

As if you needed another reason to hold off on the air travel for the moment...

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Comments (5)

  • The best part of Business Class, I'll be honest, is the ANYMORE OF THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MUSCAT DESSERT WINE FOR YOU, MR COLEMAN? Just repeatedly.

    Also, a Cab Sav in Economy actually put me to sleep for hours on the London to Sydney route, something which I was so grateful for.

    It's not worth flying far if there's no alcohol. It's the last drop of civilisation and romance left in air travel.

      7 months ago
  • Malt whiskey

      7 months ago
  • So I guess my European travels won't be via airplane. That's okay, I can still go via ship....right? Pirates at least have rum...right? 🤣

      7 months ago
  • So it's easy bring a bottle. Just go to the duty free before you leave. Get your free tonic on the plane. Voilà you'll save yourself some money to.

      7 months ago
  • Amarula a drink from South Africa 🇿🇦. Like Baileys Irish Cream in appearance but different taste absolutely delicious. Got in a virgin Atlantic plane from London Heathrow 🇬🇧 to Boston USA 🇺🇸 and back to London from New York same airline. Freebies in Premium Economy.

      7 months ago