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Airlines Are Taking Alcoholic Drinks off Their Flights

Got to keep those face masks on.
18 June 2020, 4:43am
airlines-plane-ban-alcohol-coronavirus
For illustrative purposes only. Photo: Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.

As if air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t hard enough, those who habitually look forward to free inflight booze will be sorely disappointed by new restrictions on some airlines’ alcohol policies.

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, alcohol will no longer be served in many flights around the world. In fact, water will be the only beverage option for many airlines, CNN reported. This is to discourage passengers from sipping their drinks without face masks on for too long.

Food and beverage options across airlines have been pared down quite a bit, each with their own variation. For example, Australian airline Qantas will offer a complimentary bottle of water and a snack on domestic and international flights.

While alcohol and meals will not be available for many American Airlines flights, exceptions are made for long-haul international flights and for those flying First Class.

Meanwhile, meal services have been suspended for Singapore Airlines flights to Southeast Asian countries and China. Passengers will, instead, be offered a snack bag. The airline has also “adjusted” its inflight alcohol policy “across all cabin classes,” though the exact terms are not specified on its website.

Another common change to the flying experience in the age of social distancing is the removal of inflight magazines. This is in accordance with guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which discourages the provision of inflight newspapers and magazines. For many airlines including Southwest, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines, reading material that was once tucked into the back pockets of airplane seats have been replaced by digital copies.

This is to facilitate the disinfection process, which is now being taken more seriously than ever. Instead of the standard, pre-coronavirus cleaning procedures, airlines are now using industrial-grade disinfectants to deep clean plane cabins in between flights.

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed air travel as we know it, the alcohol ban on most flights could prove to be helpful. With the threat of the coronavirus looming overhead, the last thing cabin crews need to deal with is rowdy passengers who’ve had a little too much to drink.