Airlines are always looking to do less … for more.
After the 9-11 attacks in the U.S. in 2001, airlines in America did away with most meal services (and many started charging you $50 for an extra bag — that’ll teach those terrorists!).
Now, with COVID-19 emerging as a new threat in the states, airlines have decided to stop in-flight sales of alcohol on many flights (‘cuz, you know, the coronavirus lives on those little bottles).
“Because COVID-19 can spread through surface contact, airlines have placed an emphasis on reducing ‘touchpoints’ between fliers and airline staff as much as possible. And beverage service is a major source of those touchpoints,” The Washington Post reported.
“To that end, Delta has nixed all beverages on board for the time being aside from single-serve bottles of water. Glassware, ice, plastic cups, and other open containers have all been scrapped, too, although Delta allows travelers to bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages aboard,” the Post said.
American Airlines will do much the same but offer alcoholic beverages on all flights — as long as you’re in first class. Booze will be available on “long-haul international flights” in the main cabin as well. Oh, and you can get a light snack — on trips of more than 900 miles.
JetBlue flights, meanwhile, are “offering a pre-sealed bag with water and two snacks,” a spokesman for JetBlue wrote in an email to The Post. “For our mint product (our version of first class), we are providing a limited selection of beer and wine in single-serve containers and pre-sealed meal boxes.”
Southwest Airlines has suspended alcohol service on all flights — temporarily, they say — and reduced onboard service on flights of 251 miles or less.
Then there’s United. The massive airline has not done away with alcoholic beverages, although flights will “only serve sealed beverages” and will no longer offer “ice, coffee, and tea service, and poured alcohol,” The Post said.
It’s worse on other airlines. “On British budget airline EasyJet, water will be the only refreshment — and that will need to be requested from the crew, who will also monitor restroom use,” Forbes reported.
“Netherlands flagship airline KLM will no longer carry alcohol, but passengers can continue to ask crewmembers for more water and soft drinks,” Forbes wrote.
Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, known for their in posh service and lush accouterments, have also temporarily stopped serving alcohol on flights.
“The UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, is suspending its alcohol service in the short-haul economy only (its ‘Euro Traveller’ class), where customers will instead be offered complimentary refreshments along with a bottle of water. Special meals, including children’s meals, are temporarily unavailable,” CNN wrote.
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