NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Alcohol sales may have boomed during lockdown, but the return to air travel will be an altogether more sobering experience.
Airlines including Fort Worth-based American Airlines, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, KLM in Europe, and Asia’s Virgin Australia, are suspending all or part of their alcoholic drinks service in a move to limit human interaction because of COVID-19.
The changes come as the flight attendants’ union called on the federal government to do more to ensure passengers wear face masks on planes and as airlines said there would be ramifications for people who refuse to heed public safety guidelines.
With face masks already mandatory on pretty much all flights around the world, and new legislation introduced in January 2020 to curb anti-social behavior on flights, it’s another in a line of barriers — literal and legal — to getting high in the sky.
Many airlines are limiting drink options to water only. As face masks must be kept on other than when passengers are eating and drinking, it’s a way of ensuring passengers are lingering over their refreshments for no longer than necessary.
Delta Airlines isn’t serving alcohol on domestic flights or within the Americas, but beer, wine and spirits can be found on all other international flights.
Over on American Airlines, the airline is limiting food and drink service in the main cabin according to flight length and destination. Access to alcohol, however, is the preserve of long-haul international flights and the folks in First Class.
Virgin Australia is serving all guests complimentary water and a snack, but additional food and drinks aren’t currently available for on-board purchase.
So if you’re traveling this summer, pack plenty of water and healthy snacks, keep your face mask on when not eating or drinking, and be glad that you’re being spared alcohol-related dehydration, a major contributor to jet lag.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)