We all know that air travel is going to look very different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but temperature checks, canceled flights, and empty middle seats are the least of our problems. The real issue is that some airlines are banning alcohol on their flights.
To limit contact between passengers and crew, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic will temporarily stop serving alcohol on all flights, and British Airways and American Airlines will only serve alcohol on long-haul flights. Delta, similarly, has cut the service on domestic and short-haul international trips. Limiting alcohol isn’t just about reducing contact between passengers and crew, but also preventing alcohol-fueled incidents that could potentially lead to COVID-19 transmission.
Non-alcoholic refreshments are also taking a hit. EasyJet passengers must bring their own drinks on board, limiting its in-flight drink service to glasses of water that are only available upon request. Southwest will also be temporarily suspending all onboard beverage and snack service. British Airways will offer a free bottle of water, but the typical selection of sodas, juices, and coffees won’t be available for a while.
Some airlines are also reducing food services. Virgin Atlantic will be serving food in pre-prepared boxes, EasyJet will stop serving food altogether, and British Airways will provide complimentary biscuits, chips, or pretzels, with all meals served in boxes.