Airlines ban alcohol on planes in response to COVID-19

International

FILE – In this Tuesday, April 7, 2020, file photo, Delta flight is shown taking off from Salt Lake City International Airport, in Salt Lake City. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday, April 14, 2020, that the nation’s major airlines have tentatively agreed to terms for $25 billion in federal aid to pay workers and keep them employed through September. The deals aren’t final, but the assistance is almost certain to be a mix of cash and loans, and the government could take a small ownership stake in the leading airlines. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(CNN) – Alcohol sales may have boomed during lockdown, but the return to air travel will be an altogether more sobering experience.

Airlines including Easyjet and KLM in Europe, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines in the United States, and Asia’s Virgin Australia, are suspending all or part of their alcoholic drinks service in response to COVID-19.

It’s part of a widespread revision of the industry’s food and drink service to minimize interaction between crew and passengers and to ensure a safer journey for all.

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.

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