Some major airlines suspend alcohol sales, tighten enforcement on face coverings


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Some major airlines are suspending in-flight alcohol sales and tightening enforcement of the use of face coverings by passengers. These changes are being implemented in both US-based and international carriers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airlines banning or restricting alcohol sales include Delta, American and JetBlue. According to CBS, the move comes in response to a need to regain travelers’ confidence by limiting human interaction.

The following is a list of airlines and their updated beverage service policies:

  • Delta Airlines: No alcohol, plastic cups or ice will be served on domestic routes or flights to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America at this time. Alcohol may still be served on international flights.
  • American Airlines: No alcohol will be offered in economy cabins on domestic flights. It will, however, be an option in first class or on longer international flights.
  • United Airlines: Poured alcohol will no longer be offered. Beer and individual wines will only be available in premium cabins. Flights less than an hour will only serve beverages upon request.
  • JetBlue Airways: Passengers who purchase first-class seats will be offered single-serve containers of beer and wine.
  • Southwest Airlines: The airline is only offering cans of water with straws and snack mix on flights over 250 miles. Snack and beverage services are temporarily suspended on all other flights.

International carriers that are suspending alcohol sales include Netherlands-based KLM, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet, according to CNN.

CBS also reported airlines are threatening to ban passengers who refuse to wear a face covering.

Airlines for America, a trade association that serves the US airline industry, said its member carriers “will be vigorously enforcing face covering policies” in a press release Monday. The release mentions “consequences” for compliance, which may include “suspension of flying privileges on that airline.”

The group’s members include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

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