Delta And United Airlines Are Bringing Back Alcoholic Beverage Service On Certain Flights

Kristin Salaky
Photo credit: Oscar von Bonsdorff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Oscar von Bonsdorff - Getty Images

From Delish

Update, July 7, 2020: Last month, multiple airlines put a halt on alcohol and snack services on flights in response to safety concerns due to the ongoing pandemic. Now, Delta and United Airlines are bringing back those services on certain flights.

On Delta flights, the change began on July 2 on all trips greater than 500 miles and for first-class passengers only. The alcohol service includes single-serve red and white wine, Heineken, Miller Lite, SweetWater 420, and SweetWater IPA, according to the Delta website. The drinks will be served on trays to limit person-to-person contact.

United Airlines is also resuming its beverage and snack service and using a similar single-serve alcohol bottle model. This only includes beer and wine, as mixed drinks are still on hold for the time being, Thrillist reported.

Original Post, June 17, 2020: Multiple airlines have temporarily paused their alcohol services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pause is part of an effort to encourage social distancing on flights and attempt to limit how often passengers interact with flight attendants, and in many cases, try to encourage customers to wear masks as much as possible, something they obviously cannot do while eating or drinking.

CNN counted Easyjet, KLM, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Virgin Australia among the airlines that will not be serving alcohol on certain flights for the time being. CBS also confirmed Southwest and JetBlue are among them as well.

American Airlines has stopped alcohol sales in aircraft main cabins on all of its flights besides long-haul international flights. It will be available upon request in First Class. Delta airlines has nixed alcohol on all flights to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America in all classes, but will serve it on other international flights, according to CNN. Passengers can also bring their own snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on board. Southwest is suspending its food and beverage services on flights less than 250 miles. It will serve cans of water with straws and a snack mix on flights over 250 miles, when available.

JetBlue said that it will be serving pre-sealed bags containing a water and two snacks inside and will also be serving individual containers of beer and wine and pre-sealed meal boxes to First Class customers. KLM airlines in The Netherlands is doing something similar by leaving pre-packaged snacks and drinks at your seats, but you can still ask for more water or soda if you'd like.

United appears to be the only major airline in the U.S. that has not temporarily suspended alcohol on a majority of its flights, as previously reported on by The Washington Post. The airline will, however, "only serve sealed beverages and we will no longer offer ice, coffee and tea service, and poured alcohol," according to its website. It will also offer pre-packaged snack bags on certain flights and will allow customers, as always, to bring their own snacks.

As always, the COVID-19 pandemic is ever-changing and so will these guidelines. If you're planning to travel at any point, you should check the guidelines with your airline directly.

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