Some airlines resume alcohol service during coronavirus with a catch

Delta, American Airlines resume alcohol service for a price in a COVID-19 world

As coronavirus restrictions have begun to ease for federally regulated commercial airlines, Delta Air Lines has led the way for resumed alcohol beverage service.

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In a Thursday press release, the airline announced it would begin complimentary beer and wine service for domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ customers who are flying more than 500 miles. The airline’s selection includes single-serve beers such as Heineken, Miller Lite, SweetWater 420 and SweetWater IPA as well as red and white wines.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.27.18+0.10+0.37%
LUVAALn.a.n.a.n.a.n.a.
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.34.33-0.07-0.20%

“In keeping with the Delta CareStandard, our goal is to serve all of our food and beverage offerings in the safest way possible – both for our customers and employees,” said Allison Ausband, a senior vice president of in-flight service at Delta.

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“We take pride in always listening to our customers, and we know beer and wine are the adult beverages our customers want most,” she added while noting that the move is Delta’s first step towards a “normalized beverage offering.”

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Similarly, United Airlines reintroduced onboard food and beverage service on July 3 to “further enhance the customer experience,” a United spokesperson told FOX Business. This offering includes complimentary beer and wine that are individually packaged for economy cabins on international flights as well as complimentary liquor in single-serve bottles in premium cabins.

FOX Business reached out to other major airlines to find out which are resuming alcohol service as well but it appears that most are not.

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A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said the company is not serving alcohol onboard, however, the company is offering a modified snack and beverage service on flights that are 251 miles or longer, which includes a bag of snack mix and water. A representative at Frontier Airlines, on the other hand, said the company is not serving or selling alcohol during flights for the time being.

American Airlines referred FOX Business to its updated coronavirus food and drinks policy when asked to comment, which shows that alcohol is available for customers who have purchased a First Class or Business Class ticket. Alcohol is only available to Main Cabin customers who have board long-haul international flights that are more than 2,200 miles.

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JetBlue and Spirit Airlines did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ requests for comment.