Several airlines have either stopped or limited alcohol service during domestic flights to minimize the amount of interactions between passengers and crew in wake of COVID-19.
While EasyJet has made water the only available beverage, KLM will also serve soft drinks. Delta Air Lines will reserve beer, wine, and hard liquor for its international flights only, and American Airlines will keep its alcohol solely for those in first-class or flying international.
Earlier this month, a group that represents Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United issued a policy in response to the threat of COVID-19 that would allow for stiff punishments to be imposed on passengers who failed to abide by the requirement of wearing a face mask while onboard. Each airline could determine the punishment, if this rule is violated.
United, for example, has already dictated that anyone in violation of the policy following ample warnings from staff of their face mask policy would be placed on an “internal travel restriction list” which would prevent them from using their airline for a certain period of time.
The Transportation Security Administration reported over 500,000 passengers were screened in a single day last week for the first time since March 21. While the total doesn’t come close to the average of 2 million daily around this time last year, it’s still a vast improvement from the fewer than 100,000 travelers who were coming some days during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. These figures suggest that while business for the airlines appears to be increasing, it’s still a ways away from getting back to normal.
So, they’ll bring you as much water as you ask for — but not alcohol? Sounds like this has little to do with COVID-19 and more to do with airlines cutting costs…again.