Domestic flights are now an even more sobering experience

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Chances are that most of you aren’t flying anywhere these days, even if you enjoy a strong sense of wanderlust under normal circumstances. (Our hearts go out to any of you travel writers out there, even if, in the beforetimes, we spent most of our time envying you.) But of course, for all kinds of reasons, people still need to book air travel amid the pandemic, and they have our sympathies: as a precautionary measure, many airlines are banning the sale of alcohol on board.

CNN reports that in North America, both Delta and American Airlines have changed their policies surrounding the sale of alcohol on domestic flights. Delta is temporarily suspending its alcohol service altogether, no matter the duration of the flight or the cabin a customer is seated in. (Even plastic cups and ice are suspended for the time being.) On American Airlines, alcohol will be available on longer international flights, as well as for those in the first class cabin. CNN explains the reasoning behind these measures: “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.” It’s probably also a good way to prevent a coalition of overserved flyers from belligerently demanding to know why they have to keep these darn masks on so long, anyway.


Passengers are still welcome to bring their own food and drinks aboard, and are all the more encouraged to do so during this period of limited food and beverage service. As ever, though, BYOB is not an option—everyone’s still prohibited from schlepping their personal stash of booze along for the ride. Plus, with many airport bars and restaurants remaining closed or operating with limited hours, there might be nowhere to grab a drink before the flight, either. So if you find yourself flying anywhere this summer, just know there’s a good chance you’ll be doing it stone sober.