If you were planning on taking the edge off during one of your next flights with a little bit of alcohol, you might not be able to do that.
Airlines, both in the US and around the globe, are starting to ban the service of alcoholic drinks in-flight.
This is a response to the growing worries over the spread of coronavirus.
The idea is to minimize the interactions between passengers and crew and also to maximize the amount of time that passengers will be wearing masks.
Serving alcohol apparently works against both of those goals, at least for some airlines.
In the US, so far the ban on alcohol is taking place with Delta Airlines and American Airlines.
Delta is not serving alcohol on domestic flights or flights within the Americas. However, you can still order up your beer, wine, or spirits on all other international flights.
American Airlines is also limiting alcoholic beverages. If you are flying in the main cabin, you may not be able to get access unless you are on a long-haul international flight.
First class passengers should still have access.
Other airlines around the world are also cutting back.
For example, Virgin Australia is serving up complimentary water bottles and snacks but additional drinks are not available for purchase.
British Airways is suspending service of alcoholic drinks on its short-haul economy flights.
Many airlines are replacing beverages with offerings of water bottles and snacks for now. And some airlines like Ryanair have altered its normal food services so that all food is pre-packaged and pre-ordered before the flight.
It’s not clear if this trend will spread to other major domestic airlines like Southwest, United, or JetBlue.
Although I’m sure a lot of people will not be a fan of airlines cutting back on alcohol, it seems like a pretty reasonable response to me.
You can still partake in alcoholic beverages on long flights where you may feel like you really need them to get through the flight.
But on shorter flights it seems like a reasonable way to decrease the interaction between staff and passengers.
Hot drinks seem like they would be a bigger problem since they take longer to consume and would thus require people to be without mask coverings for longer.
I think that is why some airlines have also temporarily halted their hot drink services as well.
To me, this is all about the flight attendants.
They are forced to undergo exposure to hundreds of people everyday and so I am okay with temporary measures put in place to decrease their chances of catching the virus.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.