Looking forward to a drink mid-air? You’ll have to wait a while longer with Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet

Jun 17, 2020

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If you have upcoming travel booked, don’t rely on the typical in-flight services. While business-class and first-class passengers especially may be used to receiving booze during their flights, some U.K. airlines are warning passengers that they shouldn’t expect as much in the immediate post-coronavirus experience.

Both Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet have announced that they won’t serve alcohol during all flights in an effort to minimise contact between passengers and crew.

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Virgin Atlantic hasn’t yet fully resumed passenger service — a move it plans to make in late July. However, when it does, it will not sell beer, wine, cocktails and spirits. As part of that reduced beverage service, Virgin will also offer passengers boxed meals in economy class.

As part of that, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passenger will no longer receive Champagne upon boarding.

EasyJet said that as of Monday when it returned to service, in-flight drinks would be limited to a glass of water upon request — with alcohol completely suspended. Additionally, the carrier has temporarily suspended food service.

Elsewhere in the U.K., British Airways said that it’s resuming alcohol service on board its long-haul flights. However, for short-haul economy passengers, there will only be water on offer.

Related: BA enhances temporary in-flight catering, brings back free snacks in short-haul economy

According to the Daily Mail, for BA, Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet, the airlines said that the measures are temporary and will be reviewed.

A number of U.S. airlines including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and other carriers are temporarily suspending in-flight drink service in order to minimise coronavirus exposure and spread, TPG’s Katherine Fan reports. For instance, JetBlue offers pre-sealed plastic bags containing bottled water and two snacks, while travellers flying in JetBlue Mint receive single-serve containers of beer and wine alongside of pre-sealed meal boxes.

For passengers looking to take advantage of the alcohol offering while on board, these temporary measures may be disappointing — especially in premium cabins. However, they are temporary, and airlines will slowly begin reinstating alcoholic drinks back into the flying experience in a post-coronavirus world.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.

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