Escapism TO
Menu Search

Airlines ban alcohol to help minimize the spread of COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the interaction between crew members and fellow passengers, the only alcohol heavily encouraged on planes right now is hand sanitizer.

airlines ban alcohol COVID-19

There is something very sentimental about toasting your next big adventure with a tiny airplane cocktail. A plastic cup of Champagne for your best friend’s destination wedding, an itty-bitty Caesar for a hungover flight, a miniature bottle of the house red with your equally miniature meal. But airplanes and international travel look way different now.

Masks are mandatory on flights – sky-high highballs, not so much. As international travel starts up again, booze isn't exactly on board. In order to minimize the interaction between passengers and ensure safety, airlines and crew members are taking precautions and introducing new protocols to their food and beverage services. Here's a list of the latest airlines who have put a stop to the sauce... sort of. 

West Jet

For a limited time, on flights under 90 minutes, food and beverages will not be served. On flights over 90 minutes, there will be a snack and water at your seat along with the option to purchase snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Air Canada

For flights under 2 hours, a complimentary water bottle will be offered with no bar service in economy. In late July, limited inflight food options on North American flights greater than two hours (food must be pre-ordered) will be re-introduced along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks based on cabin and route.


Beverage service, with the exception of single use bottles of water, is currently unavailable, however the airline is allowing passengers to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages on board.

American Airlines

Booze is available upon request on long, international flights in first class. Passengers in any cabin can request non-alcoholic beverages.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia

Virgin Atlantic has removed alcohol on board unless you count the alcohol in the health pack hand gel distributed to passengers. Virgin Australia is serving guests complimentary water and a snack with no additional food or drinks for on-board purchase.

British Airways

There will be complimentary refreshments and bottled water on short term flights in economy and a selection of alcoholic drinks in business. On longer flights, there will be alcoholic and non alcoholic bar service in economy and business class.


Leave it to this Irish budget airline to keep alcohol on the menu and cancel their hot drinks service instead – priorities.