Popular perk axed from flights in new coronavirus measures

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Those looking forward to booking a flight for a long-overdue domestic getaway are sure to be disappointed today after airlines revealed a very popular perk of flying will be available no more.

Whether you get nervous in the air, love to take a load off, or are simply keen for a reason to crack a cold one at an otherwise unacceptable hour most flyers look forward to knocking back a drink or two on a flight.

A glass of bubbles after takeoff is off the menu for coronavirus flying. Photo: Getty Images

Now however alcohol will be unavailable on certain airlines as companies look to minimise their risk of spreading coronavirus by minimising contact between staff and passengers.

Virgin Australia and Qantas are two Aussie companies joining a global movement by airlines that will see alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and in some cases even food removed from the flight experience.

Both airlines are said to be scaling back their offerings onboard flights. Virgin will be serving a complimentary snack and water bottle, but hot meals and booze will be a no go for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson told Executive Traveller the changes are in keeping with recommended safety practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

“Due to Government restrictions and health advice associated with COVID-19, we’ve introduced changes to our inflight service offering including the temporary suspension of alcohol being served on board,” the spokesperson said.

“We are continuing to review these measures in line with the latest medical advice, easing of travel restrictions and guest feedback.”

Social distancing measures are trying to minimise contact between everyone on board. Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Qantas has followed a similar trajectory but says alcohol should be available to flyers sooner rather than later as restriction continue to be eased across the country.

Overseas airlines including budget European flyer Easyjet and US American Airlines are just some of the big names taking similar precautions, and on many carriers a face mask is required for anyone on the plane at all times.

So if you’re planning a trip anytime soon, it looks like it’s going to be dry flying.

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