Airlines Temporarily Suspend Alcohol Service on Planes in the Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic



British Airways will not be serving alcohol in its short-haul economy class — also know as the Euro Traveller cabins — at this time, a spokesperson for the airlines tells PEOPLE. Instead, economy travelers will be offered a complimentary snack and a bottle of water.

Business class passengers, Club Europe members, and guests traveling to a long-haul destinations will still have access to a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages along with a pre-prepared meal box, according to the company.

"Like all airlines, we had to make temporary adjustments to our on board catering while we worked on a new solution with our catering suppliers that follows guidance from regulators, minimizing interactions between our customers and crew," a statement from British Airways reads. "As we navigate our way through these unprecedented times, we will continue to take advice from relevant authorities and incorporate this into the development of our on board experience."

As for KLM, the Netherlands flagship airline has suspended the sale of hot and alcoholic drinks, according to CNN. Passengers will be offered water and soft drinks by request in addition to a pre-packed refreshment upon boarding.

In addition to changing its alcohol service, major airlines are also stepping up its enforcement of face mask rules in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As PEOPLE reported, Airlines for America (A4A) — an industry trade organization that represents several major airlines, like United, Delta, American, Southwest and JetBlue — recently issued a press release saying that their flight companies would be "vigorously enforcing face covering policies."

"U.S. airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights," said Nicholas E. Calio, president and CEO of A4A. "Carriers are stepping up enforcement of face coverings and implementing substantial consequences for those who do not comply with the rules."

Added Calio: "Face coverings are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC as an important layer of protection for passengers and customer-facing employees."

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