More and More Airline Passengers Are Drinking Their Own Booze on Flights

Technically – OK, perhaps, ‘legally’ is the better term – airline passengers are not allowed to consume any alcohol they bring onboard an airplane.

Oh, you can carry that bottle of rum you bought in Jamaica, but actually consuming it on the aircraft is against the law.

In the wake of measures taken by airlines during the coronavirus pandemic, including no alcohol service, more carriers are finding that passengers are taking the Bring Your Own Booze (BYOB) to the next level, according to a report in USA Today.

They’re not only bringing, but drinking it.

Southwest Airlines is so fed up with the practice that it has added a new line to its in-flight safety announcement, reminding passengers that consuming your own alcohol is illegal, according to a memo sent to flight attendants Thursday by Kari Kriesel, Southwest’s manager of inflight safety, standards and regulatory compliance.

Southwest crew will announce that “It is also prohibited to consume alcohol that you’ve brought.”

Many airlines have decreased alcohol service, if not outright eliminated it, in the wake of the pandemic, mostly to limit the amount of contact between crew and passengers. Some have announced they are slowly bringing it back. But, hey, let’s be honest – flying during this virus outbreak is stressful, and a lack of alcohol certainly helps some people de-escalate any other potential conflicts.

Kriesel said most airlines are “noticing the same challenges,” although she acknowledged that some passengers might not be aware that the practice is illegal since you can bring your own food and other beverages on the plane.

“While there is information on and announcements are made in the gate area, some customers may not know about this regulation that prohibits them from consuming their own alcohol,” Kriesel said in the memo.

USA Today noted that Southwest told its flight attendants to “use their hospitality” to explain the policy and ask the passenger to discard the beverage.

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