Which Airlines Don’t Serve Alcohol And Why?

For many passengers, a glass of wine or can of beer is part of the flying experience. However, for other travelers, this factor is completely foreign. In fact, numerous airlines outright restrict alcohol on their services.

Some airlines are strict with their alcohol policies. Photo: Getty Images.

The reasoning

The majority of airlines that ban alcohol sale on their aircraft are based in the Middle East and some are based further east across Asia. Naturally, there are significant Muslim populations in the countries that these carriers operate in. With alcohol heavily prohibited in these nations, it’s only natural that their businesses follow suit.

Emirates Getty
It should be noted that not all Middle Eastern carriers prohibit alcohol on their flights, with the likes of Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways offering service in this field. Photo: Getty Images

The airlines

Here is a look at notable examples of airlines that don’t serve alcohol on their flights.

Air Arabia: The Emirati low-cost airline states that alcohol is prohibited onboard its planes.

EgyptAir: The flag carrier of Egypt doesn’t sell alcohol. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it outright prohibits it. The airline doesn’t mind catering to passengers that bring their own alcoholic products onto the aircraft.

Iran Air: In Iran, alcohol has been legally prohibited for Muslim Iranians since 1979. This strong stance carries over to the national airline, with no offering of alcohol.

Iraqi Airways: There is no sale of alcohol on the Iraqi flag carrier. However, it can be carried in checked luggage.

Kuwait Airways: Kuwait’s national carrier doesn’t allow alcohol on its services.

Pakistan International Airlines: PIA does not serve alcohol on its flights. Pakistan’s national carrier also doesn’t let passengers consume it while on its services.

Royal Brunei Airlines: No alcoholic beverages will be found in the cabin of Brunei’s flag carrier.

Saudia: All Saudi carriers prohibit the drinking and carrying of alcohol on their services.

Airbus A330 EgyptAir
Some restrictive carriers aren’t as stringent as their counterparts. Photo: Getty Images

Other instances

Some carriers don’t serve alcohol on domestic routes. For example, Turkish Airlines only offers booze on international services and in its airport lounges. This domestic trend can also be seen across other countries such as India and China. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions.

Notably, some airlines are implementing temporarily bans amid social conditions. For instance, this summer, certain operators in the United States implemented alcohol restrictions on their services.

There has been a significant surge in rowdy passengers over the last year. Therefore, the likes of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines decided to restrict alcohol sale throughout the summer months.

Nonetheless, for these airlines, the change in policy is just part of the series of measures implemented in response to the global aviation overhaul in the last year and a half. Food and beverage offerings have had to adapt. However, for the carriers mentioned earlier in this article, the alcohol policy is more set in stone.

What are your thoughts about the sale of alcohol on board aircraft? What do you make of the policies of the different airlines? Let us know what you think of the conditions in the comment section.