Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol options when flying

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This topic contains 30 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  openfly 20 Sep 2019
at 16:38
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)

  • BugAdvisor
    Participant

    The ‘Dry January’ movement is a regular fixture now. There is also a Veganuary campaign that is gaining ground. Combine these with a return to work, cold weather and dark evenings and it’s no wonder people look so miserable in January!

    It was during several long-haul flights in November/December last year when I started to look for non-alcoholic beer, both in the lounge and on-board. My flights were with British Airways/American Airlines and I wasn’t able to find anything. I don’t like most popular fizzy beverages, so my choices were water, tea and a virgin Mary! This did at least improve my enjoyment of a glass of red wine during the meal service.

    I was quite surprised – airlines often complain about passenger behaviour resulting from an over-consumption of alcohol. The medical profession also advise that alcohol consumption should be reduced when flying.

    I’m not suggesting that alcohol be banned while travelling, just that non-alcoholic beer and perhaps some non- or low-alcohol alternatives be available.

    I decided to write to the media contacts of all the major airlines and ask what they offer/plan to offer. I received only six replies so far (see below). So I thought I’d ask the regular travellers on this forum if they could add to my list with their own experiences – please let me know what you find both in the lounge and onboard.

    American Airlines – We currently don’t serve a non-alcoholic beer onboard. Onboard customers can order from the following: AA sent their drinks menu.

    Austrian Airlines – We are currently looking into this topic and our offer in regards to non-alcoholic beer.

    Delta Airlines – We do offer non-alcoholic beer in the Delta Sky Clubs and have for a number of years. We do not offer non-alcoholic beer onboard, but have many non-alcoholic beverage options.

    Ryan Air – Please find a copy of our inflight magazine which includes our inflight menu featuring Heineken 0.0 Non-Alcoholic Beer.

    Scandanavian Airlines – At SAS you can enjoy our appreciated Mikkeler non-alcoholic beer on both our Domestic and Intercontinental flights.

    Virgin Atlantic – We’re actually launching Becks Blue non-alcoholic beer in the next month or so. It will be onboard in all cabins. Virgin Atlantic has launched a new ‘Nolo’ drinks menu for those looking to enjoy no and low-alcohol cocktails inflight.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    50% success rate, that’s good. I have asked for 0% when flying and have not yet found a carrier that offers it. Kudos to FR even though I won’t fly with them.

    Unfortunately the type of people who drink to excess and cause problems won’t drink 0% beer.

    I note that most pubs now do offer this choice, but the response to asking for 0% in a restaurant, when they don’t have it, is often quite sneering and condescending.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BugAdvisor
    Participant

    I just received a new reply from Finnair and an update from Austrian Airlines:

    Austrian Airlines – We offer non-alcoholic ‘Schlossgold’ beer on board and ‘Null Komma Josef’ beer, brewed by Okttakringer, in our lounges at Vienna airport.

    Finnair – Hi, we have non alcohol beer available on our long haul flights and in our lounges in HelsinkiAirport. Also wine and sparkling available for preorder purchase.


    AircraftLover
    Participant

    Onboard, the most frequent alcohol-related situations

    are caused by the hidden liquor that the passengers bring to the airplane


    canucklad
    Participant

    Unfortunately the type of people who drink to excess and cause problems won’t drink 0% beer.

    I wonder what the sales figures on those Ryanair flights are ?

    In my experience, the barrier to drinking low /no alcohol beer is that in most cases, it’s either the same price or worse , more expensive.
    So why bother , unless it’s free!!

    Plus, and granted I’m not a lager drinker, the stuff is usually guff

    So, I’m much happier with a sparkling water or fruit juice.


    BugAdvisor
    Participant

    AircraftLover
    Participant

    Onboard, the most frequent alcohol-related situations

    are caused by the hidden liquor that the passengers bring to the airplane

    I agree, but equally I’m not trying to ban alcohol on board. I’d just like some non- or low-alcohol alternatives.


    openfly
    Participant

    I’ve been begging BA for years for Zero beer, but nobody listens. BUT, for the last three years, all Iberia services and lounges have Zero beer available.

    Also, Qatar have a very expensive Zero champagne in business and First. The same is available in Harrods at a horrendous £35!


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I like that sparkling wine / champagne that they serve – So Jennie it is called, I think. It’s delicious. And like you I looked to buy it when I got back and was amazed at the price.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    was it you openfly who a couple of years back who wrote to BAEC about this issue and they confirmed that alcohol free beer was going to be trialled in the lounges. I think it was, very briefly… it could still be there….

    I have to own up, I have had my moments in the lounges – but since my episode in August (missed flight), I have cut back dramatically. Easy for the self righteous, but the airlines and airports don’t exactly encourage a non alcoholic airport/flying experience…

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Germany is very good (generally) for no or low alcohol beers.

    Lufthansa definitely serves no alcohol beer on board, but it’s been a while so I can’t remember the brand.

    Qatar Airways also serves no alcohol beer as well as the So Jennie – Bavaria, I believe.


    fatbear
    Participant

    I feel drinking alcohol free beer is a bit like drinking decaffeinated coffee, a bit pointless really.

    Whilst I am partial to a glass ( or three ) of white wine whilst flying, if I have to drive at the destination I just stick with either tea or cranberry juice

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    TheRealBabushka
    Participant

    Tesco and Waitrose carry a good selection of non-alcoholic red, white and rose wines, as well as non-alcoholic beer and spirits. Don’t quite understand why BA hasn’t jumped on board. There is clearly a demand in the market.
    Fizzy water, juices and pop is simply boring.


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    BA/AA are not standard, there are many airlines that serve mocktails, root beer etc. And all airlines keep soft drinks, why one must need a zero alcohol beer?
    Airlines is a mass market business, hence alternatives has to be balanced unless someone willing to pay more.
    A parallel example is supermarkets in USA and UK. In HEB/Walmart one can get huge amount of varieties of each type of food products be it simple sauce or high end cheese or even beer. TESCO does not even carry 25% of that. Are we going to complain? Not really.


    BugAdvisor
    Participant

    I feel drinking alcohol free beer is a bit like drinking decaffeinated coffee, a bit pointless really.

    Whilst I am partial to a glass ( or three ) of white wine whilst flying, if I have to drive at the destination I just stick with either tea or cranberry juice

    I disagree on both counts. I guess it depends whether you actually like the taste of beer/coffee or only drink it for the effect it has on you. I like the taste of beer – well almost any alcohol really!

    I’m yet to find a non-alcoholic beer that is as good as the real thing, although the German Paulaner Weizen-Radler and the Czech Svijany Vozka are pretty close. The Paulaner has certainly helped during our weekly pub quiz – I wasn’t always so bright by round 4!

    But with coffee, I honestly can’t tell the difference between real and decaf.


    SkyHigh
    Participant

    I look forward to NO alcohol flights – looking at the number of air rage incidents caused by legless buffoons who can’t handle their drinks, it would be best all round to ban alcohol in the skies. Loads of people smoke but you can’t smoke on a flight. If you can’t survive a few hours without alcohol you shouldn’t be allowed out your house anyway !

    2 users thanked author for this post.
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