$5 for a drink on international flights

Dec 21st, 2003, 02:02 PM
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$5 for a drink on international flights

Since when did airlines start charging for drinks on international flights. I recently travelled to Japan on American and drinks where $5, which other airlines do this? Last year when I travelled on AA to Japan I didn't have to pay extra for the drinks.
justshootme is offline  
Dec 21st, 2003, 08:23 PM
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They started this past year when all the cost cutting came and also for security reasons -it is nice not to have a plane full of people who have used an open bar. Delta's drinks were $4 on a recent flight that I took.
dutyfree is offline  
Dec 21st, 2003, 08:54 PM
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On my recent transatlantic CO flight there was also a charge for drinks in coach -not sure, but I think it was 4 or 5 dollars.
Seamus is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2003, 05:13 AM
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The silver lining to the end of free drinks is things settle down faster and I can sleep about an hour more on flights to Europe.

Keith is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2003, 05:51 AM
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I know on the JFK=LHR route, the American airlines (AA, UA, CO) pull this garbage while the British airlines (VS, BA) have not found it necessary to stoop this low.
xyz123 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2003, 06:52 AM
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UKUKUK is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2003, 09:15 AM
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You people have just made my day
We are flying AA LAX-DFW-EZE in January :-B
ed is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 09:04 AM
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I do not have a huge problem with paying for drinks on any flight. I would rather have the lowest possible fare and then pay for the optional extras. I feel the same way about airline food. WOuld rather NOT have it OR pay for it. I have been on too many flights where the cabin crew was verbally abused /harassed by people who had too much to drink because it was free.

The airlines are also very concerned about the potential legal liability of serving free alcoholic drinks.
allanc is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 11:46 AM
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The cost of providing "adult beverages" must be millions of dollars each year for a major carrier. It sounds like a legitimate thing to charge for, in the face of the red ink most carriers are facing.
Flyboy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2003, 05:54 AM
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Bravo, Flyboy
Agree 100%.
Incognito is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 07:04 PM
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Totally disagree! Charging for drinks is just one more thing to make the flight--especially international--less enjoyable.
flyaway is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 10:49 PM
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Come on, it's time for a reality check for some of you.....

My best buddy and I decided to go on our big European adventure after graduating from high school in 1978. We were poor HS students, working part time. I believe my hourly pay was around $1.75 at the local dry cleaners. Saved for the whole year plus some money I got as a graduation present allowed me to buy a ticket and have about $1000 for our six week adventure.
Ok, this is the shocker. We looked at all the possible deals from Chicago to Europe. The BEST we found was on a Lufthansa subsidary (Condor) to Frankfurt for, are you ready? I don't remember the exact amount but it was somewhere around $400. THIS WAS 1978. I paid less few weeks ago from TPA-LHR and return from MAN-TPA. It was exactly #308.20. So 25 years later I paid almost $100 less with money that's worth about half of the 1978 money. Many people make $300 a day today.

So how do you expect the airlines to provide the old world service at these prices? If you want food, drinks, nice service - pay for it!!!!!! Most people want to get to their destination at the cheapest prices, so the airlines are providing it, but please spare me from hearing how misarable it is to travel today. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 03:44 PM
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Excellent illustration, AAFrequentFlyer. In real terms, the cost of air travel has declined dramatically over the years. On top of that, FF programs effectively rebate a portion of those lower fares, making things even more affordable. Contrast that with some of the other costs of travel since 1978, such as hotel room rates or dining out.

Yes, things are bit more cramped in coach these days, meals are eliminated on many domestic flights and sometimes people are asked to pay for their alcohol. But flying is accessible to a much larger proportion of the population today than it was in the 1960s and 1970s. It's not just something for well-heeled jet-setters, those on expense accounts, or people making great sacrifices in other aspects of their lives to pay for travel.

If some streamlining and well-targeted cost recovery (like charging people who want drinks) helps to continue making it possible for more people to travel going forward, then I have a hard time arguing against it.
Flyboy is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 09:40 PM
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It seems to be mostly the U.S. flag carriers that are charging for the drinks (and doing everything else possible to make flying as UNpleasant as they possibly can).

The last time that I flew Continental to Ecuador, they wanted to charge for a beer. I couldn't believe it!

Last month I remembered that B.S. and when I needed to get down to Mexico City I chose an Aviacsa flight over Continental even though both were EXACTLY the same fare. Good move! Aviacsa was spot on courteous, with FREE beer and margaritas (not to mention a decent meal, even for a mere 2 hour flight).

These days, I'm flying foreign flag carriers when I can swing it...service still seems to count with them.

Buen viaje, amigos!
TioGringo is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 05:49 AM
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TioGringo, I would rather get the FF miles on an airline I regularly fly, then have a free beer.

Keith is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 07:40 AM
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AAFrequentFlyer is absolutely correct. I get very tired of hearing people complain about no meal, poor meals, buy your own liquer, seat size,etc. The same people who want business class service with champagne are EXACTLY the ones that will shop for days to save $2 on a flight to ensure that they get the absolute lowest price. The airlines fill the planes, charge for liquer, and don't offer much food because that is what the public is demanding. Do peole who shop at Costo complain about shopping in a warehouse environment? The only people who should complain are those who somehow end up paying full fare tickets.
I travel by air several times a week-both business class and economy. My only complaint with the airlines in general is the fact that they allow passengers to go down the ramp with far too much, and often oversized, carry on. I know the excuse...I have been travelling for thirty years and have only had luggage go missing twice. This argument does not stand up to the safety concerns that this causes.
allanc is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 10:58 AM
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I traveled on Continental last March to London via Houston and from Paris via Houston and drinks were free all the way in coach.
Besides, if it is really that big of a deal, just buy a coke from an airport vending machine before you board.
ChaseMan99 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:10 PM
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There is an assumption here that the question was about alcoholic deinks not soft drinks. All the airlines have free soft drinks.

This is from www.continental.com:

All non-alcoholic beverages (there is a charge for non-alcoholic beer) are complimentary on Continental flights. All spirits, beer, wine and liqueurs are complimentary in First Class and BusinessFirst on all flights. Special wine selections are available in First Class, BusinessFirst and Economy. Please ask a flight attendant about availability. There is a charge of $5.00 or one Continental Currency coupon for each alcoholic beverage in Economy on all flights.

AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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Not all US carriers chage for drinks ... I flew SFO to London in November and Continental charged $5 for my wine while United charged nothing on the same itinerary in December.
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Jan 15th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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How about Aer Lingus? Do they charge for alcohol on their flights to Ireland?

Lufthansa was free last year. In fact on the 45 min flight from Frankfurt to Paris, I had a meal plus a couple of great German beers.
Budman is offline  

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