Beginning November 17, United Airlines is resuming snack, beer and wine sales on a few select flights, and as a result of the pandemic, it will be implementing contactless payment for inflight food and beverage.
Initially, the buy-on-board service will be available on flights departing Denver (DEN) to:
- Boston (BOS)
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
- Honolulu (HNL)
- Houston (IAH)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Newark (EWR)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Washington Dulles (IAD)
- Washington National (DCA)
It will be limited to beer, wine, snacks, and snack boxes. If all goes well, this service will be available on more flights.
Flyers will need to store a payment on their United Airlines profile. When purchasing something, flight attendants will charge the credit card on file.
United will not accept cards onboard during the trial and also is not equipped to accept popular contactless payments like Apple Pay.
Other airlines that have reintroduced beverage service include Delta that has added complimentary beer and wine for domestic First Class and Delta Comfort+ customers on all flights greater than 500 miles.
Delta teams listened to feedback from customers and consulted with health professionals before bringing single-serve red and white wine, as well as Heineken, Miller Lite, SweetWater 420 and SweetWater IPA back on-board.
“In keeping with the Delta CareStandard, our goal is to serve all of our food and beverage offerings in the safest way possible – both for our customers and employees,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President of In-Flight Service. “We take pride in always listening to our customers, and we know beer and wine are the adult beverages our customers want most. These selections are the first step towards a normalized beverage offering while we continue to keep customer and crew safety at the center of everything we do.”
Flight attendants will pass the cans and single-serve bottles – which are complimentary in both First Class and Delta Comfort+ – using serving trays to minimize touch points on-board. Since beer and wine selections have fewer touch points than other adult beverage options and are individually contained, they are the first to be reintroduced on-board as Delta brings back food and beverage options.
Complimentary beer, wine and cocktails remain available to all cabins on long-haul international routes, including top-shelf liquor and sommelier-selected wines for customers seated in Delta One. On-board service adjustments like individual snack bags on domestic flights and other U.S. domestic offerings remain in place.
In other inflight food and beverage news: JetBlue offers a selection of complimentary food and beverage service; and American Airlines is offering some service on all flights.
At the beginning of the pandemic, here are the airlines that pulled alcoholic beverages off their flights.