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Delta is bringing back alcohol on select domestic flights

After banning alcohol due to coronavirus, one of America’s largest carriers will begin serving beer and wine again this month.
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Delta Air Lines will resume serving wine and beer to passengers in its economy cabin this July. Joe Raedle / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Some Delta Air Lines passengers may be raising a glass to toast the carrier's latest announcement.

After halting alcohol service on most domestic and short-haul international flights since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Delta has announced it will be reintroducing complimentary adult beverage service for domestic first class and Delta Comfort+ customers on all flights greater than 500 miles on July 2.

Previously, only bottled water was being served on most flights.

Some airline passengers will be able to enjoy complimentary wine and beer again on Delta flights. Alexander Spatari / Getty Images stock

According to a press release, the company consulted with health professionals before deciding to bring back single-serve red and white wine, as well as a selection of beers, for those passengers who are 21 and over.

“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,” Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight Service, said in a statement.

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“We take pride in always listening to our customers, and we know beer and wine are the adult beverages our customers want most,” she added. “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.”

To minimize contact between customers and crew members, the beverages will only be served in cans and single-serve bottles and will be handed to passengers via a serving tray. As for snacks, the airline will continue to provide individual snack bags on domestic flights.

Pre-packaged wine and beer will be offered again on some airlines' flights after going on hiatus due to the pandemic.Colorblind Images LLC / Getty Images stock

United Airlines, which has continued to offer singe-serve wine and beer beverages in premium cabins during the pandemic, will be reintroducing complimentary liquor (available in small bottles) in premium cabins, spokesperson Christine Salamone told TODAY.

The airline’s new food and beverage offerings — which were decided in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic — will start on July 3. United is also bringing back beverage service on flights between one and two hours, and will start offering cups and ice to all customers, as well as provide coffee and tea options on select flights.

Economy cabin customers on international flights will also begin receiving complimentary, individually-packaged beer and wine.

As for American Airlines, the company has continued serving alcoholic beverages by request to those in first class throughout the pandemic. However, the service is still being halted in the main cabin since it requires payment and therefore increases potential instances of contact between crew members and passengers, a spokesperson explained to TODAY in June.

For flights up to four and a half hours, main cabin passengers may request water, canned drinks and juice; they will also receive complimentary pretzels or cookies and bottled water during the boarding process.