It used to be that one of the most impressive moments flying Singapore Airlines first class was when a flight attendant offered you champagne at the start of the flight. Would you like some? Why yes. But that’s not the end of the conversation. With a smirk the next question was, “Would you prefer Dom Perignon or Krug?”
However Singapore Airlines is no longer permitted to serve Dom Perignon. Emirates has obtained the exclusive rights to do so inflight. Offering Krug and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is fantastic. But it occurred to me yesterday that if you do want Dom Perignon you could.. bring some on board yourself, as long as you can source it in the terminal.
Many U.S. airports offer alcohol ‘to go’ which always struck me as strange. If you aren’t going to drink it in the airport restaurant where are you going to drink it? When U.S. airlines weren’t serving alcohol in coach during the pandemic, there was a rash of passengers buying booze in the terminal and drinking it on board. That’s against the rules.
There’s actually no rule in the U.S. against drinking your own alcohol on board an aircraft. Instead, the rule is that you are only permitted to drink alcohol on board that is served to you by a flight attendant.
Air India is banning passengers from buying liquor at duty free and then drinking it on board. I was shocked that hasn’t already been the rule. In the U.S. you actually can bring your own alcohol on board, you just have to give it to a (willing) flight attendant to serve it to you.
Now, vintage-depending I don’t have a preference for Dom over Singapore’s other selections but I could see the case for bringing a bottle, since Singapore Airlines can no longer provision it.
Sort of like Cort McCown’s character Quint in 1987’s Can’t Buy Me Love trying to impress a girl (“I even travel with my own wine. You never know the quality you may encounter at a soiree.”).
A correspondent offers, “We typically bring our own wine on Cathay and crew has been gracious about serving us.” and that they have been “tempted to bring my own Krug on [Singapore] since they don’t serve on the ground in US. But ..figured with 20 hours of flight time, I’d somehow manage.”
However you may want to focus on a good red wine for your next flight, rather than champagne: “The issue is finding chilled champagne airside. [Hong Kong] it’s not a problem. JFK it is! Usually it’s red wine we procure at the airport, if we see something interesting.”
If you’re flying Cathay Pacific in first class, there’s a good chance that the crew will be accommodating and serve the wine you bring on board. But not every flight attendant on every airline is going to react so positively. They’re busy, they may think it’s strange, so you want to build a rapport with them. Be nice, and understand you’re asking for a favor. If they’re not comfortable with it, perhaps they’re not certain it’s ok to do, you can ask someone else. But don’t push!
[…] You can bring your own alcohol to drink on the plane, you just can’t drink it unless a flight attendant serves it to you. Many airlines have a policy against their crew serving alcohol brought on board, though some do not. Cathay Pacific, for instance, will serve you wine that you bring on board. […]