Inflight Services Changes For American Airlines International Trips

On Thursday JonNYC shared some coronavirus-related American Airlines service changes on twitter.

I thought it might make sense to get deeper into the details of what’s changing by sharing an internal document that was passed along to me.

Self-serve snacks go away, recycling is being reduced, and passengers aren’t going to be putting their virus-laden hands in the bread basket or the snack basket. The reminder here that alcohol in mini bottles is not a disinfectant apparently needed to be said? If it’s less than 60% alcohol it’s not going to help. American Airlines doesn’t serve Everclear.



Since alcohol minis aren’t useful as a disinfectant the TSA really needs to relax its liquid ban. Three ounces of Purell is not enough. In the meantime though see if you can find some disinfecting wipes, because those are permitted through security checkpoints.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — 3 ounces of Purrel is NOT enough for one person for an average trip? What are you doing, bathing in it? Plus, you can fit multiple 3 oz bottles in a 311 baggie. Finally, I am sure AA’s primary concern with minis is the price and the fact that it is alcohol intended for consumption, which is tightly regulated and highly taxed worldwide.

  2. @Gary, just want to correct–ETOH (aka alcohol we drink) –is most certainly a disinfectant. How effective it is depends upon 1) how long the infected item is exposed to the alcohol, 1) the type of bacteria, virus, or fungii, and 3) what strength of ETOH is used. I would definitely use vodka or scotch in a pinch, as opposed to nothing. ETOH may not eliminate completely, but most certainly will reduce–with a few exceptions. Read here: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2978/can-liquor-be-used-as-an-emergency-antiseptic

    Remember, in the good ‘ole days wine was added to water to sterilize the water for drinking. Beer (ale, really) was an everday beverage used in place of water.

    The use of hard spirits as a disinfectant becomes problematic when, for example, when a well-intentioned parent may want to send a child off to school with a small bottle of vodka for ‘disinfecting’.

  3. Along similar lines, I wonder how long it will be before they close-down buffet service in the Flagship lounges….

  4. So you’re the one hoarding all the Purell. The rest of us can’t worry about it since everyone is sold out

  5. “Since alcohol minis aren’t useful as a disinfectant the TSA really needs to relax its liquid ban. Three ounces of Purell is not enough. In the meantime though see if you can find some disinfecting wipes, because those are permitted through security checkpoints.”

    Or, you know, wash your hands with the soap and water that is found in airport bathrooms, in lounge bathrooms, in airplane bathrooms, in restaurant bathrooms, in your hotel room, etc…

    Antimicrobial hand santizer is only partially effective, and less so than proper hand-washing. Pushing it constantly acts as a disincentive for what its actually the most effective means…

  6. @Gene ….. “alcohol is highly taxed”.
    Believe it or not any alcoholic beverage purchased by airlines is excluded from State Excise Taxes (this is not a sales tax) however they due pay the Fed Excise Tax.

  7. FA’s washing their hands in the plane lav is a dirty affair if they need to push down on a water faucet multiple times that is covered with germs from others. The open/close latch is also a source of germs for the many who don’t wash their hands after toileting. The solution: big bottles of hand sanitizer in each lav, at the gate, in the galley, as you enter the plane and as you wait in line to board the plane. So little cost for so much benefit. Washing your hands in filth will work as long as you have a hand sanitizer chaser. Since so many flights are being cancelled make disinfection of the tray table, the IFE touch screens and the seat controls mandatory after each flight. I am a physician who treated AIDS patients infected with multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis. I know that It takes to proctect people: thinking, caring, preparing and repetition of best practices to get it right. We can no longer afford the 10 minute turnaround time at the gate in prep for the next flight during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  8. In a recent flight out of PHX LAX and unable to find any disposable alcohol disposable wipes, I availed myself of some flushable wipes and added 95% alcohol to them.
    The pharmacist said it would be more than sufficient strength to kill any virus and wipe any surface I came in contact with and that it would serve the purpose I wanted.
    My husband and I are at an age where we realize no one is responsible for us but ourselves. The government can only do so much, but is up to us to do the rest. We have seen various epidemics of one sort or another, and have always been careful on how we handle ourselves. Of course, we have also traveled extensively. We don’t wait to hear how the government will “take care” of us, but continue as best as we can.
    We just do our best to the best of our ability and enjoy life the fullest! The rest will sort itself out.
    BTW, I am close to 80 and my spouse is mid 80’s.

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