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Wait, New York Prohibits Alcohol on Flights Prior to Departure?

Airplane Champagne Cork

Imagine this: you settle into Singapore Suites for a once in a lifetime experience. You’re greeted at the door of the plane by a crewmember, walked to your suite, and offered a pre-departure beverage. Fully intending to have a truly luxurious trip, you request a glass of champagne.

The flight attendant then informs you that New York state law has prohibited the distribution of alcoholic beverages while on the ground.

Excuse me?! What a massive disappointment!

This is exactly what happened to a friend of ours just last night.

This wasn’t the only interesting part of Andrew’s story yesterday, so let’s back up a bit.

Andrew flew from Toronto to New York City (JFK) just so that he could try Singapore Suites on his trip to Europe. Unfortunately, his journey had a rough start with his Delta flight to JFK being delayed by 4 hours because of some nasty weather.

Rather than landing at 4:10 pm as scheduled and leisurely heading to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse to wait for his Singapore flight, he arrived at 7:40 pm and began a mad dash to make his 8:55 pm flight to Frankfurt.

He ran to grab his bags and change terminals. Singapore Air rushed him through security.

Andrew figured, “Great, I have TSA PreCheck and Singapore is part of the program. This will be easy!”

Wrong, Andrew. Wrong.

He was, of course, selected for a random screening. (Sometimes it’s just not your day!)

He arrived at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at 8:15 pm. Just enough time to take a breath, wipe away the sweat after that sprint through the airport, and head to his gate. Hopefully, he at least got a picture of the lounge, because she sure didn’t see much of it!

Singapore Suites A380
It’s easy to understand why Andrew went out of his way to book Singapore Suites.

Boarding went smoothly, and after all of the stress he was finally relaxing comfortably in his suite. He made it! This would make all the effort worth it.

Just kidding! Next up, a 2-hour delay on the tarmac. We bet he was happy to have that suite, though!

Naturally, when offered a beverage, he requested a glass of Dom Perignon (if you’re going to fly in Singapore Suites, you might as well live it up).

This is where we get back to the origin of the story. His request was denied, and he was informed that for about a month, New York state has prohibited alcoholic beverages from being served on departing flights.

Imagine how confused and exasperated Andrew must have been at this point.

Andrew inquired about this, of course, and was shown a script that Singapore Airlines’ flight attendants were given. It was probably the utter disappointment on Andrew’s face that made the flight attendant show him.

He asked if he could snap a quick photo of the script, but was told they weren’t even supposed to share it with passengers, so a picture was a no-go.

At first, Andrew thought this must be an issue with Singapore Airlines. However, a quick look at the script showed that Singapore’s flight attendants were told to inform passengers that it’s a broader New York issue.

singapore suites dom perignon champagne
Andrew had to wait until airborne to get his hands on a glass of Dom Perignon.

So, where does that leave us?

We’ve never heard of a law in New York prohibiting alcohol from being served while on the runway.

Is this just an excuse being used by Singapore Air because they didn’t want to pay for a liquor license, or is there really a new law on the books?

We’re guessing it’s the former.

If you know more about this, please contact us on our Facebook page.

In the meantime, we hope Andrew’s trip is going well, and that he’s looking forward to his next leg in a few weeks. Andrew has booked Etihad first class (The Apartments) for his flight back to New York City from AUH. Lucky him! We hope it all goes smoothly!

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