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29 replies
Flying Air France - Alcohol
Jena
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Hello All,
I will be Flying Air France to Paris for a layover and then on to Florence. I’m 22, so I’m not a "new" drinker. I have never drank on an airplane, and I am curious as to what is available and how the process works? I don’t want to get drunk, but are there limits? Is the alcohol selection different for each carrier?

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I don’t know specifically about Air France, but American Airlines now charges for booze. This change happened about a year ago, and they now charge $5 or 5 euros for a drink, so thinkabout wheter you’d want to pay that much for a beer or for a very small bottle of mediocre wine. Those in First or Business classes still free drinks, and often very expensive wines, for example.

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Yeah. I had to pay on AA. I usually dont drink on flights…but this baby was driving me nuts..I had to calm my nerves. They had reds and whites…beers…champagnes..etc etc. If there was a limit they werent strict with it, because I was three sheets to the wind midway over the Atlantic.

luv_the_beach
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Why don’t you wait until youn get on board to find out?


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Jena
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I just ask because iirc I don’t think British Airways made people pay, and my curiousity got me wondering. Is it pretty much a standard white wine, red whine, gin/tonic, maybe vodka type of deal for any airline?

seraphim
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Just as long as you know that people get drunk quicker on higher altitudes and that dehydratation (caused by alcohol) worsens jet lag … I’ve not been on a transatlantic flight with AF (or any other airline), but when I flew them between Paris and Tunis they certainly had free beer and wine, don’t know about stronger stuff.

Cil
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quote:
I just ask because iirc I don’t think British Airways made people pay,


True, they don’t. (At least not for wine.) I don’t think I paid on Alitalia either, but that was awhile ago.
In the front cabin they’ll probably offer three different wines, but the economy passengers might not receive such fancy treatment. And yeah, it’s good to hydrate yourself with plenty of water.
When is your trip? I’d actually be more interested to know if you’d be flying on the new A380.

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Cil, A380 won’t be flying till 2006

quote:The A380, which will seat 555 passengers in a typical three-class interior layout, will enter airline service in 2006.[url=‘http://www.airbus.com/product/a380_backgrounder.asp’]airbus.com[/url]

And after my wife was offered a glass of water for 2 Euro on SAS flight, I won’t be surprised if A380 comes with a personal credit card reader at every seat.

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Most European carries offer Alcohol (basic wines & "domestic"-based on the country of the carrier) in Coach across the Atlantic gratis. As far as US-based carries going across the pond, Northwest Airlines is the only one left that offers it free of charge.

Within Europe, this can be different. Some carries (KLM, Lufthansa, CSA, LOT, JAT-from personal experience) offer alcohol gratis as well on inter-continental (European) flights, however others have begun to charge (I believe SAS to be one of these?)

-A

Cil
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quote:
Cil, A380 won’t be flying till 2006

heh
Yeah, I know, that’s why I asked when Jena’s trip was. I’m now planning a trip for 2006 myself; I didn’t think it would be too farfetched a question. I heard that the A380 will first go into service with Singapore Airlines early next summer, but since it is being built in Toulouse I thought there might be a chance that Air France would begin using it then as well, but just now I read that 2007 is the soonest Air France would be flying the A380.
It’s also supposed to have a waterfall and a dutyfree boutique, which doesn’t wow me.
Regardless, when you look at the fact that the A380 is supposed to be a far better use of cabin space (with lots more people) maybe the alcohol won’t be a costly extra.

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Yeah I’m not wowed by A380’s boutique and bar either. At least that’s what I’ve heard "they’re" planning for the A380. And by "they" it could be Airbus or the airlines as far as I know. I’m a very basic flier. Give me my window seat, the map on the monitor that indicates where we are, and good reading material for overnight portions of a flight, and I am one happy guy. I hate inflight movies; they’re almost always romantic comedies.

I don’t like this negative trend that airlines are taking regarding food. I was not impressed with Swiss charging me for a sappy lunch on an intra-European flight last year (they’re transatlantic meal was quite good, however). And what I ordered looked nothing like the picture on the menu. This is coming from a starving 24 year-old guy (23 at the time) who never disliked airline food and can scarf down a meal in seconds. But anyways, it the first time I was charged for a meal on an intra-European flight. I had previously flown with Air France, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Malev, Aegean, British Airways, KLM, and others…I wonder if they’re doing the same thing now.


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Jena
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I leave June 6 and I’m flying on a 777. Smile

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Generally you’ll be offered red/white wine with your meal, and they’ll have miniature bottles of various spirits on the beverage cart, free upon request.

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Make sure you have a few small bills just in case they do charge. They may not always be able to make change.

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Yeh, right!
SAS was charging 2 Euro for a (non-alcoholic) drink on a flight from Sweden to Russia, neither being a "Euro state." Guess on an AF flight from US to France you better carry a few 1 and 2 pound coins.

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Re: Sweden-Russia SAS flight

There’s nothing strange about that.

I’m sure they also accepted Swedish and Danish currency (SAS is a joint Swedish-Danish-Norwegian airline). I don’t think they only accepted the euro. The reasons they accepted the euro is because the euro is regarded as an international currency, especially in Europe, which explains why it’s also accepted in Zurich Kloten International Airport, despite Switzerland also not being a euro-zone country. This is no different than the US dollar being accepted at airports outside the US. Americans may not see this as strange, but growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, I always remember US dollars being accepted at the duty-free shops in international airports across Europe (western Europe before 1990). The euro (representing a larger financial market than the old deutschmark) now has a similar role, if not a more prominient role in Europe than the US dollar, and seeing that Sweden trades far more with Germany/France/Italy (the 3 major euro-zone economies) than with the US, there’s nothing odd about this. Russia also trades far more with the EU than with the US.


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Seva
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Thanks for clarification! I must have forgotten all of this!

So, correct me if I’m wrong. When, growing up in eighties and nineties, you’d come to a duty free shop in Paris, the prices would be posted in French Francs, not Swiss Francs or German Marks, right? Even though the other two would be gladly accepted, just like US Dollars, British Pound, etc. Also the prices in those in-flight catalog were listed in the currency of airline’s home country.

My point here is that it was not entirely logical that prices on that particular SAS flight were posted in Euro, no matter how people were allowed to pay. May be the reason is that SAS’s three home countries that don’t have a common currency, so Euro is a neutral choice. However it could be just because 2 Euro sounds cheaper then 20 Krona or 75 Roubles. (If you think that 2 Euro is 18.40 Krona, don’t forget about rounding up.)

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I’m flying out on Air France tomarrow (777 Business class) The flight from PHX to ATL I can purchase a meal if I want it#!? On the good side refreshments will be served (Delta). It is my understanding that Air France on all there overseas flights serve complimentary champane in all classes. I’m sure the booz still flows. Last year I flew Luthansa ORD to FRA and they let you drink as much as you wanted, that included beer. I suspect the wine on our flight tomarrow will have free dinner and wine, I will not be suprised if we get charged for water. Have a good trip. Tim

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One other thing: PLEASE moderate your alcohol intake on flights where they provide it to you. Not just for your own sake, but also for the sake of other passangers. It’s really not fun to spend 13 hours on a plane sitting next to a bunch of loud drunks (I speak from experience here).

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Seva,

I think I remember, on in-flight duty-free catalogs, prices being in US dollars, as an international currency. I honestly don’t rmember if the curency of the airline’s home country was also listed, because I never gave a crap about duty-free cologne or jewelry, which is a rip-off anyways…sales tax or no sales tax, anything airport-bought or in-flight-bought is ridiculously expensive. The only things I have ever bought at an airport (besides food) are postcards, magazines, and chocolate. And it remains so to this day.


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quote: It’s really not fun to spend 13 hours on a plane sitting next to a bunch of loud drunks

Unless, of course, you’re one of them!

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Also meant to mention that Continental charges for drinks as of a few years ago, at least on international flights. Caught me by surprise. I had enough for a drink each for my wife and I, after that, all I had was some large bills that they couldn’t/wouldn’t make change for. That sucked.

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I used to fly with Air France. in fact AirFrance-Tarom combined. They offer wine and beer, that’s for sure. And…for free. At least it was in february when I flight with them last time.

Don’t know for other dinks, as I usually take a bear. You may ask for one more, but I’d suggest not to push the limits.

Once, i took a figth in the morning I asked for a beer but the guy said "we don’t drink in the morning" , making me feel like the lastest shit faced drinker, . So I took am orange juice (if I remember well)

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quote:Once, i took a figth in the morning I asked for a beer but the guy said "we don’t drink in the morning"

What an asshole!

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quote:
quote:Once, I took a flight in the morning I asked for a beer but the guy said "we don’t drink in the morning"

What an asshole!

I said the same, but to myself not directly to him, as I was thirsty.

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In all seriousness though, you’d think a flight attendant would realize that it’s always afternoon/nightime somewhere in the world, and that many passengers may still be in that zone.

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Air France offers free wine on its flight, but someone I know said cynically that it could be part of a marketing push. It’s a nice touch, although you guys are right… it usually ends up making you feelin dehydrated and worsens jetlag.

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When I lived in Geneva, Switzerland…I flew from Geneva to Munich on Lufthansa…free drinks.

When I moved to Genenva from Providence RI, the flight from Boston to Frankfurt/Geneva (Lufthansa) free drinks. Nothing like free Cognac Smile

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I flew Air France in March and they offered wine- white or red. I don’t know about the red the vin blanc was good.
I must agree with everyone else though it does make you dehydrated. Bring a bottle of water so you don’t have to keep getting up or asking for water. You might get stuck in a middle of the aisle seat and you don’t want to send the flight saying "excuse me…"

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Get pissed at the going away party the night before then merely hair of the dog it the whole flight unless you get stuck with a crappy American carrier.

I do that 90% of the time and only missed one flight, by 20 minutes, but they bumped me to first class.

So I got wine too!