NEW YORK -- Certain Delta flyers will be able to enjoy select alcohol choices aboard flights amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the airline announced on Tuesday. The service had previously been suspended due to coronavirus health and safety concerns.
Starting July 2, First Class and Delta Comfort+ domestic passengers can select from complimentary beer and wine choices on flights over 500 miles. Complimentary beer, wine and cocktails will be available to all passengers on long-haul, international flights.
“On-board service adjustments like individual snack bags offerings remain in place,” the airline said.
Multiple carriers had adjusted their seating capacity and in-flight policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many reducing their in-flight beverage, food and alcohol availability.
Airlines have struggled financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with carriers having to find ways to help keep passengers safe, such as limiting or barring middle seat usage or requiring onboard travelers to wear masks.
American Airlines announced last week that it is resuming full-capacity flights starting July 1, despite a full plane making it effectively impossible for passengers to socially distance from one another.
However, public health experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield spoke of their dismay to Congress on Tuesday against American opting for full-capacity flights.
“When they announced that the other day obviously there was substantial disappointment with American Airlines," said Redfield. “I can say this is under critical review by us at CDC. We don’t think it’s the right message.”
At large, the travel industry remains in flux due to COVID-19, with U.S. states and countries around the world making changes to policies based on the latest developments with the pandemic.
The European Union barred American travelers from visiting its member countries due to surging COVID-19 infection rates in the U.S. State leaders from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are requiring visitors from states with high COVID-19 rates to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced key changes to its screening procedures at airports ahead of a busy Fourth of July travel weekend. Among the changes are social distancing guidelines that are enforced in the checkpoint line, as well as ID verification services that require no human contact.
For air travel, and all other types of transportation, the CDC recommends washing hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.