NRT preboard liquor restrictions

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by IMRU, Oct 29, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. IMRU

    IMRU Silver Member

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    On my flight from NRT yesterday a person two seats over asked for a gin and tonic and was told "we can't open the bar cart" in NRT. I'd never heard of this restriction (though I encountered it once in Guam 20 years ago). What seems odd, is that they were serving champagne. Just looking to see if this is accurate.
     
  2. Flyer1976
    Original Member

    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    This is correct due to duty obligations. They will not serve hard liquor until airborne. So you have a choice of Beer or Champagne as a PDB along with other beverage options.
     
  3. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    That helps to explain why shortly after boarding long haul BC/FC on AA, the crew walk around with pre-poured glasses of champagne...
     
  4. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    KE and OZ do it out of LAX as well

    Sent from a reasonably priced car.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    FWIW, I believe it is not an issue of "cannot" but that they choose not to because of the duty issues. They'd essentially need to have another set of booze on which they did pay the taxes available to serve rather than just the bubbles. Every now and then a crew will bend the rules but it is not particularly common. And, IME, UA departures from Switzerland have the same policy.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's not just an issue at NRT but essentially anywhere that taxes alcohol. The alcohol served during an international flight is duty free and cannot be served on the ground in almost all jurisdictions. This is partly why many carriers serve cheap sparkling wine on the ground and only open the more expensive champagne when they are up in the air.
     

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