Finnair’s Quirky New Inflight Alcohol Ban

Finnair’s Quirky New Inflight Alcohol Ban

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Finnair has just introduced an alcohol ban on domestic flights… but only after 5PM.

Finnair won’t sell alcohol on some domestic flights

During the pandemic we’ve seen quite a few airlines stop inflight alcohol sales, for one of a few reasons:

  • To maximize the amount of time people keep their masks on
  • To minimize unruly behavior (with the assumption being that alcohol makes people more aggressive)
  • To comply with government regulations

Finnair’s new alcohol ban falls into that last category, but with a twist. Effective immediately, Finnair will no longer sell alcohol on domestic flights, but only after 5PM.

Finnair is suspending the sale of alcohol on domestic flights

What’s the logic? Well, to curb coronavirus cases, restaurants in Finland are no longer allowed to sell alcohol after 5PM. Now the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland has ruled that the restaurant rules should also apply to Finnair, causing Finnair to suspend the sale of alcohol.

https://twitter.com/Finnair/status/1479417396523843589

That logic sure is questionable…

Admittedly I don’t envy the position health authorities are in with creating rules, because it can be tough to decide where to draw the line, and logic isn’t ever going to be 100% consistent. While alcohol sales being banned is totally minor, this is one of those situation where you can’t help but scratch your head:

  • Presumably alcohol can’t be sold at restaurants after 5PM because the goal is to prevent partying and too much nightlife, and people are much more likely to do that late in the day than early in the day
  • At the same time, that logically doesn’t really apply to flights; so I guess it’s totally fine if you want to get wasted on a morning or afternoon flight, while if you want to have a drink on an evening or late night flight, that’s a no-go
Finnair planes are being treated as restaurants

Bottom line

Finnair can no longer sell alcohol on domestic flights after 5PM. This comes after the government ruled that the airline should be treated the same as restaurants for these purposes. To prevent coronavirus cases, you can’t buy a drink at a restaurant after 5PM, and therefore that’s also being extended to flights.

What do you make of Finnair’s alcohol ban?

Conversations (34)
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  1. Eks,s s, Guest

    Finnair come to toronto

  2. Harold nearly the 1st Guest

    Well as far as I know the ruling elite in Finland is Swedish origins DNA, and it is inherent in Sweden to get wasted, so years ago they banned boozing ,and then thought let's just cross the border to Germany and get wasted there, it became such a problem the German authorities laid on transport to get them back over the Swedish undamaged and suggested to pillage England..
    We English spent centuries fighting them...

    Well as far as I know the ruling elite in Finland is Swedish origins DNA, and it is inherent in Sweden to get wasted, so years ago they banned boozing ,and then thought let's just cross the border to Germany and get wasted there, it became such a problem the German authorities laid on transport to get them back over the Swedish undamaged and suggested to pillage England..
    We English spent centuries fighting them off and Sweden's Vikings told us that they did not like Licensing hours, and used an old Swedish phrase, "Vikings prefer blondes" and they don't like tattoos.
    So they took over Finland, and messed their culture up, knowing one day they would not have to row the boat but could get zonked on Finnair before 5.pm when they were flying back to Stokholm .

  3. Ian Guest

    Not sure why they don’t just ban it entirely instead of after 5:00. Do they think people just won’t drink before that? My guess is that the hardcore drinkers are going to do their version of stocking up at last call. Personally I think all flights should ban alcohol given the high incident rates of unruly and belligerent passengers. And raise the penalty for this who try to sneak on their own booze. You get caught, no fly list for any airline for 2 years.

  4. James Saunders Guest

    Finns love booze and drink to get drunk. In Soviet Union days Finns went to Leningrad to drink themselves stupid. In some case hospitalization!

  5. Glenn Guest

    We never fly during those hours so no big deal.

  6. Grey Member

    I don't understand why this is so quirky. They have a law and the domestic flights within the country are not excluded from the rule on restaurants. Most airlines have to follow different rules on domestic flights compared to international flights. And considering that Finland is not exactly a massive country, there are only a handful of flights that this applies to.

  7. Wilhelm Guest

    Aircraft and ships are considered to be part of the territory of the country in which they are registered. This is why you need to be 21 to get alcohol on US registered airlines, but if you choose a foreign airline it will in most cases be 18. This includes departures from US airports. In Finnair’s case, they will be subject to Finnish laws and regulations.

    1. Carl Guest

      I'm not sure this is entirely true, this rule is only limited to flights over Finland, all other flights (even registered in Finland) are not subject to this rule. As for other airlines, Etihad, Emirates and especially Qatar have very different rules onboard compared to the rules on their respective soils, regardless of their registrations. American airlines are also rarely picky about carding younger passengers on international flights. As for the rational behind this law...

      I'm not sure this is entirely true, this rule is only limited to flights over Finland, all other flights (even registered in Finland) are not subject to this rule. As for other airlines, Etihad, Emirates and especially Qatar have very different rules onboard compared to the rules on their respective soils, regardless of their registrations. American airlines are also rarely picky about carding younger passengers on international flights. As for the rational behind this law in Finland, it makes total sense on the ground, especially when it comes to the sad reputation Nordic countries might have with alcohol, which, let's put it mildly, is not really compatible with fighting the spread of Covid. However, applying this rule on Finnish domestic flights is quite questionable.

    2. Pierre Gold

      On the Finnish ships between Helsinki and Tallinn, capital of Estonia,(Titanic-size giants, with sailings more or less every hour, 1hr crossing), a beer which costs 9 euros (10$) in Finland is sold for 1 euro. Half the passengers including teenagers are only there to drink up to vomiting their insides out and/or to buy cheap booze. This being all within the EU, no customs control at either end and passengers disembark with crates and crates,...

      On the Finnish ships between Helsinki and Tallinn, capital of Estonia,(Titanic-size giants, with sailings more or less every hour, 1hr crossing), a beer which costs 9 euros (10$) in Finland is sold for 1 euro. Half the passengers including teenagers are only there to drink up to vomiting their insides out and/or to buy cheap booze. This being all within the EU, no customs control at either end and passengers disembark with crates and crates, some bring their cars just for that. Probably more alcool consumed on one trip than the liquor AY serves on domestic flights in one year.

  8. Mads Guest

    Alcohol laws on domestic flights in Nordic countries come under the same national licensing laws for restaurants and bars. They have to be treated the same because of legislation. It’s not strange or quirky.

  9. Max Guest

    Any idea if this also applies to lounges?

  10. Max Guest

    Any idea if this also applies to lounges?

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      Yes, it does. See my post below.

  11. Never In Doubt Guest

    Finland is the size of Montana. You’re lucky to get one drink on a domestic flight!

  12. Point Guest

    Dont blame them. I could actually see someone buying a ticket on an evening flight just to be able to buy alcohol. When they closed down bars in the Netherlands last year people started checking into hotels to order room services.

  13. stogieguy7 Gold

    There are also some counties that have enacted nationwide curfews between certain hours (Costa Rica had one starting at 6 pm). As if COVID only comes out at night.....

    The amount of political illogic, stupidity and arrogance in the holy name of COVID on display around the world is astonishing.

    1. Jerry Gold

      Bars seem to currently be open around the clock in Costa Rica.

    2. Steven Jack Guest

      Last time I checked Costa Rica has nothing to do with Finland, and is many many hours away on a plane. So not quite sure of the relevance in this context.

  14. George Romey Guest

    Just more COVID hysteria and nonsense.

  15. Stuart Guest

    Well that throws the ol' saying, "It's 5:00 somewhere" right out the window.

  16. CHRIS Guest

    Converting everyone to Mormons or Muslims is a sure way to end this plandemic.

    1. Max Guest

      It's more about converting 99.99999% of the world population into total abstinent slaves of their globalist overlords.
      Klaus Schwab's (World Economic Forum Founder) book 'Covid-19: The Great Reset' tells you all you have to know.

      'By 2030 you will own nothing and you will be happy' is one of his alarming quotes.

  17. Another Lump Guest

    Problem solved. Thanks so much Finland for finally figuring out how to stop covid! This will surely work. I mean, we've tried everything else: mandating masks, no dancing, no singing, shutting down churches, no indoor dining, remote learning and work, but nothing worked, so this has got to be the answer!

    I'm so glad humanity has yielded all power to bureaucrats, and we've decided that laws don't need to be actually passed anymore and...

    Problem solved. Thanks so much Finland for finally figuring out how to stop covid! This will surely work. I mean, we've tried everything else: mandating masks, no dancing, no singing, shutting down churches, no indoor dining, remote learning and work, but nothing worked, so this has got to be the answer!

    I'm so glad humanity has yielded all power to bureaucrats, and we've decided that laws don't need to be actually passed anymore and subject to court review in order to enact draconian measures. Authoritarianism is obviously the only way to fight covid. Way to go, humanity!

    1. anon Guest

      The supposedly freedom loving red states have the most draconian alcohol control measures.

    2. Charles Guest

      Oh really? States like MA where you can't buy liquor from a gas station, CVS, grocery store sure are "red".

      Or GA which as many municipalities that allow open containers on the street.

    3. Evelina Guest

      Well I don’t know if you are just being idiotic knowingly, but all those curbs are to SLOW the spread, NOT STOP. Deaths by covid is like demand and supply, and the impact on the supply chain, when you have too many cases and too many people are admitted to hospitals, and cripple there capability, people start dying.

      Those curbs are to slow the spread of infection to the minimal so that other factors like...

      Well I don’t know if you are just being idiotic knowingly, but all those curbs are to SLOW the spread, NOT STOP. Deaths by covid is like demand and supply, and the impact on the supply chain, when you have too many cases and too many people are admitted to hospitals, and cripple there capability, people start dying.

      Those curbs are to slow the spread of infection to the minimal so that other factors like healthcare services can be prepared and not burden them

      Please be logical! Also mask does help, look at how much a person spreads there saliva without a mask when they sneeze, compared to when wearing one. It’s night and day

    4. Luis Guest

      Right, just like two weeks to flatten the curve

    5. Another Lump Guest

      @Evelina
      They've worked soooo well thus far, so thank you for your blind obedience. Are we going to accept authoritarianism for another 40 years, you know, because people are dying! You act like people who disagree with your measures love covid and love people dying. No, we look at it from a cost/benefit standpoint. At this point, omicron is extremely low risk to the vast majority of the population. The bigger risk is the...

      @Evelina
      They've worked soooo well thus far, so thank you for your blind obedience. Are we going to accept authoritarianism for another 40 years, you know, because people are dying! You act like people who disagree with your measures love covid and love people dying. No, we look at it from a cost/benefit standpoint. At this point, omicron is extremely low risk to the vast majority of the population. The bigger risk is the damage being done to society, human rights, individual liberties, and mental health. Personally, I think it's idiotic to sacrifice another 5% of my life for a 0.1% risk of death.

      @anon
      Plenty of blue states have those laws too. But guess what? They were actually laws, passed by legislatures, signed by governors, and reviewed by courts. These covid edicts are arbitrary, ineffectual, lack any scientific basis, and are extremely damaging.

    6. aboutthatjourney New Member

      @Lump: you sound as if society should revolve around you, rather than you being a contributing member to society and the greater good. I Wear a mask to help protect your spouse, your mother, your grandma, as well as essential workers that you and I may need to rely on.

    7. AW Guest

      Except there's no evidence that any of these policies are actually working. And the standard response is a strawman of saying "oh, but if we were also serious enough to also be doing [insert thing] this, then we would have managed to stop the spread.

  18. ArnoldB Guest

    I will never understand scandinavians and their weird obsession against alcohol (Denmark excluded, they're cool). Supposedly so progressive, yet banning and restricting alcohol like in a country with sharia law.

  19. Travel Manager Guest

    I wonder if the exact wording of the rule would still allow alcohol to be served if there is no 'sale' involved. For example, if there was a plane operated with a business class cabin and/or if the airline were to roll out a policy of free drinks for Oneworld Saphire and above, if this would then be completely legal. I haven't tried to find an English language wording on the ruling, just thinking out loud.

    1. Daniel from Finland Guest

      The law says "serving", not "selling", so it wouldn't work. But I like your thinking!

      The lounges at HEL are also affected abd they don't sell alcohol, they serve it. Alcohol stops at 5 pm leftovers are collected at 6 pm (you need to empty your glass before 6) and the lounges close at 8 pm because restaurants must close at 8. This last rule is strange – the lounge is not a restaurant, it's...

      The law says "serving", not "selling", so it wouldn't work. But I like your thinking!

      The lounges at HEL are also affected abd they don't sell alcohol, they serve it. Alcohol stops at 5 pm leftovers are collected at 6 pm (you need to empty your glass before 6) and the lounges close at 8 pm because restaurants must close at 8. This last rule is strange – the lounge is not a restaurant, it's a waiting room with some snacks available. But I guess this suits Finnair well as they'll save a lot of money...

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mads Guest

Alcohol laws on domestic flights in Nordic countries come under the same national licensing laws for restaurants and bars. They have to be treated the same because of legislation. It’s not strange or quirky.

2
Evelina Guest

Well I don’t know if you are just being idiotic knowingly, but all those curbs are to SLOW the spread, NOT STOP. Deaths by covid is like demand and supply, and the impact on the supply chain, when you have too many cases and too many people are admitted to hospitals, and cripple there capability, people start dying. Those curbs are to slow the spread of infection to the minimal so that other factors like healthcare services can be prepared and not burden them Please be logical! Also mask does help, look at how much a person spreads there saliva without a mask when they sneeze, compared to when wearing one. It’s night and day

2
Wilhelm Guest

Aircraft and ships are considered to be part of the territory of the country in which they are registered. This is why you need to be 21 to get alcohol on US registered airlines, but if you choose a foreign airline it will in most cases be 18. This includes departures from US airports. In Finnair’s case, they will be subject to Finnish laws and regulations.

1
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