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10 Airlines That Don't Serve Alcohol

Why do some airlines not serve alcohol?

Most airlines prohibiting the sale of alcohol on their planes are primarily situated in the Middle East, with some extending further into Asia. Given the significant Muslim populations in these regions and the strict prohibition of alcohol in many of these countries, it is unsurprising that their airlines adhere to similar policies. But just because an airline is based in a Muslim country, this doesn't mean that it will be a dry airline. Emirates, for example, is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and has recently invested over $500 million in wine and has a massive wine-storage facility in France.

1. Saudia

The national airline of Saudi Arabia, Saudia follows Islamic laws up in the clouds and does not serve alcohol on its flights. However, what they do offer is four distinct menus depending on the flight destination, for example, Europe, Americas, Asia or the Middle East. The business-class drinks menu brings in some luxury non-alcoholic options to sip on, and they pair it up with a fancy four-course dinner, maybe even throwing in some caviar if you're feeling extra posh. And if you're in the mood for a mocktail, then they have you covered. They also include soft drinks, hot drinks, diet drinks and non-alcoholic juices. Naturally, all the meat served is halal. Following Saudi Arabia's rules, it's a no-go to bring any alcohol onboard. Trying to sneak some in could land you being prosecuted.

Airplane in the sky

2. Egypt Air

EgyptAir is the national flag carrier of Egypt. The airline is based at Cairo International Airport (CAI). Even though drinking is legal in Egypt and available at Cairo Airport, Egypt Air does not offer alcoholic beverages on board the plane however, passengers who fancy a drink can bring their own liquors on board and can consume or transport them. There have been reports of passengers being denied this service and Egypt Air has said it may be to prevent offending nearby passengers. Once you are seated they offer a choice of juices or hot drinks as an alternative. Depending on the destination Egypt Air has been known to serve alcohol on flights to the US.

plane departing from airport

3. Air Arabia

Air Arabia is a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates. The airline flies extensively between the UAE and elsewhere within the Middle East, North Africa, India, Central Asia and Europe. Air Arabia does not permit smoking or alcohol on board however, if you want to purchase an alcoholic beverage for your trip in duty-free then you can as long as it stays sealed for the duration of the flight. Onboard, passengers can order a range of hot and cold food from the airline's Sky café, which also includes a full drinks menu.

Air Arabia plane

4. Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways is the national airline of Kuwait, which has its head office and main hub based in Kuwait International Airport. Kuwait Airways, like Saudia, does not permit any alcohol which means on board, checked baggage and hand luggage. When flying economy class with Kuwait Airways instead of having an alcoholic beverage in hand they offer hot meals such as a starter, main and dessert. Also included is an in-flight entertainment system where you can sit back and watch a movie. The Business Class seating is of a great standard and the menus have a lot of options. Once seated you are offered a small welcome cup of Arabic coffee and the drinks menu serves up a nice range of juices and sodas, with their coffee getting a shoutout for being "freshly brewed." They've also got a choice of four teas to pick from.

entertainment screens on plane

5. Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines, often referred to as Turkish Air, is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey and is headquartered at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. They have a reputation for excellent service, but what about alcohol? Turkish Airlines doesn't serve alcohol on domestic flights however, they do on international flights. Wine, beer and spirits are free on Turkish airline flights for all passengers flying internationally and if you ask nicely they might give you another serving. For example, In economy class, complimentary beer, wine, and spirits are on the house. But hold up, the wine comes in petite 187ml bottles; if you're flying business, you get the full-sized deal. The reason for Turkish Airlines not serving alcohol on flights that are under 2 hours and 15 minutes is because of the culture of the majority of passengers but it could also be down to cabin crew not having enough time to serve all passengers in that time frame.

Turkish airlines plane

6. Royal Brunei Airlines

Royal Brunei Airlines is the government-owned national flag carrier airline of Brunei. The airline is based at Brunei International Airport (BWN This airline does not serve any alcoholic beverages on board their flights but gives the green light for Non-Muslim passengers to bring their own alcohol onboard, and they'll happily serve it up to complement their award-winning menus. Plus, you're welcome to bring alcohol into the country for personal enjoyment, this airline has one of the most generous duty-free allowances of any country in the world with an allowance of two litres of spirits or wine.

plane wing

7. Pakistan International Airways

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the national airline of Pakistan and operates both international and domestic flights. The airline's main hub bases are in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi and its primary hub airport is at Jinnah International Airport (KHI) in Karachi. Back in the day, this airline used to dish out drinks until the 1970s. But when Pakistan tightened up its rules in line with Islamic principles, the flag carrier switched gears and banned alcohol onboard. However, if you're not Muslim you may be permitted to bring in a bottle in hold luggage and may be served liquor in up-market hotels or private homes. Instead of alcohol, you usually get treated to free meals and drinks, whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just some snacks, depending on how long you're up in the air and when you're flying. PIA hooks you up with a variety of grub, both local Pakistani delights and dishes from around the globe.

Pakistan internation airways plane

8. Iran Air

Iran Air is the national carrier of Iran and has been the pride of the nation since it was first established in 1946. Now 100% owned by the Iranian Government, the airline was and remains the main Iranian-owned international carrier bringing passengers to Tehran's modern Imam Khomeini International Airport. Iran Air stands out as one of the rare airlines globally that, following Islamic law, abstains from serving alcoholic beverages on any of its flights or importing them. With an economy class ticket, the meals are included and the menus are focused on Iranian cuisine.

Iran Air plane

9. Jazeera Airways

Jazeera Airways (full name: Jazeera Airways K.S.C) is a scheduled airline based at Kuwait International Airport. The airline was founded in 2004 and made history as the first non-government-owned airline in the Middle East. Although not owned by the government, Jazeera Airways has worked to establish itself as one of the two national airlines of Kuwait. The airline allows passengers to take alcohol on board but they will not serve it due to religious reasons. Business class includes complimentary catering which changes every month however, the economy ticket does not include free meals except on flights to Cairo.

Jazeera Airways plane

10. Iraqi Airways

Iraqi Airways, is the flag carrier of Iraq and is headquartered at Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad. Founded in 1945 and commencing operations the following year, it is the second-oldest airline in the Middle East. There are no alcoholic beverages served onboard Iraqi Airways flights, due to religious reasons. However, there will be complimentary non-alcoholic soft and hot drinks available. While this airline refrains from serving alcohol, Baghdad Airport has recently launched a duty-free shop where passengers can buy alcohol. However, passengers are allowed to take their purchases onboard as long as they don't open the bottles.

Women on plane

Other notable alcohol-free airlines include:

  • Pegasus (Turkish, low-cost)
  • Malindo (Malaysia)
  • Syrian Air
  • Yemenia
  • Libyan Airlines
  • Sudan Airways
  • Turkmenistan
  • Air Koryu (North Korea)
  • TAAG Angola
  • Myanmar (Burma)

Airlines that do serve alcohol

Whether you are flying on a domestic flight or an international flight, discover whether your airline serves complimentary alcohol in our table below. Check out the class restriction guide as well... as you might discover that free alcohol is only served for Premium passengers!

American Airlines:

  • Free on Domestic Flights: Yes, between Dallas/Fort Worth and Hawaiian cities
  • Free on International Flights: Yes, on flights between the U.S. and Europe, Asia, and certain countries in South America
  • Class Restrictions & More Information: On American Airlines, alcohol is only available for purchase in economy (see restrictions) but complimentary for upper classes (see restrictions)

Alaska Airlines:

  • Free on Domestic Flights: Yes, on Horizon Air/SkyWest flights
  • Free on International Flights: Yes, on Horizon Air/SkyWest flights
  • Class Restrictions & More Information: On Alaska Airlines, alcohol is only available for purchase in economy, but complimentary for premium (upwards) passengers

British Airways:

  • Free on Domestic Flights: Alcohol is available for purchase if you are in economy but otherwise it is included.
  • Free on International Flights: Yes, includes starter, main and dessert, with a choice of hot, cold and alcoholic drinks.
  • Class Restrictions & More Information: On a short hall flight you will have to be flying in Club to be able to receive free alcohol

A glass of wine with an in-flight meal


In conclusion, airlines that choose not to sell alcohol onboard may do so for various reasons, such as cultural considerations, cost-saving measures, safety concerns, or to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere. While this decision may disappoint some passengers who enjoy alcoholic beverages during their flights, it aligns with the airline's priorities and values. Ultimately, the absence of alcohol sales does not necessarily detract from the overall quality of the flying experience, as airlines focus on providing excellent service, comfort, and safety to all passengers, regardless of beverage offerings.

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