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Under 21 And Alcohol On Flights?  
User currently offlineB6sea From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 340 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25653 times:

Hey,
I was randomly wondering what the general consensus was on minors drinking onboard flights. (If there is one?) I know that in the US, at least domestically, the limit is 21 because that's what it is on the ground, but does that change while in foreign airspace or international airspace? Also, I'm assuming that in EU airspace that it's 16 or older depending on the country, but is that enforced or not? Also, in Int'l airspace is it up to the airline or does the FAA/CAA/other governing body determine the age?

My current assumption is that, similar to cruise ships, the captain decides because he is the one in charge, but at the same time, has to keep in mind who employs him.

Thanks for the info!
-Chans

By the way, this is just an honest question, in case you were thinking that I was going to choose an airline based on this(since I am under 21 and all)...

50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQXatFAT From Israel, joined Feb 2006, 2405 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25644 times:

Well when I was 16 (3 years ago) I was on a flight from LAX-LIM on RG MD-11. The FA asked me what I would like to drink and only had the beers and wines with her on the cart. So she gave me a SKOL. Maybe she was wrong in doing so but I was offerd. But then again I did have a small gotee and I do look like a 25 year old Brasilian  Wink


Don't Tread On Me!
User currently offlinePlanecrazy2 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 615 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25644 times:

I believe it is based on the laws from the country the aircraft was registered. You could fly LAX-LHR on UA and need to be 21 or fly the same route on VS and 18 would be fine.


United Airlines - Worldwide Service
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3783 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25614 times:

Quoting B6sea (Thread starter):
Hey,
I was randomly wondering what the general consensus was on minors drinking onboard flights. (If there is one?) I know that in the US, at least domestically, the limit is 21 because that's what it is on the ground, but does that change while in foreign airspace or international airspace? Also, I'm assuming that in EU airspace that it's 16 or older depending on the country, but is that enforced or not? Also, in Int'l airspace is it up to the airline or does the FAA/CAA/other governing body determine the age?

My current assumption is that, similar to cruise ships, the captain decides because he is the one in charge, but at the same time, has to keep in mind who employs him.

The captain doesn't care. If it's a US airline, the law should be 21. Though it's rather easy to be served if you're under 21. Where the plane is at is irrelevant.



PHX based
User currently offlineDelta732FF From United States of America, joined May 2005, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25595 times:

I have yet to see anyone have to show ID for a drink on board. I've been looked at like I was crazy and then they got my drink for me.

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9837 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25589 times:

I believe that the FAA says that alcohol may not be served to anyone under 21 years of age on board for US registered carriers, but I haven't seen the exact regulation.

I personally have had alcohol on flights when I was under 21. I had it on Lufthansa and Air New Zealand on flights out of the United States since they serve it to those over 18 I believe. The laws are from wherever the airline is from, but the regulations for air travel may not be the same as they are actually in the country. But still some airlines respect the requirement of being 21 for flights to the United States. For example on Singapore Airlines they will serve alcohol to anyone over 18 except for flights to the United States where you have to be 21. But in the end, I've rarely seen age requirements enforced. Most of the world does not care as much as the United States does and regulations are a lot more relaxed.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5569 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25560 times:

The law of of the country where the aircraft is registered is applicable. Therefore on a Swiss aircraft you get beer and wine from 16 on, liquors and other harder drinks from 18.

User currently offlineDinker225 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1068 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 25501 times:

Was on a UA flight from SYD-MEL when I was 19. I asked for a beer and was asked for ID. Was then told that since it was a US airline on a US registered aircraft they have to go by US laws regardless of where the aircraft is. Even on a flight between two Australian cities.


Two rules in aviation, don't hit anything and don't run out of gas, cause if you run out of gas yer gonna hit something.
User currently offlineRikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1684 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 25450 times:

Here in Canada, the age for alcoholic consumption is 18 or 19, depending on the province. Living in Alberta, we have the younger minimum age...but I believe if you are travelling transcon, you have to be at least 19. I could be wrong.... then again...18 and 19 was a LONG time ago.


AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlineCO737 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 25374 times:

Quoting Dinker225 (Reply 7):
Was then told that since it was a US airline on a US registered aircraft they have to go by US laws regardless of where the aircraft is

I ran into this issue when I used to live in London. If I would fly BA back to the states I would be able to get alcohol but if I was on AA/UA they were not allowed to serve me alcohol (at the time I was under 21). I asked a flight attendant on AA once, and she said the same thing, which was that since I was on a US airline they had to follow US laws even if the airplane was physically in UK airspace.

Edited for spelling.

[Edited 2006-06-29 02:10:23]


Every takeoff is optional, but every landing is mandatory.
User currently offlineLonghaulheavy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 402 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 25328 times:

The thing is, it's not really a US law. We only have a "national drinking age" because all of the states are forced by the federal government to have a 21-year-old minimum. It's either 'play along' or lose your federal highway money.

User currently offlineKL642 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 25297 times:

I was on a UA flight in 1994 between Dulles-AMS and it appeared that the FA's were serving beer to minors. These minors were Dutch and there was no way that they were 21+ IMHO.

User currently offlinePhelpsie87 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 498 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 25233 times:

I thought the regs said that alcohol age requirements where that of the country where the aircraft is registered...U.S. Registered Aircraft=U.S. Law Applies.

User currently offlineCanada Mike From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 149 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 25210 times:

If age of majority is in question, I usually just respond to the request with "Great then...I'll just need $5 and picture ID please.."

Where there's a choice between provinical drinking age of 18 or 19, I err on the side of caution and go for 19.


User currently offlineDETA737 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 613 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 25198 times:

I flew JFK-LIS on TWA in June of 1996 and my 16 year old brother was asked if he wanted wine, I simply assumed that it was because we were flying to Portugal where there is no legal minimum drinking age. It was the one of the few things I remember about that flight, that and the what I want to say were white seats with red stripes down the centre in first class.

User currently offlineAirdolomiti From Germany, joined May 2003, 694 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 25181 times:

I was served wine when I flew SLC-JFK and JFK-VCE on DL - I was 15 at the time, and certainly didn't look anywhere near 21. Mind you I was flying business class, and I was with my family; I'm not sure how things might have gone in Y.

Federico


User currently offlineB6sea From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25148 times:

Thanks guys, that's hella interesting that the registry determines the laws, not the country who controls the airspace. It's much different than I thought, which was more along the lines of maritime law, where the captain can decide rules so long as in international waters, hence marriages, etc...

Another Question: (Hypothetically) Say I or anyone under 21 was on an Air Canada flight from LAX to YVR or YYZ or wherever, but in US airspace, how would the rules apply then? Would the US law apply because it is the strictest or would Canadian Law still take precidence?

-Chans


User currently offlineVegasplanes From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 778 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25143 times:

I recall putting down a few cold Buds in first on AA when I was 16. But then again, I had a full beard on that flight as I hadn't shaved while I was on vacation.

On the other hand, one of my buddies, nearly 30, was carded for a beer on a WN flight to SLC which we were all on.


User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4138 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25130 times:

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 17):
On the other hand, one of my buddies, nearly 30, was carded for a beer on a WN flight to SLC which we were all on.

Oh Yes! Utah, the strictest alcoholic beverage control laws that make them the laughing stock of the entire USA!



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineYellekc From United States of America, joined May 2006, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25105 times:

I've often wondered on this issue too.

As Longhaulheavy stated the federal government really doesn't have a drinking age, as the issues is reserved for the states to decide. As usual the feds decided to control it anyway, and tied federal highway dollars too it. You can thank Bob Dole's wife Elizabeth Dole, Reagan's Secretary of Transportation, for pushing this through. South Dakota tried to fight this provision and it went to the supreme court, they of course upheld the continuing expanse of federal power. Justice O'Connor, who I will sadly miss as an opponent of limitless federal power, issued a great dissenting opinion. You can read the docket here

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...case.pl?court=us&vol=483&invol=203


I grew up in Guam, a US territory, which has a drinking age of 18. They had no problem serving me alcohol in the Presidents Club there. But in the mainland US it is a completely different matter. Even as a WorldClub member and a gold elite I was refused access to WorldClubs when I was under 21. I sometimes was able to distract the ladies behind the counter enough so they wouldn't ask for it, all I wanted to do was sit down and surf the web anyway. On flights between the Guam and Japan I had no problems getting alcohol, but on flights from Japan to the US they would sometimes ID me and refuse service, only in economy though, whenever I flew business class they didn't care.

Does the FAA have a drinking age or is it based on the state which the airline is based? Do airlines even have or need liquor licences to serve alcohol on flight? I know they have them for the clubs.

Even though I just turned 21 this month and have no problems getting alcohol anywhere in the US, I still think American alcohol laws are some of the stupidest in the world. If someone is responsible enough to buy cigarettes, own a gun, sign legally binding contracts, and serve in our nations military, are they not responsible enough to handle a beer?


User currently offlineSteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9272 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25093 times:

Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 1):

I am contemplating going to London next year if I could have the financial ability to do so. perhaps I'll order a Chardonnay when I go/if I go. Although for me it would be no big deal; I'm 23. I've already had one on WN 1531 PHL-PIT...



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9837 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25076 times:

Quoting B6sea (Reply 16):
Another Question: (Hypothetically) Say I or anyone under 21 was on an Air Canada flight from LAX to YVR or YYZ or wherever, but in US airspace, how would the rules apply then? Would the US law apply because it is the strictest or would Canadian Law still take precidence?

It doesn't matter. Foreign carriers serve alcohol to people under 21 in US airspace all the time.

One thing to note that I have been told is that they cannot serve alcohol to people under 21 while on the ground. Airlines have to have a separate liquour license to serve drinks on the ground to passengers, and thus in the United States they may only serve to those over 21 and follow US laws just like a bar would. Now this usually only affects the offering of champagne as a before takeoff drink, but the laws are different. Some international carriers don't even serve alcoholic pretakeoff beverages because they don't want to go through the hassle of obtaining a license to serve alcohol in the United States.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25076 times:

Been drinking wine, beer, champagne and spirits since about the age of 13 on BA with no problems at all.

Only two times I've had issues with alcohol when flying were within about an hour of eachother. First was at the UA RCC at IAD, was told my British driving licence was fake and given a real ear bashing by the woman serving beer. Enough to get me all red faced and have basically everyone else within the RCC staring at me and her at the bar...
Second was once I got onboard and asked for a beer, no problems until it was being cleared away by a different FA came around. She asked if I showed ID when I got the beer and then on the next drinks round asked if, 'you want a glass of milk, honey?'  Yeah sure



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8691 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 25060 times:

I got offered one on CO1087 MCO-IAH b/c of an idiot who took my seat. I simply said, mam I am 19. I dont want a drink but an extra muffin is fine. I got round the clock bevearge service and a extra head set. Btw, this was in economy and I had a sport coat on.

MCOflyer



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlinePureKiwi From New Zealand, joined Feb 2006, 183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 25017 times:

I have been served alchohol since I was 13 on CX. I am 14 now and I can get a full cup of straight vodka or a can of beer no problems. I have only been refused alchohol once but that was one of the worst F/A's I've ever had. It usualy helps if you talk to the flight attendant first and get them to like you.

25 Iowaman : While what you're are saying is very true, with a drinking age of 21, the number of DUI deaths dropped compared to when it was 18 or 19. It's more of
26 BlueFlyer : Many years ago when I was younger and less responsible, my sister and I were routinely offered champagne on UA's international flights out of IAD and
27 Longhaulheavy : In my opinion, they should have gone the other way with age. Make it 14, and give kids two years to learn how to handle their liquor before they get
28 Jbmitt : I don't mind the law in the US being 21. Having lived my teens in both the Netherlands and Ohio, American teens are less responsible when it comes to
29 Post contains images Symphonik : For what it's worth, I was eighteen when I tool a TWA flight from JFK to CDG. I was served. On the return trip from CDG to JFK, I was asked if I was t
30 FlyinTLow : I didn't think that anything we learned in Air Law would ever come up again! We just talked about it a few days ago: When an a/c is inflight, primaril
31 Yellekc : While I love statistics as much as the next man, the fact that DUIs went down is irrelevant. It is not a reasonable to prevent people from drinking j
32 IMatAMS : Same story. You're in an Air Canada aircraft, registered in Canada and as such under Canadian law. Not sure if that would be 18 or 19 then. Since AFA
33 Lobster : As a side note, when my friends and I were younger, we used to head up to Canada and go drinking for the weekend. Man, those were the days!
34 ANstar : I had the same experience on a MEL-AKL flight with UA when I was 20. Was told I needed to show ID and if I tried to get my friend to get the alcohol
35 Post contains images Ezeiza : I thought Louisiana had a lower drinking age (18?) Wait, is this only for alcohol? I remember because back in the days where you could smoke on all n
36 Planecrazy2 : I have a hard time believing this when VS serves to people under 21 over the U.S. flying LAX-LHR.
37 N1120A : What if you were on a flight from Calgary to Montreal?
38 ZRH : This is simply wrong. On an aircraft in flight always the law of its home country is applicable. So for example a Swiss or LH f/a may serve a beer to
39 BMED : What about on an ACMI aircraft, say that BA leased an UA A320 with full UA crew onboard what would be the situation there then? Would it be 21 cause t
40 EmiratesA345 : When I flew on the Concorde a few years ago (16 at the time) one of the flight attendants asked me what kind of wine I wanted. I told him "Unfortunate
41 757ops : I was 20 when I was non-reving in the US on NW and US and on NW one evening on a flight MSP-DEN I was asked for ID and upon showing it I was refused s
42 RoseFlyer : What matters is where the airplane is registered because that is where all of the regulations based on. Any plane carrying a US registration operates
43 Post contains images EWRCabincrew : While it is interesting to see the "pissing contest" of who got served what at the youngest age , the drinking age onboard all US carriers, regardless
44 Art : I hate to use the 'F' word but I think the USA has something to learn from the 'F' place. In France, people do not generally need to learn to "handle
45 FlyinTLow : When the speed limit says 130, do you go exactly 130? I never said they don't do that, but by law that's what they do. And, unlike a ship for example
46 Afay1 : Every US state, in order to keep their federal highway funds, as explained earlier, INCLUDING Louisiana, keeps the drinking age at 21. This includes r
47 Planecrazy2 : What if your aircraft is registered in Puerto Rico? I believe the age is still 18 there.
48 Post contains images Airdolomiti : Exactly And not just in France, but in many (most?) other countries/cultures. When you're used to having a glass of wine with your meal, the novelty
49 777STL : That may be German law and what LH and the other German carriers do, but I assure you it's different in other parts of the world.
50 FlyinTLow : ICAO and IATA are not a German idea, and those laws set forth by them are internationally valid!
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