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Yeastbeast
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"Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:18 am

Was having a conversation on another website about odd/bad/weird alcohol laws in various states. One poster (who I'm friends with) said that when he lived in Kansas (I'm waiting for an answer on the time frame) that planes in Kansas airspace couldn't serve alcohol. Any truth to this? Seems a bit like an urban legend to me, but, there are many weird alcohol laws in the U.S., even today.

Thanks much in advance.
Brewers make the wort, the yeast makes the beer.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:20 am

I’m certain I’ve been served a drink on MCI-DEN flights, and that route is on the order of 80 percent over Kansas.
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Spacepope
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:26 am

Cubsrule wrote:
I’m certain I’ve been served a drink on MCI-DEN flights, and that route is on the order of 80 percent over Kansas.

Yes but Kansas had some seriously stupid alcohol laws through the 1980s. I’m betting if this has a kernel of truth, it’s from that old timeframe.
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ual4life
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:28 am

Lol Plenty of drinks over Kansas. (Well I guess not anymore thanks to Covid but that’s another story :P )
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alasizon
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:52 am

Not so much dry airspace but a lot of states have weird quirks to their liquor laws that impact flights that don't even touch their states. For instance, liquor boarded in Arizona is subject to AZ liquor laws until it is removed from the aircraft downline. For instance, liquor boarded in PHX for say PHX-SFO-PHL comes under AZ liquor laws for the SFO-PHL leg despite the fact that Arizona isn't involved one bit.

Not sure that Arizona really has enforcement powers over it but there are certainly some quirky rules out there.
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Elkadad313
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:59 am

Yeastbeast wrote:
Was having a conversation on another website about odd/bad/weird alcohol laws in various states. One poster (who I'm friends with) said that when he lived in Kansas (I'm waiting for an answer on the time frame) that planes in Kansas airspace couldn't serve alcohol. Any truth to this? Seems a bit like an urban legend to me, but, there are many weird alcohol laws in the U.S., even today.

Thanks much in advance.

That was absolutely the case. I flew weekly and when over Kansas there would be an announcement that no alcoholic beverages would be served until out of Kansas airspace.
 
seat1a
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:03 am

Elkadad313 wrote:
Yeastbeast wrote:
Was having a conversation on another website about odd/bad/weird alcohol laws in various states. One poster (who I'm friends with) said that when he lived in Kansas (I'm waiting for an answer on the time frame) that planes in Kansas airspace couldn't serve alcohol. Any truth to this? Seems a bit like an urban legend to me, but, there are many weird alcohol laws in the U.S., even today.

Thanks much in advance.

That was absolutely the case. I flew weekly and when over Kansas there would be an announcement that no alcoholic beverages would be served until out of Kansas airspace.


Great thread and post. What did Braniff do!?
 
RJNUT
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:00 am

this was from the old Vern Miller(D) days in the 70's who per Wikipedia " was elected Attorney General of Kansas in 1970 under a platform of "aggressive and visible enforcement of the state's drug and liquor laws".[5] "

He really went after Frontier with their hopscotch system across the state with the Convair 580's. . But yes his claim was that while flying in KS airspace you must obey the state liquor laws, which did not include "liquor by the drink" back then unless you were in a private club and furnished your own "sauce"
 
Yeastbeast
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:56 am

RJNUT wrote:
this was from the old Vern Miller(D) days in the 70's who per Wikipedia " was elected Attorney General of Kansas in 1970 under a platform of "aggressive and visible enforcement of the state's drug and liquor laws".[5] "

He really went after Frontier with their hopscotch system across the state with the Convair 580's. . But yes his claim was that while flying in KS airspace you must obey the state liquor laws, which did not include "liquor by the drink" back then unless you were in a private club and furnished your own "sauce"

So, if one had a beverage in hand before entering Kansas' airspace, could one keep It? Or, would the servers come by and pull said beverages, aka "closing time"?
Brewers make the wort, the yeast makes the beer.
 
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Faro
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:06 am

FWIW, Kansas only repealed the prohibition of alcohol in 1948...the last state to do so...


Faro
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Noshow
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:19 am

So could you drink Pepsi in Atlanta airspace?
 
Toinou
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:43 am

That wouldn't be a unique example. Until fairly recently, alcohol couldn't be served in Saudi airspace (even for flight simply transiting).
 
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Aquila3
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:56 am

Toinou wrote:
That wouldn't be a unique example. Until fairly recently, alcohol couldn't be served in Saudi airspace (even for flight simply transiting).

Been there , and i understand why.
I would be more surprised If now is possible.
But what about Kansas?
Do they have any special religious concerns or what?
I mean i have been in Utah and there were some weird differences from Vegas, where i was traveling from, but Kansas? Really? I thought their main concern was rodeos.
Sorry if i offended someone, it was
meant to be a lighthearted comment .
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xwb777
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:19 am

The same goes for Saudi airspace. No alcohol is served when cruising in KSA airspace.
 
umichman
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:19 am

Aquila3 wrote:
Toinou wrote:
That wouldn't be a unique example. Until fairly recently, alcohol couldn't be served in Saudi airspace (even for flight simply transiting).

Been there , and i understand why.
I would be more surprised If now is possible.
But what about Kansas?
Do they have any special religious concerns or what?
I mean i have been in Utah and there were some weird differences from Vegas, where i was traveling from, but Kansas? Really? I thought their main concern was rodeos.
Sorry if i offended someone, it was
meant to be a lighthearted comment .


If you do some basic research, the Kansas law (requiring on-premises alcohol consumption) ended in 1987. It appears they only attempted to enforce the law on planes and trains in the 70's under then state Attorney General Vern Miller and his legal interpretation of the law was widely ridiculed. So it appears it was largely the doing of one man and it came to an end over 40 years ago. There's your answer.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:58 pm

In Kansas, it was said, “they stagger to the polls to vote dry”. WCTU was strong in Kansas and the violent cowboy days of cattle drives drove a lot anti-drink politics.
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:01 pm

I don’t see how this is enforceable in the States. Airspace is Federal jurisdiction, not State. I get maybe while on the ground, but as soon as wheels up, what authority do they have? Aviation would be a mess if in the air we were under different regs in each state.
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Rampvan
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:36 pm

I remember we re routed some WHISKY due canx flight out of LHR to a different entry point in the US with onward transport via truck to original destination. It was then realised to get a truck to the original dest would mean crossing state lines which would cause issues with costs re routing around these states. The shipment came back to LHR and flew direct as it was the easiest option
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:09 pm

SuseJ772 wrote:
I don’t see how this is enforceable in the States. Airspace is Federal jurisdiction, not State. I get maybe while on the ground, but as soon as wheels up, what authority do they have? Aviation would be a mess if in the air we were under different regs in each state.


It almost certainly wasn’t enforceable, but governments p, by nature, are bullies and corporations, by nature, are cowards and put a balance on cost of fighting it and surrendered.
 
BAINY3
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:09 pm

Somewhat related, wasn't there an issue at US Airways for a while where they couldn't serve alcohol on flights to ABQ? Apparently someone got drunk on a US Airways or America West flight into ABQ and went drunk driving after the flight and killed some people, and the state of New Mexico wound up going after the airline. This was quite a while back, around 15 years ago, so I don't know if it still applies or if they appealed around it.
 
cedarjet
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:45 pm

It’s interesting what can come with overflight rules. To me the most obvious case is countries insisting on a certain number of flights per week actually landing at that country’s main airport, usually because said country is in bad shape and lacks true demand, so it’s a way of artificially creating supply.

I’m definitely thinking of Qantas who stopped once a week in Damascus for years in the 70s & 80s on their way between Bahrain and London with 747-200B because it was a condition of overflying Syria several times a day with their various European flights (a much bigger network than in the ME3 age, QF had 747 service to Athens, Rome, Belgrade, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester, and Amsterdam as well as London). Presumably the extra fuel and crew hours involved in stopping in Damascus (to drop off 12 passengers and board eight, or maybe half that) was less than the cost of flying around Syria on all their Europe flights.

I think it was the reason Virgin Atlantic used to stop in Moscow when it started flying to Tokyo in the late 80s as well. And I’m sure there are other examples.
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citationjet
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:18 am

seat1a wrote:
Great thread and post. What did Braniff do!?

My father was a Braniff ticket agent in Wichita,KS from 1959 to 1982, so I non-reved out of ICT many times during the “Vern Miller” years.
Departing Wichita, Braniff would not serve drinks until after the plane crossed state lines (OK going to DFW or MO going to ORD).

Vern Miller also raided Amtrak trains as it passed thru Kansas.
Here’s how he did it: An Amtrak train made a late-night stop in Newton, Kansas. Miller showed up, unannounced, and proceeded to storm the train with officers by his side. Together, they confiscated all of the alcohol on the train, threw the conductor in jail, and left the passengers stranded in Newton all night. “So the train sat all night there in Newton, Kansas,” Miller says. “A little podunk town.”
The incident resulted in a lawsuit that Amtrak took all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Constitution gives states the power to regulate alcohol consumption.

Vern turned 92 last December and is living in Wichita.

https://theactiveage.com/one-of-a-kind-vern-miller-did-things-his-own-way-2/
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seat1a
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:51 am

citationjet wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Great thread and post. What did Braniff do!?

My father was a Braniff ticket agent in Wichita,KS from 1959 to 1982, so I non-reved out of ICT many times during the “Vern Miller” years.
Departing Wichita, Braniff would not serve drinks until after the plane crossed state lines (OK going to DFW or MO going to ORD).

Vern Miller also raided Amtrak trains as it passed thru Kansas.
Here’s how he did it: An Amtrak train made a late-night stop in Newton, Kansas. Miller showed up, unannounced, and proceeded to storm the train with officers by his side. Together, they confiscated all of the alcohol on the train, threw the conductor in jail, and left the passengers stranded in Newton all night. “So the train sat all night there in Newton, Kansas,” Miller says. “A little podunk town.”
The incident resulted in a lawsuit that Amtrak took all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Constitution gives states the power to regulate alcohol consumption.

Vern turned 92 last December and is living in Wichita.

https://theactiveage.com/one-of-a-kind-vern-miller-did-things-his-own-way-2/


Thank you for this! Great story. I presume Braniff did not do their 'Air Strip' either.
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:20 am

xwb777 wrote:
The same goes for Saudi airspace. No alcohol is served when cruising in KSA airspace.


Somebody forgot to tell Qatar Airways this.

The only time I have 'seen' Mecca was whilst flying DOH-GRU in 2010, and I was enjoying a rather pleasant Merlot with my lunch at the time. I was somewhat struck by the irony.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
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exFWAOONW
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:56 am

citationjet wrote:
seat1a wrote:
Great thread and post. What did Braniff do!?

My father was a Braniff ticket agent in Wichita,KS from 1959 to 1982, so I non-reved out of ICT many times during the “Vern Miller” years.
Departing Wichita, Braniff would not serve drinks until after the plane crossed state lines (OK going to DFW or MO going to ORD).

Vern Miller also raided Amtrak trains as it passed thru Kansas.
Here’s how he did it: An Amtrak train made a late-night stop in Newton, Kansas. Miller showed up, unannounced, and proceeded to storm the train with officers by his side. Together, they confiscated all of the alcohol on the train, threw the conductor in jail, and left the passengers stranded in Newton all night. “So the train sat all night there in Newton, Kansas,” Miller says. “A little podunk town.”
The incident resulted in a lawsuit that Amtrak took all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the Constitution gives states the power to regulate alcohol consumption.

Vern turned 92 last December and is living in Wichita.

https://theactiveage.com/one-of-a-kind-vern-miller-did-things-his-own-way-2/

I don’t think his interference with inter-state commerce (and travel) would fly well these days. IINM, The federal government has finally assumed all (most?) authority in these matters to avoid this kind of thing from happening again.
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Toinou
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:40 am

PlymSpotter wrote:
xwb777 wrote:
The same goes for Saudi airspace. No alcohol is served when cruising in KSA airspace.


Somebody forgot to tell Qatar Airways this.

The only time I have 'seen' Mecca was whilst flying DOH-GRU in 2010, and I was enjoying a rather pleasant Merlot with my lunch at the time. I was somewhat struck by the irony.


As I told earlier, this was that case until a certain number of years ago, but this rules is no longer in place (or enforced at least).

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
It almost certainly wasn’t enforceable, but governments p, by nature, are bullies and corporations, by nature, are cowards and put a balance on cost of fighting it and surrendered.

Thanks for your very informative report on government-corporations relationships.
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:06 am

Bring in the lawyers, but IIRC the Feds actually have little power over alcohol so it normally is a state matter. The 21st amendment give states the control on alcohol rules. Even Federal CBP officers have different state's rules to help enforce depending on the POE. Also IIRC Louisiana was the last state to go from 18 to 21, in the mid or late 90s. I remember drinking at a bar there while 19 and visiting. Could not buy in a liquor store though. Feds withheld highway dollars...Thus airlines have many different state liquor licenses and rules to follow.
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rbavfan
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:43 am

Toinou wrote:
That wouldn't be a unique example. Until fairly recently, alcohol couldn't be served in Saudi airspace (even for flight simply transiting).


Yes but that's a country, not a state.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:04 am

FlyingSicilian wrote:
Also IIRC Louisiana was the last state to go from 18 to 21, in the mid or late 90s. I remember drinking at a bar there while 19 and visiting. Could not buy in a liquor store though. Feds withheld highway dollars...

The law in Louisiana raised the drinking age in 1986, but it was basically unenforced window dressing.

The Feds cracked down in 1994, by denying nearly $200million in infrastructure assistance; Louisiana tried to soften the impact by restricting hard liquor to 21, but leaving beer and wine at 18. But the crackdown continued, and by 1996 the state had given up and was in compliance.

Remember it well, friends spent so much money buying up tons of liquor for storage :lol:

Still though, to this day in MSY and BTR, 18yr-olds can enter a bar (if it serves food or has a dance floor) but aren't supposed to buy at all, nor drink unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Anyone who's ever been to either city can tell you how closely that's enforced though.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Toinou
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:21 am

rbavfan wrote:
Toinou wrote:
That wouldn't be a unique example. Until fairly recently, alcohol couldn't be served in Saudi airspace (even for flight simply transiting).


Yes but that's a country, not a state.

As US is a federal state, regulations can be made at different levels. I guessed aviation-related issues are probably regulated at national level but I've seen stranger things. (Just as another example, air transport agreements in UAE are (at least in part) done by individual emirates.)
 
2cn
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:53 pm

Toinou wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
xwb777 wrote:
The same goes for Saudi airspace. No alcohol is served when cruising in KSA airspace.


Somebody forgot to tell Qatar Airways this.

The only time I have 'seen' Mecca was whilst flying DOH-GRU in 2010, and I was enjoying a rather pleasant Merlot with my lunch at the time. I was somewhat struck by the irony.


As I told earlier, this was that case until a certain number of years ago, but this rules is no longer in place (or enforced at least)..


It was at least in 2019 when I went to Riyadh for work. (My how covid makes things really feel like forever ago) I flew in and out via BA in first class. As we were arriving the flight attendant came thru and offered one last drink before we entered Saudi airspace. And as we departed and they began the service, I didn't even think about it and ordered a drink. I was reminded that they would have to wait until out of Saudi airspace before they could serve alcohol. I knew we cleared their airspace when he brought me my drink.
 
Toinou
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:36 pm

Sorry, I wasn't clear. The rule which is no longer in place is about serving alcohol on planes in Saudi airspace without touching Saudi ground. For flights going to or from KSA, it is still the case.
 
N766UA
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Elkadad313 wrote:
Yeastbeast wrote:
Was having a conversation on another website about odd/bad/weird alcohol laws in various states. One poster (who I'm friends with) said that when he lived in Kansas (I'm waiting for an answer on the time frame) that planes in Kansas airspace couldn't serve alcohol. Any truth to this? Seems a bit like an urban legend to me, but, there are many weird alcohol laws in the U.S., even today.

Thanks much in advance.

That was absolutely the case. I flew weekly and when over Kansas there would be an announcement that no alcoholic beverages would be served until out of Kansas airspace.


We fly into MCI all the time and I’ve never heard of such a thing. If it ever was a thing it must have been quite some time ago?
 
citationjet
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:09 pm

N766UA wrote:
We fly into MCI all the time and I’ve never heard of such a thing. If it ever was a thing it must have been quite some time ago?


The enforcement of Kansas liquor laws on the airlines by the Kansas Attorney General occurred in 1971, 50 years ago. That is why you haven’t heard of it happening flying into MCI, which didn’t open until 1972.

Article from 1973 from Topeka, KS newspaper.
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=860&dat=19730220&id=0HFUAAAAIBAJ&sjid=o48DAAAAIBAJ&pg=1981,2694833&hl=en
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C525C
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:31 pm

alasizon wrote:
Not so much dry airspace but a lot of states have weird quirks to their liquor laws that impact flights that don't even touch their states. For instance, liquor boarded in Arizona is subject to AZ liquor laws until it is removed from the aircraft downline. For instance, liquor boarded in PHX for say PHX-SFO-PHL comes under AZ liquor laws for the SFO-PHL leg despite the fact that Arizona isn't involved one bit.

Not sure that Arizona really has enforcement powers over it but there are certainly some quirky rules out there.
This was the first (an only) incident that came to my mind.
https://www.seattletimes.com/life/trave ... o-flights/

The "legend" seemed to grow and change over the years. I once had a ramper tell me that it included ANY flying in/over NM airspace. He went on to tell me that the CA would make an announcement, and the FA's would promptly clean up any and all liquor/beer, only to be given back a few minutes later if you were, say, "cutting the corner".

His story was pure fabrication of course.
 
2eng2efficient
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:36 pm

FlyingSicilian wrote:
Bring in the lawyers, but IIRC the Feds actually have little power over alcohol so it normally is a state matter. The 21st amendment give states the control on alcohol rules. Even Federal CBP officers have different state's rules to help enforce depending on the POE. Also IIRC Louisiana was the last state to go from 18 to 21, in the mid or late 90s. I remember drinking at a bar there while 19 and visiting. Could not buy in a liquor store though. Feds withheld highway dollars...Thus airlines have many different state liquor licenses and rules to follow.


Normally I would have thought alcohol flying interstate (take the example of PHX-SFO-PHL mentioned earlier) would meet the definition of interstate commerce and thus would be subject to federal jurisdiction, not state law. However, I just read the text of the 21st A and agree it appears to delegate the power to regulate alcohol to the states... still not sure if that supersedes interstate commerce though.
 
citationjet
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:48 pm

“Before 1949, U.S. airlines didn’t serve alcohol in flight, writes Rust in Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience. But when a few airlines eventually decided to serve alcohol, that didn’t mean it was easy to do so. Because of conflicting state liquor laws, drinks could be served only over certain states. The New York Times reported in 1950 that on a flight leaving New York for the West Coast, passengers could drink over New Jersey, but not over Pennsylvania, a no-sale state.”

https://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/getting-high-skies-180961700/
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vhtje
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Re: "Dry airspace"

Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:31 pm

Do states have any power to legislate over what occurs inside an aircraft as it overflies the state? I am not American, but I would have thought that was an area of Federal jurisdiction…?
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.

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