sign showing Bar is Open
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Thoughts on Self Service (Alcohol) Beverage Bars

There has been some news buzzing around about lounges that have self-service alcohol and customers who were unable to regulate their consumption. I think this is an interesting topic to discuss.

In November 2022, a passenger was refused entry onto an Air New Zealand flight when she was too intoxicated to board. She had been at the lounge prior to boarding, and at the time, they offered self-serve alcohol, including sprints in their international lounge. Due to this incident, Air New Zealand passengers can no longer pour their own spirits while in Queenstown and Dunedin airport lounges.

I know there must have been other incidents such as this, so it got me thinking, can passengers be trussed to limit their intake? I have been to (international) lounges that offer self-serve alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits) as well as lounges that provide a full-service bar. I have also been to self-service lounges where a lounge employee has offered to pour me a drink. I think the bar service adds a slight barrier to overconsumption due to having to ask someone else for the drink. But in my opinion, it really comes down to self-control.

There are obvious advantages to self-serve. Since food is usually self-serve, not having to hire bartenders to run the bar can be a cost savings.

Closing Thoughts

It appears that other lounges will continue to offer self-serve alcohol, even if just beer and wine. What are your thoughts? Do you think self-serve alcohol should be banned from lounges?