Thailand bans meals, drink, newspapers and magazines on home flights
(CNN) – To contain the tide of coronavirus, Thailand has banned food, drink and other printed matter as safety information cards on board domestic flights. Airlines must comply or face a fine from their regulatory agency, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.
This is the second time such a step has been taken. Thailand previously banned in-flight food and beverage service on April 26, 2020 but was lifted on August 31.
Chula Sukmanop, director general of the Thai Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT), confirmed the measure to CNN.
“The cleaning time after each stop of the domestic flight is extremely short, as the operators usually do the fastest possible processing and I think that it is unlikely that the operators can thoroughly clean all these items. Therefore, reading materials that are not absolutely necessary must be available – board would create a higher risk of virus exposure, “he said.
That doesn’t mean passengers need to find a way to kill time in-flight with no reading material. You are allowed to bring your own magazines or newspapers on board, but you will likely be asked to bring these items with you when you depart. The CAA ban applies to everything that is served on board, such as menus, duty-free catalogs (not an issue for domestic travel) or on-board magazines.
The consumption of food or drinks is also prohibited on domestic flights, even if passengers bring them on board, as masks must always be worn.
According to a message from the CAAT, the cabin crew may dispense water if passengers ask for it. For example, this may be the case in situations where someone needs water to take medication.
Domestic flights in Thailand currently account for around 40% of normal capacity.
The ruling took effect on December 31st.