Airlines Around The World That Serve Free Alcohol

Do you enjoy drinking booze on your flight, but don’t want to pay for it? Despite many airlines charging extra for window seats, food, luggage and in-flight entertainment, there are still some that serve free alcoholic drinks – and, not just for first and business class passengers.

If you’re flying domestic, you may want to consider Thai Airways, Qantas Airways, KLM, Air China or Air France. Additionally, Air New Zealand serves free drinks during their 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour, while LAN Airlines does on all flights that serve food.

International fliers have a larger carrier selection. Some big-name airlines that serve free booze in-flight include all the above-mentioned companies, as well as Air Canada, British Airways, China Airlines, Copa Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa. Furthermore, Delta serves free beer and wine on flights longer than six hours, while American Airlines does on flights between the U.S. and Europe, Asia and certain countries in South America.

There seems to be a bit of a trend with U.S. airlines not serving free booze, or having stipulations.

For a full list of domestic and international airlines that serve free booze, click here.

21,000 Places To Drink Beer

We like travel, and we like to drink. Knowing where to drink when we travel is often a critical component of trip planning. Welcome the newest version of RateBeer, now aggregating more than 21,000 user-generated spots that sell beer, brew beer, or make their business around the “B” word.

Divided into brewpubs, breweries, bars, stores and restaurants, you’ll find the frothy stuff in dozens of countries across multiple continents. You’ll also see the user rating.

It’s the perfect tool for the booze-seeking traveler.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to pop a cold one.

10 places for a boozy brunch in New York City

While the city that never sleeps is full of wild nightclubs, upscale lounges, and rowdy bars, you’re going to need a place to nurse that hangover come Saturday and Sunday morning. Thankfully, New York is also home to a plethora of excellent boozy brunch spots, where they can prescribe you a “Hair of the Dog” remedy with complimentary and unlimited drinks with your meal.

120 Essex Street, Lower East Side

Essex offers a brunch special for $22.95 that allows patrons to order a meal along with three bloody marys, screwdrivers, or mimosas. Choose from standard fare like french toast with fruit, eggs with bacon, and blueberry pancakes as well as more interesting entrees like chorizo scrambled eggs and onions served with corn tortillas, manchego macaroni and cheese with chicken apple sausage, and potato pancakes covered with salmon caviar, poached eggs, and house-cured salmon gravlax.

Saturday from 11AM-4:30PM and Sunday from 11AM-8PM. Cash only. Meade’s
22 Peck Slip, Financial District

Meade’s is a cozy, laid-back bar and restaurant that offers a $12.95 all-you-can-drink mimosas, bloody mary’s, screwdrivers, and cape cods special with the purchase of a meal. Choose from classic morning favorites like steak and eggs ($11.95), make-your-own omelettes ($8.95), and crepes with banana and nutella served with strawberries ($8). If your hangover is really bad, opt for a greasy but satisfying Tator Pie ($8.95).

Saturday and Sunday, 12-4PM.

705 Ninth Ave., Hell’s Kitchen

Kyotofu is actually a Japanese dessert bar and bakery that incorporates cooking with tofu into their creations. For those without a sweet tooth, the eatery also offers a unique brunch that offers a complimentary bellini, mimosa, or blood mary with each meal. Choose from items like the chicken and tofu burger with housemade pickled cabbage and sweet potato chips ($15), poached eggs with truffle oil, mesclun greens, and toasted brioche ($10), and mac and cheese made with gruyere and monterary jack cheddar, spicy shichimi panko, and truffle pate ($12).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-5PM.

Sunburnt Cow
137 Ave C., East Village

The Sunburnt Cow is a fun Aussie-style dive bar where you are guaranteed to get trashed for cheap, even on Sunday afternoon. For $18, diners can enjoy an open bar and unlimited brunch. Choose from items like the Barrier Reef Benedict which includes poached eggs over crab cakes covered in hollandaise sauce, buttermilk banana pikelets, and the Queen Adelaide, a meal of poached eggs, salmon, and avocado on an english muffin that is served with a side of hollandaise. Because it gets extremely crowded, I would recommend getting there early or going with a party of 6 or more so that you can make a reservation.

Saturday and Sunday. Call for specific seating times, which run in 2-hour intervals. Cash only.

570 Tenth Ave., Hell’s Kitchen

Yotel is actually a funky and futuristic hotel located two blocks from Times Square that not only features a robot porter, but also an on-site restaurant with an all-inclusive weekend brunch. On their fourth floor terrace and in-door eatery, diners can enjoy unlimited tapas and free-flowing cocktails for $35 per person. In terms of drinks, you can enjoy the standard brunch libations as well as more unusual creations like Bacon Bloody Marys, Lychee Bellinis, and glasses of Passion Plantation Punch. For food, enjoy plates like the wild mushroom omelette with asparagus and cream cheese, halibut sliders with tomato and rémoulade sauce, and house ground meatballs with herbs and kaffir lime-tomato sauce.

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-3PM.

173 Ludlow St., Lower East Side

Tre is a casual Italian restaurant and the perfect place for a budget-friendly boozy brunch in New York. For $19.95, patrons receive an entree as well as unlimited champagne, mimosas, and bellinis. Choose from menu items like potato pancakes with scallions, sour cream, and sausage, an Angus burger with goat cheese and spinach served with fries, and rigatoni carbonara with parmigiano, Pecorino, pancetta, and cream.

Saturday and Sunday, 12-4PM.

Scottadito Osteria Toscana
788 Union St., Park Slope, Brooklyn

Scottadito Osteria Toscana is a traditional Tuscan restaurant that also serves a delicious and booze-infused brunch on weekends. For $17.95, you get a meal as well as unlimited champagne and mimosas. Choose from entrees like a ham and ricotta cheese omelette, french toast topped with fruit, organic maple syrup, and powdered sugar, and homemade ricotta and spinach gnocchi with sage and butter. This venue is also suitable for families, as there is also a children’s brunch which includes pancakes, french toast, or eggs with roasted potatoes and soda or juice for $10.

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

Arte Cafe
106 W. 73 St., Upper West Side

Arte Cafe is a homestyle Italian restaurant that offers a $16 unlimited drink special with the purchase of a brunch meal. Choose from items like the broiche French toast with apple cinnamon sauce ($9.50), a prosciutto omelette with potatoes and onions ($10.95), ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli in vodka sauce ($15.95), and chicken parmesan with spaghetti ($16.95).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

329 W. 51 St., Hell’s Kitchen

Braai is a South African wine and food venue with authentic decor that will transport you to another country. On the weekends, you can take in jungle-inspired furnishings while also taking in unlimited champagne, mimosas, bloody marys, screwdrivers, and bellinis for $15 plus the price of an entree. Meal selections include fare like a spinach and goat cheese omelette ($8), grilled chicken with tomato, lettuce, and mayo served on warm focaccia ($9), and farfelle salmon in a pink sauce ($11.50).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-3:30PM

Yerba Buena
23 Ave A., East Village

Looking for some Latin American fare? Yerba Buena serves $12 unlimited sangrias, mimosas, margaritas, and house cocktails for an hour plus the price of a meal. Entree selections include fare like short ribs with fried eggs, congri, and salsa ($14), fish tacos with rice, beans, cabbage, and spicy coleslaw ($12), and Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon churros ($9). Yerba Buena also has a West Village location at 1 Perry Street.

Saturday and Sunday, 11:30AM-3PM.

[photos via missmeng, jasonlam, Yotel, Braai]

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – Thailand Part 2: Khao San Road

Gadling TV’s Travel Talk, episode 32 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Travel Talk is back! After our fall hiatus we are excited to bring you our greatest adventure yet: Thailand.

From the vibrant heart of Bangkok to the remote countryside, we traveled by foot, car, boat, motorbike, ox cart and elephant to savor the the splendor of ancient temples, the energy of the muay thai ring, the serenity of rural life, and every single spicy bite of Thai cuisine. We’ll be bringing it all to you in the coming weeks as part of our special 12-part feature: Travel Talk Thailand.

In this second episode, our hunger for Bangkok night life overcomes our exhaustion and we and hit the streets, or roads… Come with us to explore Southeast Asia’s most notorious strip and meet the wild cast of characters who spend their nights wandering the infamous Khoa San Road.

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

Subscribe via iTunes:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Show directly in iTunes (M4V).
[RSS M4V] Add the Travel Talk feed (M4V) to your RSS aggregator and have it delivered automatically.

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood & Aaron Murphy-Crews
Special guest: Late night hooligans.
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood & Aaron Murphy-Crews
Special thanks: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Air, Conrad Bangkok

Travel Talk took Thailand by storm on invitation from the Tourism Authority of Thailand. No editorial content was guaranteed and Aaron & Stephen were free to openly share all adventures that they embarked upon.

Weekending: Sofia

Since moving to Istanbul, I’ve gotten the chance to travel to a lot of interesting destinations, from Beirut to Bosnia, that are much easier and cheaper to access from Turkey than America. For my first long (more than a weekend) trip, I went to Bulgaria for a week over US Labor Day and Turkish bayram (end of Ramadan holidays). Over the week, I traveled from the capital city Sofia to medieval hill town Veliko Tarnovo to Black Sea coastal Varna, and will explore the different flavors of each region in future posts.

The place: Sofia, Bulgaria
Travel writer (and Bulgaria fan) Robert Reid notes in his Lonely Planet Bulgaria guide that visitors to Sofia should not expect the “new Prague.” While Sofia may never compare to the Czech Republic capital in terms of the sheer number of historic buildings and monuments, you may discover a taste of Old Europe with the modern nightlife and budget prices that made Prague so popular in the past two decades. After the fall of Communism 21 years ago, Bulgaria developed steadily enough to join the European Union in 2007 (albeit as its poorest country), and hopes to join the Schengen visa zone next year. It’s now being touted as a destination for adventure and budget travelers with a small but growing amount of foreign visitors discovering its many pleasures.


  • One of the major pluses for Sofia (and even more so in more rural parts of Bulgaria) is the price tag. Dinner for two can be had with a nice bottle of local wine for less than $20. High-end hotels that would cost hundreds of dollars in other European cities rarely top 100 Euros and many comfortable options can be found around 50 to 60 Euros (a Rick Steves tour group was staying at my hotel, the lovely but reasonable Arena di Serdica). Many of Sofia’s best sights are free, including the landmark Aleksander Nevski church (check out this link for photos of the beautiful interior, as cameras aren’t allowed inside and the postcard selection is lacking) and the daily markets are great to browse – try Aleksander Nevski Plaza for antiques of questionable province, Zhenski Pazar for Chernobyl-sized produce, and Slaveykov Square for books in various languages. Bulgarian beers and wine are generally 2-4 leva (under $3) and a generously-poured cocktail is only a few leva more.
  • Along with cheap drinks comes a fun, creative nightlife scene. While sipping wine in the candlelit converted barn bar Hambara, I wondered why New York doesn’t have cool spaces like that (answer: probably breaking a lot of building codes). Apartment (just down the road from Hambera on Neofit Rilski) is another well-known spot for travelers, expats, and locals, set in an old house with different rooms for different vibes. If you’re looking for something a bit more glam, Planet Bar de Luxe is delightfully over-the-top with purple tutu-clad waitresses and a gift-shop in the bathroom (and I thought Sarajevo had the best bar bathroom). Soviet-era dormitories have been converted into a hotbed of nightclubs and bars. Creativity isn’t just limited to the nighttime – great collections of art are housed in the National Gallery and the well-curated Sofia City Gallery, along with interesting graffiti and small galleries around town.


  • Sofia’s vices and nightlife may not be for everyone. After five months in a country where alcohol is heavily taxed, low-priced and tasty wine is a big thrill for me, but not everyone has “cheap alcohol” on their vacation must-have list. Vegetarians may soon grow bored with pizzas (practically one of Bulgaria’s national foods, eaten with ketchup and mayo by locals – try at your own risk) and salads in Bulgaria include meat and cheese almost as a rule. Like in much of Eastern Europe, smoking is legal in most public places and quite widespread; a recent ban was overturned and replaced with a law barring underage from bars.
  • While the city center is easy to explore with plenty to do, it is small and once you leave the center, the abundance of Communist-era architecture may be less than charming. You can choose to embrace it and marvel at the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-a-time Soviet monuments like the poorly-covered up Monument to the Bulgarian State or the huge National Palace of Culture (NDK) eyesore. If you’ve had enough urban adventure, Mount Vitosha towers over the city with outdoor activities year round.

Getting there

Small but serviceable Sofia Airport is served by flights all over Europe, including low-cost carriers Wizz Air and easyJet. Bulgaria also has excellent bus connections throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe, with a clean and convenient bus station not far from the city center. Read on below for other destination ideas in Bulgaria.

Make it a week

There are multiple day and side trip opportunities near Sofia including Rila Monastery, one of Bulgaria’s best and most famous monasteries; the tiny wine town Melnik; and ancient Plovdiv. You can also hop a bus to venture into the Central Balkans or out to the Black Sea for beach time, as I did. Stay tuned for more on Bulgaria travel.

Read my previous Weekending trips from Istanbul here.