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Friday, February 3, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: An airport with no booze?

Editor’s Notebook: An airport with no booze?

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There has been debate in recent weeks and whether airports should shut off the alcohol taps, given there have been some highly publicized incidents of misbehavior aboard airplanes across the fruited plain.

There might indeed be some cause and effect; many airlines since the start of COVID have not been serving hooch to the masses in coach (although it apparently still flows freely in the front cabin), and common sense suggests that at least some of the incidents may have been exacerbated by alcohol consumed in the terminal prior to boarding.

Whether that justifies shutting down airport bars is a question for another day and someone in another pay grade, but looking back at the history column, we find this interesting tidbit.

The Aug. 22, 1941, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun (just before my arrival ….) noted that due to Virginia law, liquor will not be available at the newly opened National Airport.


It gets complicated from there; at some point, airport eateries were allowed to serve alcohol, even though Virginia’s prohibition on “liquor by the drink” in most establishments lingered through the 1960s.

For more than a decade after its opening, there was an ongoing debate as to whether the airport was located in Virginia or, because it was built on land reclaimed from the Potomac River, was really in the District of Columbia. Virginia won out, sort of, although for years when the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s headquarters (since demolished) was at the airport, the mailing address was “1 Aviation Circle, Washington, D.C.”

THAT DECADE SURE HAPPENED FAST: Our own Brian Trompeter reminded the staff that yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of the earthquake that shook the region.

(Were I to spend more time watching TV news, I’d probably have seen all the coverage of the anniversary. But given a choice between the 6 p.m. news and a 40-year-old episode of “Card Sharks” with game-show great Bob Eubanks as the host, I’m going with “Card Sharks” every time …)

Where was I when the shaker shook, you ask? Strangely, given my workaholic nature, at a place I am not usually at in the midday at midweek – at home. Making lunch (something I also don’t do much at home). Soup. French onion soup, to be specific. And then, shake-shake-shake-shake-shake-shake-shake!

At least there was no souffle in the oven ….

  • Scott McCaffrey

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