What is the ruling on working for a company that serves alcohol during flights?
Praise be to Allah
What the Muslim must do is avoid working in any place where alcohol is manufactured or served, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al‑Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols etc) and Al‑Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful”
Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shinqeeti said:
Avoiding something means keeping away from it, so that one is in a different place from the place where it is.
End quote from Adwa’ al-Bayaan (2/405)
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed ten with regard to alcohol, including the one who carries it.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed ten with regard to alcohol: the one who presses (the grapes etc), the one for whom they are pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who consumes its price, the one who purchases it and the one for whom it is purchased.
Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (1259); classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani.
I put this question to our Shaykh, ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him) and he said:
It is not permissible for anyone to work as a pilot for an airline that serves alcohol on its flights. Similarly, it is not permissible for anyone to travel on a plane that serves alcohol, unless he has no choice because otherwise he will miss out on something that is in his interests. End quote.
And Allah knows best.