was too good to be true. Or perhaps the state frowns on this sort of thing.
Whatever the case, the free beer promotion on Era Alaska flights has been
modified, and no longer includes free beer. Under the old promotion the first
sample of Denali Brewing Company's "Single Engine Red," was free, but each
additional 6-ounce glass cost $3. The new promotion charges a dollar for the
first one and each additional glass.
Lillard, Era's marketing manager, explains:
"Well we ran into some
unforeseen challenges that we weren't expecting. So we have gone ahead and
decided to charge for the first one and lower any additional samples after that."
challenge, according to Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Director Shirley
Gifford, was a state pricing and marketing statute that prohibits offering or
delivering free alcoholic beverages as a marketing tool.
wind of it yesterday and I saw it on the news last night and of course it
created some questions for us. And working with Era, they decided they would
just go ahead and charge for the beer."
Lillard would not comment on why Era made the move to charge a small price for the beer, but it seems to be voluntary as a
courtesy to the state, because, as Gifford points out, there is no federal law
against giving away free beer:
"While they're on the
ground they have to abide by Alaska law, but federal law preempts state law in
the air. So if there's a grey area, Era's going to err on the side of caution
with that. So I think they're fine. They're okay. I mean we don't see that
they're violating with what they had planned to do."
no-longer free beer promotion is scheduled to expire at the end of the month,
but Lillard said Era will consider extending it into July. The service is only
available on Era's Dash 8 aircraft flying between Anchorage and Fairbanks,
Deadhorse, Homer, and Kodiak.