SEVERAL airlines are 'dry' for religious reasons. Their efforts to adapt the normal inflight drinks service to an alcohol-free environment can be hugely entertaining. On Royal Brunei, for example, the closest thing to beer is a can of Swan Light. It looks just like a can of Swan Lager, but tastes every bit as disgusting as you would expect of a drink whose sole ingredients are unfermented malt and hops - like cold Horlicks made with soda water. Worse still is the ersatz wine, a dangerously pink 'sparkling grape drink' that looks and tastes like the stuff you wash your mouth out with at the dentist.

Travellers seeking a cut-price flight to Asia or Australia need not be deterred from travelling on Royal Brunei, however; there is nothing to stop you drinking your duty-frees in flight. The cabin crew will even open your bottle of wine for you, and no charge is made for corkage.