DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren for CNT #Travel
Southwest Airlines announced it would restart alcohol sales on its flights this month after nearly two years.
According to Reuters.com, Southwest paused alcohol services in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic and extended the decision last year due to a surge in alcohol-related flight disruptions by passengers.
The carrier revealed alcohol services would resume on February 16.
The airline revealed it would serve wine, vodka, tequila, rum and other cocktails on most of its flights of 176 miles or longer. In addition, officials expanded its line-up of non-alcoholic beverages to include tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea and hot cocoa.
“Customers have expressed a desire for more beverage options,” Southwest vice president Tony Roach told Reuters.
While the airline is ready to bring back booze, the union representing Southwest’s flight attendants believes the decision is “both unsafe and irresponsible.”
“TWU Local 556 is outraged at Southwest Airlines’ resumption of alcohol sales,” TWU Local 556 president Lyn Montgomery said in a statement. “We have adamantly and unequivocally informed management that resuming sales of alcohol while the mask mandate is in place has the great potential to increase customer non-compliance and misconduct issues.”
Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a warning to airports across the United States to closely monitor the serving of alcohol as cases of drunk and unruly passengers continued to climb.
To battle the rising number of alcohol-related disruptions, airlines started to address the problems during pre-flight safety announcements.