Aviation

American Airlines to resume mid-flight alcohol sales in one month

Greg Nash

American Airlines confirmed on Friday that it is set to resume sales of alcoholic beverages on flights in its domestic coach cabins almost two years after it first halted the service.

It will restart sales of beer, wine and spirits in its domestic coach cabins starting April 18, a spokesperson told The Hill. The date coincides with the expiration of the current federal mask mandate.

Spirits such as gin, rum, vodka and whiskey will be priced at $9, as will wine, and beer will be sold onboard for $8. Soda, tea, water and Biscoff cookies or pretzels will continue to be provided on a complimentary basis. 

“Beginning April 18, American will slowly reintroduce its buy-on-board program including alcohol and light snacks to domestic main cabin flights. Customers traveling on flights over 250 miles will be offered beer, wine and spirits,” a spokesperson said.

Customers on flights over 1,500 miles or 3.5 hours or more will be able to purchase snacks such as chips or almonds.

“We will begin to phase in new menu items throughout the year. Our customers have expressed that having these options onboard is important to their experience with us. Later this year, we plan to introduce touchless ordering for customers,” the spokesperson added.

However, while economy passengers will now have access to alcoholic beverages, passengers in first class have been able to consume alcohol for months, according to popular travel blog The Points Guy

The airline confirmed that it began introducing its new domestic first class dining menu featuring mixed nuts, charcuterie and short rib in addition to new healthy food choices like grain bowls and heart-healthy entrée salads accompanied with an appetizer in February this year.

Customers traveling on long-haul international and transcontinental flights resumed coursed meal service last fall.

This comes roughly seven months after the airline extended its ban on alcohol sales amid a surge in unruly passenger incidents during the coronavirus pandemic.

American Airlines is the last major U.S. airline to announce that alcohol sales will resume on its flights. United Airlines began serving alcohol on its flights again in November and Southwest restarted the service on flights on Feb. 16. 

However, flight attendants unions have pushed back on the move by airlines to resume alcohol sales. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration data released in November, 5,114 incidents involving unruly passengers had been reported in 2021 as of that time. The agency had also levied $225,000 in fines against passengers over the incidents. 

Tags air travel Airlines American Airlines Buy on board

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