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Southwest will bring booze back on board Feb. 16 after nearly two


Travelers wait to check in at the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines will resume alcohol sales on most of its flights this month after nearly two years, a pause it extended last year because of a surge in disruptive passengers.

The Dallas-based airline originally paused alcohol and other services in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

Starting Feb. 16, Southwest will sell alcohol, including beer, wine, rum, tequila and vodka on flights at least 176 miles long. It is also said it will also serve tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea and hot cocoa to current lineup of non-alcoholic beverages.

All U.S. airlines slashed onboard service during the pandemic and food and other beverage services are starting to make a comeback.

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines scaled back some recent service expansions under pressure from flight attendants unions, which argued it would increase the amount of time passengers would not be wearing face masks, which are federally mandated on board, though they can be lowered when drinking or eating.

Southwest and American Airlines last May said they would hold off on bringing back alcohol because of disruptive passenger behavior that in some cases included physical assault against crew members.

“Customers have expressed a desire for more beverage options, so we’re delighted to restore additional on-board offerings as a part of the Southwest Hospitality that our Customers know and love,” Tony Roach, Southwest’s vice president of customer experience and customer relations said in a statement.


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