Southwest Airlines is bringing back alcohol sales

February 4, 2022, 2:57 PM UTC

It has been almost two years since passengers on Southwest Airlines flights were able to get an adult beverage. That prohibition will end on Feb. 16.

The Dallas-based carrier says it will resume alcohol sales on flights, as well as add new nonalcoholic beverages, including Dr Pepper, hot tea, and hot cocoa. The airline’s flight attendants’ union is not happy with the decision, however.

“TWU Local 556 is outraged at Southwest Airlines’ unsafe and irresponsible resumption of alcohol sales,” the union said in a Facebook post. “We have adamantly and unequivocally informed management that to do this prior to the mask mandate being lifted is contrary to their prior statements and will potentially increase customer noncompliance and misconduct issues. This, along with added injury risk on ultra–short-haul service flights, will put our Members’ overall safety and security at an unacceptable level of risk.”

Southwest initially suspended in-flight service at the start of the pandemic so passengers wouldn’t remove their masks to eat or drink. That pause was extended last year after a series of violent incidents against flight attendants. One passenger knocked two teeth out of a flight attendant’s mouth in an altercation last May.

And in January 2021, another Southwest passenger who was asked to leave a flight after refusing to wear a mask “called each of the two flight attendants ‘pathetic,’ and hit one of the flight attendants with his bags.” He was fined $16,500.

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