Southwest Airlines announced it will resume in-flight alcoholic beverage service beginning February 16. The popular low-cost carrier had paused its full menu of beverage options in March 2020.
“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, vice president of customer experience and customer relations for Southwest, said in a statement announcing the change.
Alcoholic beverage options will include Miller Lite ($6), Blue Moon ($7), Lagunitas IPA ($7), Cruset Brut Sparkling Wine ($6), Mossel Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay ($6), Carmenet Cabernet Sauvignon ($6), Deep Eddy Vodka ($7), Deep Eddy Lime Vodka ($7), Jack Daniels Whiskey ($7), Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey ($7), Bacardi Rum ($7), and Cazadores Tequila ($7).
Southwest will also add tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea, and hot cocoa to flights 176 miles or greater. These popular drinks join the airline’s current menu of Coke, Diet Coke, 7 Up, water, ginger ale, seltzer water, orange juice, cranberry cocktail juice, and coffee.
While many travelers might ‘wanna get away and enjoy their flight with a stiff drink, the union representing Southwest flight attendants questioned the logic of adding alcohol to the sometimes less-than-friendly skies of pandemic-era travel. There were 5,981 “unruly passenger incidents” reported by airline crews to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2021, and Travelnoire reports the union believes the resumption of alcohol service with a federal in-flight mask mandate still in place has “great potential to increase customer non-compliance and misconduct issues.”
Roach added good news for Southwest customers holding expired drink coupons, saying the airline will honor any Southwest Drink Coupons that were set to expire in 2020 or 2021 through December 31, 2022.