After a multi-year hiatus, American Airlines will become the last U.S. airline to resume alcohol sales onboard.
Alcohol Sales On American Airlines Set To Resume
During the pandemic, U.S. airlines cut alcohol sales in economy class, citing the mask mandate and a desire to minimize onboard interactions between passengers and flight attendants. Over time, airlines brought back alcohol sales, with legacy competitors Delta Air Lines and United Airlines restoring alcohol sales onboard nearly a year ago. Most recently, Southwest Airlines brought back alcohol onboard in February 2022.
With the mask mandate set to expire on April 18, 2022, American Airlines has announced it will resume alcohol sales on that day. Pricing will be the same as prior to the pandemic:
- Beer – $8
- Wine – $9
- Spirits – $9
Alcohol will be available for purchase on all flights over 250 miles.
American Airlines only briefly eliminated alcohol in first class and beverage service will not change in premium cabins. I also found it curious that first class passengers could somehow handle alcohol, but not those seated in economy class?
American Airlines is also bringing back snacks sales onboard, with pre-packaged snacks starting on April 18th and plans to bring fresh meals for purchase by summer.
While correlative data is still emerging, the huge uptick in onboard incidents during the pandemic has been linked to masks and alcohol consumption. By not providing portion-controlled servings of alcohol for sale, many passengers have brought their own larger bottles onboard, which has ironically created a greater problem with alcohol onboard than had American Airlines simply continued onboard alcohol sales.
We are slowly seeing a return to the pre-pandemic normal. The mask mandate is set to expire on April 18th. Hot meals have returned to American and Delta. By the next of next month, alcohol has now returned to every carrier. Hopefully this return to the familiarity will lead to a major decline in the number of onboard incidents.