An American Airlines flight attendant serves drinks to passengers after departing from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.
Robert Alexander | Archive Photos | Getty Images
American Airlines said Thursday it will resume sales of alcoholic beverages on domestic and short-haul international flights next month, a plan it postponed nearly a year ago due to an increase in unruly passengers and attacks on crew members.
Airlines stopped selling alcohol and stopped selling and servicing food in March 2020, as the pandemic kicked in and demand for travel plummeted. Carriers have steadily reduced many of those services over the past year as travelers returned in droves.
American is the last major U.S. airline to reduce beer, wine and spirits sales, which it will sell in its domestic coach cabins beginning April 18, the date the current federal mask mandate expires. It is not clear whether the Biden administration will extend or terminate the requirement. Southwest Airlines resumed alcohol sales last month.
Drinking and disputes over the mask mandate have contributed to unruly behavior on flights, flight attendant unions said.
Sales will be available on US flights over 250 miles. Alcoholic drinks are free on US long-haul flights and in first class, as with other major airlines.
American and Southwest last May scrapped plans to resume selling alcohol after a spate of disruptive passengers and attacks on crews, including a Southwest traveler who punched a flight attendant.
American is not raising prices compared to before the pandemic, a spokeswoman told CNBC. Spirits such as the new arrival Aviation Gin, rum, vodka and whiskey will cost $9. Wine portions are also $9. Beer is $8.
American is also returning food on board, which will begin flights longer than 1,500 miles, approximately three and a half hours, starting with chips and almonds. The airline says it will start offering contactless ordering later this year.
Last month, American and Delta Air Lines announced the return of hot meals to first class on many domestic flights.
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