Almost a full two years after its flight crews last served alcohol in flight, Southwest Airlines is bringing back full drink service.
Starting on Feb. 16, Southwest will again offer beer, wine, and liquor in-flight, along with an expanded non-alcoholic menu that will include tonic, Coke Zero, and hot chocolate, on flights 176 miles or more.
Beers will cost $6 for Miller Lite and $7 for Blue Moon and Lagunitas IPA; sparling wine, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon will cost $6; and vodka, lime vodka, Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, Bacardi Rum, and tequila will cost $7.
With the news, Southwest joins other carriers including United and Delta Air Lines, both of which resumed alcohol service last year. American Airlines has not yet set a date for its resumption.
“Customers have expressed a desire for more beverage options, so we’re delighted to restore additional onboard offerings,” Tony Roach, vice president of customer experience and customer relations at Southwest, said.
While the news is another mark in the industry’s path to normalcy post-COVID, it does raise some questions about continued passenger misconduct. Last year was the worst year ever for bad passenger behavior—as of August 2021, the FAA’s 2021 total proposed fines for unruly behavior already exceeded more than $1 million across 3,889 incidents.
The TSA late last year announced that passengers who cause issues onboard airplanes could soon lose their TSA PreCheck credentials. In a joint statement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the TSA announced that “passengers facing fines for unruly behavior” may have their PreCheck eligibility removed by the TSA.
The statement said that the FAA, which has the responsibility to charge and fine passengers who misbehave in the air, will now start sharing the names and information of those passengers with the TSA, which will then decide whether or not to remove PreCheck eligibility.