United Airlines is getting ready to resume hard liquor sales just in time for the busy holiday travel season.
The airline confirmed that it will expand its in-flight beverage service Nov. 15 to include miniature bottles of liquor on select flights in domestic, Canada and Latin markets. Drink sales are offered in economy class on flights at least 301 miles long and customers can request one cocktail, beer, wine or hard alcohol at a time. Purchases can be made through United’s contactless payment system.
United is also swapping in some new choices next month, with black cherry-flavored White Claws replacing its mango-flavored hard seltzer, Goose Island Neon Beer Hug IPA replacing Breckenridge Brewery Juicy Drop Hazy IPA and Kona Longboard Island Lager replacing Kona Big Wave Golden Ale.
After briefly halting in-flight drink service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, United began reintroducing wine and beer sales in November 2020.
Other airlines are still holding off on resuming in-flight adult beverage services.
American Airlines has said it won’t resume alcohol sales in its economy class until mid-January, and Southwest Airlines postponed plans to bring back alcohol sales until at least January after an uptick of passenger disruptions.
Both dates are tied to the expanded federal mask mandate on airplanes and at airports, which is set to be enforced through at least Jan. 18.
The mask mandate has been linked to an uptick in unruly passenger incidents among U.S. airlines. The FAA has reported 4,941 unruly passenger incidents since the beginning of the year, 72% of which were related to masking requirements.
The Association of Flights Attendants-CWA has proposed a ban on to-go alcohol at airports to help cut down the number of unruly passenger accidents.
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