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After a two-year ban, Southwest Airlines will allow alcohol to be brought back aboard its planes this month. According to reports, the flight attendant union called the move "unsafe and irresponsible."

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines' aircraft.
  • Southwest Airlines will begin selling alcohol on its planes from February 16th.
  • Southwest has halted sales of alcohol in flight in 2020 due to COVID-19 and an increase in unruly passengers.
  • Southwest's flight attendants union said that the move was unsafe.

Southwest Airlines announced that alcohol sales will be resumed on its planes next month, after almost two years of hiatus. However, a union representing flight attendants is unhappy about the decision.

The airline released a statement Thursday saying that it will offer booze to customers starting February 16, after having stopped its in-flight alcohol service in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southwest stated that the beverages offered will include wines, beers and vodka as well as rum and other liqueurs at prices between $6 and $7.

In March 2020, Southwest stopped alcohol sales on its planes to cut down on contact between passengers and staff. After a rise of passengers who were disruptive on flights, the airline decided to keep the ban.

Tony Roach, vice-president of customer experience, stated in the statement that customers have asked for more beverage options.

CNBC was informed by TWU Local 556, the union representing Southwest's flight attendants that the resumption alcohol sales onboard was "unsafety and irresponsible."

Lyn Montgomery, president, TWU Local 556 told Insider in January that alcohol sales should not resume while the federal mandate is in effect because "customer misconduct and non-compliance issues" could rise.

Insider reached out to TWU Local 5556 for clarification on Southwest's alcohol return date.

Southwest announced that it will be adding soft drinks to its menu, including Coke Zero, hot chocolatea and apple juice, in addition to alcoholic beverages.


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