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Southwest is restoring alcohol sales, leaving American as lone holdout

Feb. 04, 2022
3 min read
Southwest is restoring alcohol sales, leaving American as lone holdout
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If you have Southwest flights coming up, you'll soon have a lot more drink options to enjoy on board.

Come Feb. 16, the Dallas-based carrier will once again offer its full beverage service, including alcohol sales, after a nearly two-year hiatus. The pause on booze was initially to limit onboard interactions and minimize the time passengers would not be wearing face masks, but was then extended due to a surge of unruly passengers, including assaults on its flight attendants.

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The expanded selection of beverages will be available on all flights of 176 miles or more. It will include tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea and hot cocoa, joining its current lineup of sodas, juices and coffee. Further, it will offer a selection of beer, wine, rum, tequila and vodka for sale:

  • Miller Lite ($6).
  • Lagunitas IPA ($7).
  • Blue Moon ($7).
  • Sparkling wine ($6).
  • Chardonnay ($6).
  • Cabernet sauvignon ($6).
  • Vodka ($7).
  • Lime vodka ($7).
  • Jack Daniel's Whiskey ($7).
  • Wild Turkey ($7).
  • Bacardi Rum ($7).
  • Tequila ($7).

Related: Here's what food and drinks you can expect on your next flight

“Customers have expressed a desire for more beverage options, so we’re delighted to restore additional on-board offerings as a part of the Southwest Hospitality that our Customers know and love,” said Tony Roach, vice president of customer experience and customer relations.

However, not everyone is happy with this announcement.

The union that represents Southwest Airlines' flight attendants called the resumption of alcohol sales "unsafe and irresponsible" in a Facebook post, and further said: "We have adamantly and unequivocally informed management that to do this prior to the mask mandate being lifted is contrary to their prior statements and will potentially increase customer non-compliance and misconduct issues. This, along with added injury risk on ultra-short haul service flights, will put our Members overall safety and security at an unacceptable level of risk."

The move leaves American Airlines as the only remaining U.S. airline to not resume alcohol sales in coach. Like Southwest, American cited the uptick in industrywide incidents of inflight passenger disruptions. The airline's executives have stated that the ban would remain as long as the federal mask mandate is in place, which is in effect through at least March 18. To decrease the amount of time passengers have their masks off, American also recently eliminated its second beverage service on domestic flights longer than 1,500 miles, though additional drinks are still available by request.

With this news, Southwest is extending any drink coupons that were set to expire in 2020 or 2021 through Dec. 31, 2022.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases