If you’re a nervous flyer who needs to knock back a few drinks to take the edge off and make it to your destination without freaking out, the fact that most airlines stopped selling alcohol in March 2020 when the pandemic started was probably a real buzzkill (literally and figuratively). Food service was also suspended, which sucked as well on long flights.
Now you might ask yourself why the airlines stopped serving food and alcohol to begin with. The move was made in part as a way to reduce the need for passengers to remove their face masks and keep flight attendants from having to interact with passengers more than necessary in the height of COVID. Then given the uptick in incidents of passenger disruptions inflight, they decided to pause the restart of alcohol service even longer.
But with the worst of the pandemic now behind us, airlines are resuming alcohol sales, with American Airlines the last major U.S. carrier still holding out. But fear not, because American announced yesterday that they will finally resume the sale of beer, wine and spirits, which it will sell in its domestic coach cabins starting April 18, the same date the current federal mask mandate is set to expire.
First-class passengers on American Airlines flights have been offered complimentary alcoholic beverages for months now, but this is the first time in over 2 years that it’s being offered across the rest of the cabin. American’s inflight alcohol prices are $8 for beer and $9 for wine and spirits. As like before the pandemic, passengers sitting in Main Cabin Extra seats will receive alcohol at no charge, along with the extra leg room that these seats afford.
American is also bringing back buy-on-board food, which will start with flights longer than 1,500 miles, starting with chips and almonds. Prices for these snacks will range from $4-$6. Over time, the offerings will grow based on supply chain availability. My advice, bring your own snacks/food instead on relying on their limited and overpriced options.
“Our customers have expressed that having these options onboard is important to their experience with us,” the airline said in a statement.
While I’m not traveling nearly as much as I used to anymore, I’m glad to see things returning to “normal”, or as close to it as can be expected these days. A mask-free flight with food and drinks to boot? Heck yeah, let’s go!