American Airlines announced the reintroduction of the sale of alcohol on board its economy cabin next month.
Yesterday, the carrier confirmed that it will resume the same of beer, wine, and spirits as a part of its flight service from 18 April.
Issues with alcohol in the air
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, carriers paused the sale of various food and beverage items because of contamination and biosafety concerns and complications that came with the global pandemic.
This proved difficult for travellers to handle, as alcohol used to be a popular mainstay offering from U.S based carriers in particular.
Separately, last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wished to cut down on alcohol consumption at airports. This was due to the stark increase in disruptive passengers across flight operations in recent years.
Carriers took matters into their own hands after attacks on crew members became more frequent. Many, including American Airlines, suspended the sale of alcohol.
Last year, the airline had to take drastic action by banning alcohol on Washington-bound operations last January in the wake of an increase of onboard assaults following President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
A welcome return
At one point, there were hopes of alcohol sales returning last year, but in August, the Texan carrier announced an extension of the ban until January 2022.
However, from this April, American Airlines are finally ready to bring back alcohol sales across its services. It is the last major U.S carrier to reinstate sales.
For some AA flyers, this may truly feel like a return to freedom and normality, as this decision coincides with the ending of the current federal mask mandate in the U.S, which required travellers to wear a face mask to fly in the States.
Alcohol will only be available on AA flights that are longer the 250 mi (400 km). American Airlines isn’t raising its alcohol prices with the reintroduction, unlike other carriers, and they are also introducing new items on the menu.
On the whole, the FAA and carriers are hopeful that the climate has improved and the reintroduction of alcohol will not also bring the return of disruptive behaviour.
Snacks will also be making a return to economy flights albeit not to as much fanfare.