For the first time in nearly two years, Southwest Airlines passengers will soon be able to purchase alcohol during flights.
The airline said Thursday it will resume in-flight alcohol sales — including beer, wine and liquor — Feb. 16 on flights of 176 miles or more.
The selection of non-alcoholic beverages on those flights is expanding as well, including tonic water, apple juice, hot tea and hot cocoa.
“Customers have expressed a desire for more beverage options, so we’re delighted to restore additional on-board offerings,” Tony Roach, Southwest’s vice president for customer experience and customer relations, said in a statement.
Southwest LUV, -1.92% and other airlines suspended in-flight alcohol sales in March 2020, in the early days of the pandemic, to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Last May, Southwest and American Airlines AAL, -2.30% extended the pause on alcohol sales after a rise in unruly behavior by passengers, including an incident where a Southwest flight attendant had two teeth broken when she was assaulted by a passenger.
Passengers on U.S. airlines are still required to wear masks on flights, but may remove them when eating or drinking.