Southwest Won't Be Serving Alcohol Until at Least 2022
The airline had initially intended to bring back alcoholic beverages in June.
Southwest Airlines won't resume selling alcohol on board until at least January 2022, a company spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Monday.
The carrier had initially intended to bring back alcoholic beverages in June, but put those plans on hold amid an alarming uptick in reports of unruly passengers this year. The timing of Southwest's decision also aligns with the federal transportation mask mandate, which has been extended until at least Jan. 18, 2022.
"There are no current plans to bring back alcohol prior to January 2022," the Southwest spokesperson told T+L.
So far this year, the Federal Aviation Administration has proposed more than $1 million in civil penalties and has received more than 3,800 reports of unruly behavior — more than 73% of which concern people refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate.
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration doubled the penalty for travelers who refuse to wear masks on planes in an effort to combat the issue. Passengers who violate the mandate will be charged $500 to $1,000 for a first offense and $1,000 to $3,000 for a second offense.
Southwest isn't alone in ditching alcohol. American Airlines has also said it won't resume serving alcoholic drinks in its main cabin until at least Jan. 18, 2022, but does offer alcohol in its business class and first-class cabins.
While Southwest won't be serving up G&T's and Bloody Marys anytime soon, the airline will bring back seat-back pocket menus next month and add several soft drinks to its onboard menu, USA Today reported. The new drink offerings, which include mixers the airline had ordered when it had planned to bring back alcohol, will be orange juice, cranberry cocktail juice, ginger ale, seltzer water, and tonic water.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.