Southwest Just Pushed Back the Return of Alcohol on Its Flights Again

Looks like you won't be sipping cocktails in coach anytime soon.

Editor’s Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. As of April 2021, official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that fully vaccinated people can travel domestically at low risk, though safety precautions are still required. Should you need to travel, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC’s latest guidance as well as local requirements/protocols/restrictions for both your destination and home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

After suspending food and drink service completely early in the pandemic, Southwest Airlines is back to providing passengers with select items during flights. The airline has not resumed alcohol service, however, and it's going to be a while before it does.

Southwest initially planned to resume serving alcohol on select flights beginning June 24, as reported by The Points Guy. The airline delayed that decision amid an uptick in reports of out-of-control passengers on flights, but did bring back complimentary coffee on flights longer than 251 miles. USA Today confirmed that Southwest won't be bringing back the booze on its flights until the beginning of 2022 at the earliest.

Initially, there was no concrete timeline for the return of inflight alcohol. As of September 10, however, Senior Manager of Inflight Operations Randall Miller set a date. He told employees the earliest booze will be available on flights is January 2022. The memo further noted that there is a correlation between resuming alcohol service and mask mandates.

"With the mask mandate being extended to January 18, 2022, there are no current plans to bring back alcohol prior to January 2022," his statement read, per the report. 

Federal mask mandates for all forms of public transportation, including airports, train stations, and the like, were extended from September to January several months ago. Until those are lifted, you're just going to have to enjoy soda, water, or coffee when you fly. At least on Southwest.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.