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Southwest Airlines Bringing Back Alcoholic Beverages This Summer

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 5/25/2021 Cailey Rizzo
a airplane that is sitting on a chair: Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines © Provided by Travel + Leisure Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines will return to serving coffee and alcohol in time for summer traveling.

The airline will resume selling beer and red wine on flights between the continental U.S. and Hawaii flights on June 24, while complimentary coffee service on all trips longer than 250 miles on the same day. Later on July 14, service will expand to any flight longer than 250 miles. and passengers will be able to also choose between beer, red and white wine, vodka, and whiskey on those flights.

a airplane that is sitting on a chair: And beverage coupons won't expire until the end of the year. © Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines And beverage coupons won't expire until the end of the year.

"Bringing back this level of beverage service allows Southwest to provide an enhanced onboard experience for customers traveling with us this summer, and the additional service restores more elements of Southwest hospitality that customers know and love,'' Southwest said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure.


Video: Emirates still waiting on Boeing 777X jets (Reuters)

Currently, the airline only serves Coke, Diet Coke, 7 Up, and water as beverage options. At the height of the pandemic, Southwest only served water upon request.

When beverage service resumes, the airline will begin accepting its drink coupons again — including coupons that expired during the pandemic.

Although most airlines have resumed select beverages like soft drinks, it has taken much longer for alcoholic beverage service to return to cabins. American Airlines resumed alcoholic beverage service in its premium cabins earlier this month and is expected to roll out the service to the main cabin on June 1. Delta Air Lines resumed alcoholic beverage service on select flights in April.

Airlines have also gradually lifted pandemic-era flight protocols such as boarding in smaller groups or from front to back.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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