The airline has done something for people on its planes that sort of shows that the covid pandemic is truly in the past.
During the darkest days of the covid pandemic, people flying on Southwest (LUV) – Get Southwest Airlines Company Report dealt with a lot of changes. The airline canceled a lot of flights (as did all airlines as there simply weren’t that many people looking to go anywhere) and the remaining flights were anything but normal.
Most of the rules were out of Southwest’s control. Airlines didn’t make people wear masks in airports or on planes, those rules were set by the government. The rules, as you might imagine did make things fairly tense for airline personnel. Flight attendandts were essentially put on the frontlines forced to enforce a rule that some people had very strong feelings about (in both directions).
When the rules were the most strict (and tensions the highest) the airline stopped serving alcohol and limited its drink choices to water, coffee, Coke, and Diet Coke. Masked passengers were asked to order by holding up a number to avoid passengers taking their masks off to order.
Not serving alcohol simplified things and it also kept already angry passengers from making booze-fueled bad choices. That was probably the safest move at the time, and it was one that was kept in place for nearly two years.
Now, Southwest not only sells and serves alcohol on its planes, it’s also making some changes to its menu.
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Southwest Brought Back Alcohol Earlier This Year
“After pausing our full menu of onboard beverage options in March 2020, Southwest Airlines will return to offering an expanded selection of beverages on Feb. 16,” the company shared in a press release. “On flights of 176 miles or more, Southwest will add tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea, and hot cocoa. These beverage options join the current offerings of Coke, Diet Coke, 7 Up, water, ginger ale, seltzer water, orange juice, cranberry cocktail juice, and coffee.”
The airline also brought back the menu of alcoholic beverages it offered before the covid pandemic.
“On the same date, the airline will restore alcoholic beverages for on-board purchase. The options will include: Miller Lite ($6), Blue Moon ($7), Lagunitas IPA ($7), Cruset Brut Sparkling Wine ($6), Mossel Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay ($6), Carmenet Cabernet Sauvignon ($6), Deep Eddy Vodka ($7), Deep Eddy Lime Vodka ($7), Jack Daniels Whiskey ($7), Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey ($7), Bacardi Rum ($7), and Cazadores Tequila ($7),” Southwest shared.
Southwest Expands its Drink Menu
Since you can’t consume your own alcohol on a plane (that’s a federal law that Southwest shares on every flight), passengers are limited to whatever the airline sells. Now, Southwest has expanded it offerings with a number of new drinks.
These include Pineapple High Noon Hard Seltzer, Dogfish Head Strawberry Vodka Lemonade, Stone Cellars California Rose, and Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest. It has also added Kona Brewing Big Wave Golden Ale, and Kula Toasted Coconut Rum, but only on flights headed to and from Hawaii.
Passengers, as you might imagine, had mixed reactions to the additions.
Southwest has a very active Twitter account and did respond to nearly every comment made. The most popular comment, or at least the one made the most often, was that the airline should add Big Kona to all of its flights.