American Airlines Will Start Serving Alcohol In Coach April 18 – Even With The Mask Mandate Extended

United, Delta and Southwest all sell alcohol in coach. American Airlines has been the lone holdout, consistently saying they wouldn’t bring alcohol back into the main cabin while the mask mandate was in place. Former CEO Doug Parker emphasized that he believed adding alcohol into tense confrontations over masks was a bad idea.

The mask mandate was scheduled to lift April 18, and not coincidentally American has been scheduled to bring back alcohol sales and coursed meals on longer flights up front. Now that the mask mandate is being extended again, what happens to American’s plans for booze?

An American Airlines spokesperson tells me, “April 18 is still a go.”

  • Several pieces have been in place for a month for the service changes
  • The mask extension is just for two weeks
  • Other airlines that held out on returning alcohol to flights haven’t seen more conflict over masks than American has. The next-to-last holdout Southwest hasn’t had incidents going viral in social media since returning drinks to their flights.
  • Doug Parker is retired

If you’re flying in Main Cabin Extra (extra legroom coach) that even means come Monday, drinks are on the house. Executive Platinum, Concierge Key, and AirPass customers in coach receive a complimentary items as well.

You can expect:

  • Beer wine and spirits for sale on flights of 250 miles or more
  • Pringles, Almonds other other limited items for sale on flights of 1500 miles or longer (you can’t even buy the turkey sandwiches that have passed for a meal in first class until recently)

Here are the libations:

  • Liquor $9: Tito’s Vodka; Dewar’s Scotch; Bacardi Rum; Aviation Gin; Woodford Reserve;
    Bailey’s Irish Cream; Amaretto Disaronno; Jack Daniels Whiskey; Glenlivet 15 Year Scotch

  • Wine $9: White, Red, Rose, Sparkling (classy)

  • Beer $8: Bud Light; Heineken; Dos Equis; Fat Tire Belgian White; Goose IPA; Truly Hard Seltzer

American Airlines went to this pricing in fall 2018. We haven’t seen inflation pushing it even higher, but it still strikes me as quite high.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. AA has already ordered tons of liquor minis. They aren’t going to sit on them while the CDC decides to be done w/ the masking charade.
    And AA will find out that people are happier, disease doesn’t get transmitted any easier with or without masks – and AA will make some desperately needed cash.

    win, win, win

  2. selling real food again in Y would also probably reduce incidents because it fills people up, and also sobers people up

  3. Ordered a drink on an AA flight the other day because I forgot they’re the lone hold out. (Fly AA & DL typically) FA knew the booze was back on the 18th but when I told him that was (at that time) the end of the mandate, he was surprised & hadn’t heard that yet. Got a chuckle out of that one 🙂

  4. Hey Tim Dunn, don’t know why people throw shade on you. All you do is present facts. Good point about the back stock. The booze is there, it’s paid for, let’s make some money!
    Oh Stephen W: fixing a typo with a typo! Classic!

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