Southwest Flight Attendants Union Slams Airline for ‘Unsafe and Irresponsible’ Decision to Resume Selling Booze on Flights
The union representing Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants criticized Southwest’s decision to return alcohol to flights as “both unsafe and irresponsible.”
Southwest on Thursday announced the decision to resume serving booze on flights beginning Feb. 16.
“TWU Local 556 is outraged at Southwest Airlines’ resumption of alcohol sales,” said Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556, the union representing Southwest’s flight attendants, according to Reuters. “We have adamantly and unequivocally informed management that resuming sales of alcohol while the mask mandate is in place has the great potential to increase customer non-compliance and misconduct issues.”
Southwest stopped serving alcohol on flights nearly two years ago in an attempt to avoid having passengers be rowdy or remove their masks following an incident of verbal and physical assault from a passenger to a flight attendant during a flight from Sacramento to San Diego, California.
Beverages returning to flights will include beer (Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Lagunitas IPA), wine (sparkling, chardonnay, cabernet), vodka (regular and lime), tequila, Bacardi rum and whiskey (Wild Turkey, Jack Daniel’s) on most flights of 176 miles or more, the airline said in a news release. Southwest also said it will add the folloiwng new non-alcoholic beverages: tonic water, apple juice, Coke Zero, Dr. Pepper, hot tea and hot cocoa.
Many other airlines paused booze sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic. United returned alcohol to flights in October.
Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey in December voiced his belief that selling alcohol should be banned throughout the duration of the pandemic.
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