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Finally: American Airlines Brings Back Alcohol and Snacks for Purchase

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

634 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Sales of alcohol and snacks will return to American Airlines economy class cabins from April 18, 2022.

American will be the last major U.S. airline to resume its onboard catering sales that were removed for safety reasons linked with the pandemic.

The removal of onboard food and drink services was adopted by most, if not at all, airlines across the world.

When onboard sales returned temporarily in early 2021 as travel restrictions let up, what unfurled was a spate of alcohol-related incidents onboard aircraft, resulting in American and Southwest’s decision to remove onboard sales once again.

Here’s what the return of alcohol and snacks means for you as an American Airlines passenger.

Snacks and Alcohol Sales Return for Some

As of April 18, 2022, buy-on-board food will be available for passengers on flights that are longer than 1,500 miles (or around 3.5 hours long).

Don’t get too excited, though: to start with, only chips and almonds will be available.

According to American, touchless ordering will be brought in later in 2022.

Hot Tip: Not familiar with AA or what to expect when flying it? Check out our in-depth guide for everything you need to know about American Airlines, from the seats and amenities to baggage allowances and customer service.

It was only recently that American, along with Delta, brought back the hot meal service for passengers on domestic flights in business and first class cabins.

American economy flyers on domestic and short-haul international flights only will be glad to know that beer, wine, and spirits will once again be available for purchase.

Bubbles onboard American Airlines Flagship Business
Complimentary alcohol is served in American Airlines’ business and first class cabins as per this flight in Flagship Business class from New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) on February 26, 2022. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

However, it will still not be possible to buy alcohol on flights of less than 250 miles. This means that economy cabins on short intercity hops, such as New York (JFK) to Boston (BOS) and Austin (AUS) to Dallas (DFW), will remain dry for the foreseeable future.

By no means of a coincidence, April 18, 2022, is also when the U.S. government’s mandate on mask-wearing while flying is set to expire. Having already been delayed more than once, there’s a chance it could happen again — a move that could be also mean American Airlines pushes back its chosen date for the resumption of onboard alcohol sales on some flights.

Final Thoughts

Having a strong inflight drink and a snack, whether flying for business or pleasure, is, for many, part of the travel experience.

American’s economy class passengers will finally be able to enjoy that experience once again after the carrier took longer than most to resume its onboard catering service.

Let’s hope nothing happens to pushback the planned return date so that economy passengers can toast in the air once again.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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