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American Resumes In-Flight Beverage Service Starting May 1

American Resumes In-Flight Beverage Service Starting May 1
Joe Cortez

With more flyers getting the COVID-19 vaccine, American Airlines now says they will resume full beverage service again. Starting May 1, 2021, domestic premium cabin flyers will get canned beverages, drinks, juice and water. The main cabin will get the same service one month later.

In what can be interpreted as the first sign of a “return to normal” after the novel Coronavirus outbreak, American Airlines will once again resume full beverage service on flights. In a press release, the Fort Worth-based carrier announced a tiered approach to offering drinks to thirsty flyers.

Premium Cabin Flyers Get First Access to Beverages, Followed by Main Cabin in June

When the COVID-19 was officially announced as a pandemic, airlines pulled many of their normal services in the name of consumer safety. Among them were in-flight services, on concerns that flyers could unknowingly pass the virus to flight attendants and other passengers with close contact.

After consultation with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and experts from American’s Travel Health Advisory Panel, the carrier now says they can resume full beverage service in the cabin. The rollout will begin in the domestic premium cabin starting on May 1, 2021, including alcohol, canned drinks, juice and water. The service will be extended to the entire aircraft starting on June 1, 2021. The main cabin will not get access to alcohol until later in the summer.

“American’s reintroduction of beverage service is a careful and informed process to ensure everyone on board feels safe and comfortable,” Brady Byrnes, vice president of flight service, said in a press release. “Through our partnership, we collectively determined that the timing is right to bring back this service, and we can do so while continuing to give customers peace of mind.”

The announcement follows an announcement by Delta Air Lines, which is resuming in-flight beverage services in the main cabin and Delta Comfort+ on flights in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Flyers will have their choice of a 7.5-ounce mini-can featuring Coca-Cola products, or pre-prepared canned cocktails from Tip Top Proper Cocktails.

Masks Still Required on Flights, Even After Beverage Service

Although airlines are resuming some of the creature comforts, flyers will still be required to wear face coverings when they are not eating or drinking. Under the current face mask mandate, anyone on a common form of transportation is required to use a covering over the nose and mouth until the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.

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