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United Alcoholic Beverage Service to Resume Nov. 15

Holiday flyers in the main cabin of United Airlines flights will once again be able to get a drink, with a selection reflecting the festive season.
United Airlines is giving holiday travelers a gift to potentially make traveling a little easier: Drink service in the main cabin section once more.


The airline announced they will once again introduce alcoholic beverages for main cabin flyers starting on Monday, November 15, 2021.

Seasonal Items Include New Hard Seltzer and IPA Offerings

According to an internal document shared with FlyerTalk by a United spokesperson, the return of alcoholic beverage services is based on feedback received by both flyers and flight crews. When service resumes on flights over 300 miles, flyers will be able to purchase from a selection of beers, wines, seltzers and liquor using the airline’s contactless payment system. Flyers in the premium cabin as well as United MileagePlus Premier 1K and Global Services members will still get most adult beverages complimentary.


In addition to their normal selection of drinks, the Chicago-based carrier will also rollout several seasonal selections in time for the holiday season. The options include White Claw Hard Seltzer Black Cherry, Goose Island Neon Beer Hug IPA and Kona Longboard Island Lager.


To prevent overserving, flight attendants are instructed to give each flyer who orders a drink one single alcoholic beverage at a time, per beverage service. Flyers who wish to order additional drinks can do so in the galley or at their seat once service concludes.


“The ability to offer a complete food and beverage menu is something that we know is important to our customers,” the memo to United employees reads. “And we’re excited to continue to enhance our onboard service while keeping the safety of our employees and customers at the forefront of all we do.”


Service Resumes as Debate Continues About Alcohol on Flights

With the returning alcohol service, flight attendants are once again being reminded to serve customers responsibly. Crews are being reminded to “Use the observable behaviors found in the traffic light system to identify and manage customers” who appear to be drunk.


However, both the Federal Aviation Administration and experts are debating whether flying and drinking should mix. In July 2021, a group of experts told a Denver TV station alcohol service may not be best at high altitudes. One month later, the FAA asked airports to help prevent unruly flyer incidents by not overserving passengers on the ground.


Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have not yet resumed alcoholic beverage service in the main cabin, while Delta Air Lines continues to offer certain beverages to all flyers of age.

coolbeans202 November 1, 2021

Does this article mean liquor sales? I thought United reintroduced beer, wine, and hard seltzer months ago. 

StarvingArtistGreg October 29, 2021

I just travele flew United IAD-FLL last night main cabin, and bought a Kona Longboard. Maybe they got started a little early. As an aside, I didn't get even a little bit unruly. 

SamirD October 29, 2021

This will be a good metric to see if alcohol contributes to issues compared to other carriers.  My gut says yes since even AA has beefed up their in-flight announcements to be more strict and I was actually stopped by an FA because I didn't take a bite, remask, chew, remove to take another bite.  Of course, this was while the guy next to me that was hogging the armrest was just looking down at his phone, mask on his chin.  Give these kids an inch and they will make it a mile...

Dr.Ells October 28, 2021

It’s the first step back to prohibition.  Grow-up or do not fly.