Southwest Airlines does not approach to resume onboard alcohol sales until at least January, in accordance to a memo despatched to flight attendants on Friday.

The timeline is tied to the extension of the federal mask mandate on airplanes and at airports.

“With the mask mandate being extended to January 18, 2022, there are no recent designs to carry back liquor prior to January 2022,” Randall Miller, senior supervisor of inflight ops, initiatives and style explained in the memo.

American Airlines made the similar final decision in August, when the mandate was extended due to the fact of the spike in COVID-19 cases from the delta variant. Southwest and American are the only two major carriers continue to not serving alcohol in economy class. (American serves it in to start with class Southwest would not have a 1st course.)

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Southwest was the 1st significant U.S. airline to suspend traditional inflight provider at the starting of the pandemic to cut down interactions amongst travellers and flight attendants.

In May, Southwest announced options to start out promoting inflight cocktails, beer and wine once more commencing in late June.

All those designs were scrapped after a significant-profile incident on a Southwest flight from Sacramento to San Diego in late Might in which an altercation in between a passenger and a flight attendant despatched the flight attendant to the clinic. The attendant on the Southwest Airways airplane lost two teeth and endured other injuries to her confront, prosecutors stated in federal courtroom files. A lower underneath her remaining eye necessary four stitches, her still left eye was bruised and swollen, and her appropriate arm was bruised.

“Specified the the latest uptick in industry-broad incidents of passenger disruptions in-flight, we have produced the conclusion to pause the beforehand announced restart of liquor provider onboard,” Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz reported at the time. “We understand this final decision may well be disappointing for some clients, but we experience this is the proper selection at this time in the curiosity of the basic safety and ease and comfort of all shoppers and crew onboard.”

Flight attendants have two major concerns with the return of liquor: It can lead to unruly conduct and encourages vacationers to preserve their masks off extended.

Southwest will insert more smooth drinks to its inflight menu in October

Southwest is presenting only 4 drink decisions on its flights: Coke, Diet program Coke, 7-Up and canned water. Flight attendants flash a laminated card to passengers in each row as they approach and talk to them to keep up a single, two, three or 4 fingers to signify their option and to help them to maintain their masks on when buying.

In Oct, the airline is bringing back seatback pocket menus and introducing numerous comfortable beverages to the lineup, some of them because it experienced them on buy as mixers for the return of liquor, in accordance to the memo. Flight attendants have asked the airline to minimize inflight provider, not expand it, for the reason that of the delta variant. 

The new alternatives: orange juice, cranberry cocktail juice, ginger ale, seltzer water and tonic h2o. 

“With our first timeline to return liquor provider, we essential to proactively resource seltzer and tonic water to ensure availability,” Miller claimed in the memo. “Owing to the lengthier lead moments to deliver product or service and other offer constraints we have skilled, when our unique strategies transformed, we still experienced an obligation to these suppliers.”

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