United Airlines to resume hard liquor sales Monday

Airlines brace for bumpy holiday travel season amid labor shortage

The airline industry raises concerns over ramping up flight schedules to meet the demand. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more. 

United Airlines on Monday will expand its in-flight beverage menu to include hard liquor on select flights. 

The expansion will be available on flights of at least 301 miles.

A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey. (Reuters)

"United has been serving, beer, wine, and hard seltzer since June 1. But starting Monday, liquor miniatures will be available for sale through contactless payment in United Economy on its Domestic, Canada, and Latin markets," United told FOX Business in a statement. 

The company said its decision was "heavily informed by feedback from both our customers and flight attendants." 

"The ability to offer a complete food and beverage menu is something that we know is important to our customers 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," United said. 

PILOTS ARE IN DEMAND AGAIN, AS STRAINED AIRLINES GO ON A HIRING SPREE

Beer and wine are complimentary in United Economy on trans-Atlantic flights and flights between the U.S. and Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as trans-Pacific flights between the U.S. and Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Tahiti and Taiwan.

United Airlines is adding almost 150 new flights this winter in anticipation of a continued increase in demand for travel.  (iStock)

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Many airlines cut alcohol from their drink menu last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the summer, United, Southwest, and American each decided to limit availability because of unruly passengers. 

But United told FOX Business that its number of incidents of unruly passengers is low compared to its overall number of customers and that of other U.S. carriers. 

"With travel demand on the rise and the many safety protocols we have in place, particularly with our site of contactless payment solutions, now felt like the right time to expand our inflight beverage menu," the company said. 

Since January 1, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received more than 100 reports of disturbances that involved physical assault. 

SOUTHWEST EMPLOYEE HOSPITALIZED AFTER ALLEGED ASSAULT BY PASSENGER

In response, the agency has levied more than $200,000 in civil penalties against 10 airline passengers for allegedly physically assaulting crew members, fellow passengers, and even their own family members. 

A Lufthansa flight pulls up to the gate as it arrives from Munich, Germany at Miami International Airport, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

In one of those instances, a passenger is facing a $25,000 fine after refusing to follow instructions to put her carry-on luggage in an overhead bin during a Southwest Airlines flight back in February. 

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Fox Business’ Daniella Genovese and Julia Musto contributed to this report. 

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