NATIONWIDE – (NEXSTAR) – Booze is back by popular demand on many United Airlines flights.
The company resumed selling hard liquor on Monday, saying in a statement to Nexstar that the decision was made “in response to the feedback we’ve received from both customers and flight attendants.”
The miniature bottles of spirits will be sold in Economy class via contactless payment on flights over 300 miles along routes in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Amid a historic uptick in reported incidents involving unruly and disruptive passengers, some airlines, such as Southwest and American, decided this year to ban alcohol entirely until at least 2022.
United, which had stopped selling alcohol during the pandemic, announced in November of 2020 that the airline would bring back the sale of beer, wine and seltzers.
Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it had referred 37 of the “most serious” cases of unruly airline passengers to the FBI for criminal case review.
The FAA has seen an unprecedented number of unruly passenger reports in 2021 – as of November 9 there have already been 5,114, with 3,710 of them being mask-related.
In January, the FAA instituted its “Zero Tolerance” policy which has generated a proposed total amount of fines over $1 million.
As of late September, the FAA said the 2021 rate of unruly passengers had dropped by roughly 50% since the creation of the Zero Tolerance policy, to roughly six incidents per every 10,000 flights.
That number is still more than twice the rate of unruly passengers at the end of 2020.