The airlines suspended most inflight food and beverage service as a safety measure and cost savings during the pandemic. But now, more food and beverage service is coming back.

Some airlines are more generous than others. So, if you like to have a beer or cocktail or two when taking to the skies, you might want to read through this explainer.

Here’s everything you need to know about the domestic airlines’ drink service – this post includes:

  • each airline’s current alcohol policy, drink menu and prices (when they’re published)
  • whether you can BYOB on a flight

Alaska Airlines

On flights longer than 350 miles, drink service is back!

Soft drinks, juices, Starbucks coffee and Teavana tea in all cabins
Beer, wine, spirits and mixers in Premium and First Class

For Purchase
Alcohol is available for purchase in the Main Cabin for $7.50 a drink.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air has never offered free drinks on their flights, but a selection of sodas, juices, and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. Beverage prices:

Soft drinks and mixers $3
Coffee drinks $4
Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee $5
Wine ranges from $8-10
Keystone Beer $5
All other beers & seltzers $8
Cocktails $9

American Airlines

On American Airlines, both the flight length and the cabin you’ve purchased a ticket in determine how generous the drink service can be. Cutting to the chase, unless you’re flying on a long-haul international flight in the main cabin, you’re not going to be able to get a beer or a glass of wine.*

On flights under 900 miles
Canned drinks, juice, and water in Main Cabin
Full beverage service including alcohol available in first class
No alcohol is available for purchase in Main Cabin

For flights between 900 and 2,199 miles
Canned drinks, juice, and water in Main Cabin
Full beverage service including alcohol available in first class
No alcohol is available for purchase in Main Cabin

For flights longer than 2,200 miles (this generally includes transcontinental flights and flight to and from Hawaii)
Canned drinks, juice, and water in Main Cabin
Full beverage service including alcohol available in first class

For Purchase
Alcohol available for purchase only on long-haul international flights in Main Cabin

*American had been planning to resume Main Cabin alcohol sales sooner, but because of an upsurge in disorderly passenger conduct decided to delay that plan for the time being.

Delta Airlines

Delta made some of the most severe cuts to service during the pandemic, but has resumed most of the pre-pandemic drink service levels as of this publish date. Good news for coach travelers! Also, Delta revamped it’s drink menu in October and now offers a curated selection of an additional 7 drink options for purchase. Those new, fun options include a Tip Top Proper Negroni for $13, a Terrapin Beer Company Hopsecutioner IPA for $10, Una Femme California Sparkling Rose for $10, and a Breckenridge Brewery Cookie Porter for $8.

On flights 251 to 499 miles
Coffee, tea and bottled water in all cabins
Delta Comfort+ and First Class passengers receive beer and wine service, and are offered soft drinks, juices and mixers

For flights 500 or more miles
Coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices, and bottled water in all cabins
Delta Comfort+ and First Class passengers receive beer, wine and liquor service

For Purchase
Alcohol is available using tap-to-pay in the Main Cabin

On long-haul international flights, full beverage service including beer, wine and spirits is available in all cabins

Frontier Airlines

Frontier has very limited beverage items for sale on their flights. No freebies here whatsoever. Coffee and non-alcoholic beverages are $2.99 and alcoholic drinks are $7.99/each.

Hawaiian Airlines

Domestic flights offer juices, sodas, coffee, and water. A complimentary red or white wine is also offered with your meal in Main Cain.
Business/First Class offers in-flight wine pairings and all premium cabins receive pre-departure drinks that include Mai Tais, Prosecco, bwater or juice.

For Purchase
Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in Main Cabin.

International Flights
Alcoholic beverages are included in the price of your ticket in all cabins to all international destinations except Tahiti and American Samoa.

JetBlue Airlines

JetBlue is still operating limited service at this time.

In economy, you can order Pepsi, Bubly Lime, Canada Dry Sierra Mist, Adam & Eve juices, and Dunkin coffee and tea.

For Purchase
A limited selection of wine, beer and spirits can be purchased inflight ($8-9 a drink).

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has also been reluctant to reinstitute alcohol service due to passenger disorderliness. Oof! As a consolation, they have extended expiring drink coupons through the end of 2022. Instead, they offer complimentary drink service that includes water, Coke, Diet Coke, and 7-Up as well as coffee on flights longer than 251 miles.

Spirit Airlines

Like the rest of the budget carriers, you’re not going to get anything for free. However, if you’re willing to pay for it – you’ve got some options:

  • Beer, wine and basic liquor selections are $9/each.
  • Buzzballz go for $10/each.
  • A selection of classic mixed drinks (Gin and Tonic, Screwdriver, Bloody Mary, etc.) will set you back $12.50/each.

Spirit also offers a value “combo” menu where you can put together items like:

  • $15 Triple Good – Choice of one liquor/beer/seltzer/wine + one soft drink/juice/mixer/water + snack
  • $17 happy hour – 2 beer/seltzer/wine
  • $34 “party pack” – 3 liquor/beer/seltzer/wine + 2 soft drinks/juice/mixer/water + 1 snack

United Airlines

Drinks are available on all flights, but only on request for flights under an hour. This may be a bold statement, but we’re going to go ahead and say it. If you’re a tee-totaler, you can’t go wrong with United – they offer the most extensive non-alcoholic complimentary drink service for all cabins.

Complimentary Alcohol Service
Alcoholic beverages are complimentary in premium cabins on all flights and in Economy Plus on premium transcontinental flights. On international flights in premium cabins, passengers will receive a premium wine list.

Wine and beer are complimentary in Economy cabins on:

Trans-Atlantic flights
Flights between the U.S. and Argentina, Brazil, Chile. Colombia, Ecuador and Peru
Trans-Pacific flights between the U.S. and Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Tahiti and Taiwan

For Purchase
On all other Economy flights, beer is $8, wine is $9, and premium wines are $18/glass. Liquor is currently unavailable.

Can you BYOB on a flight?

Let’s address the concept of “bring your own.” Is this something you can pull off on your next flight? After all, it’ll save you some money and no one will really know. Well, here are the facts. FAA rules explicitly state that regulations “prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol on board the aircraft unless it is served by the air carrier.”

To stay on the right side of the law, you can bring alcohol in your carry-on allowance so long as it is unopened,  3.4 ounces or less, and can fit in a quart-sized bag. Of course, you can always bring alcohol in your checked luggage.

Final Thoughts on Holiday Air Travel and InFlight Beverage Service

There’s a lot of things to think about when you’re booking a flight right now. We’re happy to share a bit of information that might help you make a decision one way or the other. For more tips on the best dates to fly, check out our Holiday Flights Report. And let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you flown recently? Can you share any intel about the inflight service? Were the drinks up to par? We love to hear from travelers.

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