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Cheers! City Council approves consumption of alcohol in San Antonio airport's terminal areas

But you'll still have to finish your margarita before boarding flights.
Credit: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — Flyers passing through San Antonio International Airport will soon be able to take the alcoholic drinks they're sipping on out of the facility's restaurant areas and into broader terminal spaces.

City Council approved the measure on Wednesday morning, but Councilman Manny Pelaez gave a "Nay" vote. Pelaez, who represents District 8, said he's worried the loosening of alcohol consumption rules "will make it more difficult for flight attendants to keep passengers safe."

The new ordinance was approved a year after Gov. Greg Abbott signed off on permanent alcohol-to-go practices in Texas, setting into legal stone a measure that the state had temporarily allowed during the pandemic in order to help keep local restaurants afloat while indoor dining was halted. 

 Once it take effect, it will pertain only to drinks bought with food in the terminal; passengers remain barred from bringing alcohol through security checkpoints, and they'll have to finish their drinks before boarding. 

According to a memo sent to City Council representatives, airports in Austin, Dallas and Houston, along with several major airports across the country, have adopted similar alcohol-to-go policies. It's the aviation department's hope that the change will lead to increased revenues for airport eateries. 

Pelaez says he plans to sit down with airport staff for an "in-depth discussion" on the policy at some point. 


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