PHOTO: Passengers at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis might soon be able to drink alcohol at the gate while waiting for their plane. (Photo via Flickr/JL Johnson)
In the not-so-distant future, travelers at Missouri airports might be able to order alcohol at the bar and then take it with them to drink at the gate.
The bi-partisan bill has passed the Missouri House, but now it requires another vote before moving on to the Senate.
If the bill becomes law, the bars, restaurants and other eateries that serve alcohol would need to apply for a special license to serve alcohol to go to their customers. Passengers would only be able to drink the beverages in the waiting area by the gate. They could not bring the drinks through security, nor take it on to the plane.
The bill would affect St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Kansas City International Airport, although Kansas City should see little changes, as many of the airport's restaurants that serve alcohol are located outside the security area.
According to USA Today, Lambert Airport is excited about the change. An airport spokesperson said that such a law could help enhance the customer service experience and also increase revenue for airport concessionaires.
Although the bill received strong support in the Missouri House, one opponent, State Representative Stacey Newman, a former crew member with TWA, has argued the bill could prove to be dangerous for flight crews. is against the bill.
“I think the last thing that crew members or any of us want are intoxicated, unruly passengers at 30,000 feet,” said Newman.
Proponents of the bill cite the positive results at airports in cities like Portland, Ore.; Houston; Tampa, Nashville and Memphis, which have already passed similar laws.
At Nashville International Airport, the airport acquired an airport-wide liquor license in 2014, which negated the requirement that individual vendors purchase their own licenses.
It's been very well-received by our concessionaires and by our passengers," said an airport spokesperson in an interview with USA Today. "There was a fear for airport police that it was going to increase drunkenness, and we have no evidence of that either."