AA Beer Wine
American Airlines brings back free beer and wine. REUTERS

You've got to love chapter 11 bankruptcy when a company like American Airlines decides to boost its reputation and retain customer loyalty by reinstating free alcohol.

That's right. American Airlines (which shares its initials with an anonymous organization that does not serve alcohol) announced on Wednesday that it would begin serving free beer and wine in all classes on flights between the United States and Europe, Asia, and select destinations in Latin America.

Unfortunately those on flights to Canada or Hawaii will still have to fork over the $6 to $7 fee.

Complimentary meals, snacks, and drinks in economy class have all but disappeared on board U.S. carriers over the years. So why is American Airlines making a sudden U-turn and bringing back the free drinks?

Apparently, all we had to do was ask:

Our customers asked for complimentary beer and wine, and we listened, said Rob Friedman, American's Vice President of Marketing. Starting Feb. 1, when a customer travels internationally onboard American, we invite them to have a drink on us.

Friedman said the move was to allow American to better align its product offering with fellow oneworld alliance members.

American collaborated closely with classically trained wine maker and viticulturist Ken Chase to hand-select fine wines for various routes, paying attention to menu parings as well as ethnic, cultural, seasonal, and stylistic differences for each destination.

The beer and wine offerings will vary by flight and liquor will be available for purchase as usual. As always, the amount served to passengers is at the discretion of the cabin crew.