Photo Credit: EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER
American Airlines Passengers Will Have To Wait Until 2022 To Sip While Flying
American Airlines passengers will have to wait until at least January 18th before alcohol sales resume in the main cabin. The new date coincides with the extension of the Transportation Security Administration’s mask mandate that requires people on airline flights and public transportation to wear face masks in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The Federal Aviation Administration also revealed that proposed civil penalties for unruly behavior have already exceeded $1 million this year, with close to 3,900 incidents reported as compared to the typical 100 to 150 bad behavior complaints.
“We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft,” stated an internal memo from American Airlines obtained by NBC News.
The original ban came into effect in March 2020 but the airline resumed service on their domestic premium cabins on May 1st, intending to lift the restriction in the main cabin on June 1st. Those measures were taken so that passengers would not have to remove their masks to eat or drink as part of Covid-19 protocols.
But they changed course on that decision in late May after a passenger on a Southwest flight from Sacramento to San Diego punched a flight attendant in the face and knocked out two of her teeth.
According to the FAA, the incident was part of a spike in aggressive behavior on flights in the past few months. Southwest promptly announced an extension on their in-flight alcohol ban through the end of July. American Airlines followed suit and announced plans to extend until September 13th to help curtail the uptick in violent encounters.
At the time, American Airlines Vice President, D Brady Byrnes, said in a memo, “Let me be clear: American Airlines will not tolerate assault or mistreatment of our crews. While we appreciate that customers and crew members are eager to return to ‘normal,’ we will move cautiously and deliberately when restoring pre-COVID practices.”