American Airlines extends alcohol ban in main cabin until 2022

‘We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 19 August 2021 21:04 BST
<p>America Airlines planes waiting for passengers at Miami International Airport.</p>

America Airlines planes waiting for passengers at Miami International Airport.

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American Airlines will extend its ban on serving alcohol in the main cabin of its flights until at least January 2022.

The company extended the ban that it introduced earlier in the coronavirus pandemic when the industry as a whole saw a dramatic spike in unruly behaviour by passengers.

The suspension of alcohol service in the main cabin will stay in place until 18 January, when the current federal mask mandate on flights and at airports is set to run out.

All passengers in the US are required by the Transportation Security Administration to wear masks while traveling.

The airline, which requires all employees to wear masks but not to show proof of vaccination, announced the extension of its rule in a message to flight attendants.

“We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft,” said Stacey Frantz, American’s senior manager of flight service policies and procedures.

The company is also trying to get the FAA to stop the sale of alcoholic to-go drinks at its major hub airports in Charlotte and Dallas, among others.

American and Southwest Airlines are the only two major airlines to have banned the main cabin sale of alcohol.

United Airlines has suspended the sale of hard alcohol, but still allows customers to purchase beer and wine.

American and Southwest suspended the sale of alcohol for most travellers in May following a string of violent incidents and attacks on staff by passengers, including a Southwest flight attendant having a tooth punched out.

Southwest Airlines does not have a timetable for the resumption of alcohols sales, a spokesperson said.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that as of July there had been more than 3,400 incidents of “unruly” behaviour by passengers, a massive increase from normal years.

And the FAA said on Thursday that it wants to bring fines totalling more than $500,000 against 34 of those passengers.

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