After a recent incident on a Southwest Airlines flight ended with a flight attendant losing two front teeth thanks to a drunk passenger, Southwest announced it would suspend serving alcohol during flights.
American Airlines has announced it will now follow suit.
“Flight attendants are on the front lines every day not only ensuring our customers’ safety, but are also calming fears, answering questions, and enforcing policies like federally-required face masks,” said Brady Byrnes, managing director of flight service at American, in a memo to flight attendants obtained by CNN.
“Over the past week we’ve seen some of these stressors create deeply disturbing situations on board aircraft,” the memo said. “Let me be clear: American Airlines will not tolerate assault or mistreatment of our crews.”
American had suspended alcohol service in March 2020 to reduce interactions with passengers during the pandemic. Beverage services were resumed on May 1.
But now, American Airlines says serving alcohol will remain suspended for coach passengers through September 13. That’s when the Transportation Security Administration’s mask mandate for all planes is scheduled to expire.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, “Since Jan. 1, 2021, the FAA has received approximately 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 1,900 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal facemask mandate.”
American Airlines has joined Southwest Airlines in suspending alcohol services on flights, following a recent assault of a Southwest flight attendant https://t.co/y5pD6NU8AR
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 29, 2021