American Airlines Bans Alcohol in Main Cabin Through Next Year
American Airlines passengers will have to wait until next year they can enjoy an alcoholic beverage in the main cabin. The airline has announced an extension of the suspension of domestic main cabin alcohol sales through Jan. 18.
American was set to resume alcohol service in the main cabin after Sept. 13, when a federal mask mandate for air travel was set to expire. But that mandate has been extended through Jan. 18 due to a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. So the airline has matched that date for the return of alcohol beverages.
The alcohol ban is an effort to curb unruly traveler behavior that has surged this year. Masks, regulations, and more people flying are not a good mix. Typically, the FAA sees 100 to 150 formal cases of bad passenger behavior per year. But so far in 2021 the FAA has reported nearly 3,900 incidents. Around 71% of those cases involve passengers who refused to comply with the federal mask mandate on planes. The FAA has handed out over $1 million in fines to unruly passengers.
“We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft,” American said in an internal memo obtained Thursday by NBC News. Several viral incidents have involved drunk passengers, with some of them needing to be restrained to their seat with duct tape.
The alcohol ban if for the main cabin only. American will continue to serve alcohol in first class.