Two leading airlines do not have immediate plans to return to selling alcohol aboard flights.
American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both recently confirmed that they will continue to wait to bring back alcoholic beverages, CNBC reported. Alcohol sales were paused last year as airlines adopted new guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The confirmations from the airlines come days after the Federal Aviation Administration cited around 2,500 incidents involving passenger behavior thus far in 2021. The majority of those incidents involved passengers not complying with requirements to wear face masks.
“We also recognize that alcohol can contribute to atypical behavior from customers onboard and we owe it to our crew not to potentially exacerbate what can already be a new and stressful situation for our customers,” Brady Byrnes of American Airlines said, according to CNBC.
A mask mandate enforced by the Transportation Security Administration is scheduled to run through at least Sept. 13. American says it will continue to pause alcohol sales through that date.
Southwest, meanwhile, said it has “no timetable” for when the option to purchase alcoholic beverages will be back, CNBC reports.
A Southwest flight attendant has said she lost two teeth in a recent attack aboard a plane.
The president of the airline’s flight attendants’ union said there have been hundreds of incidents involving passengers since April 8.
“As alcohol sales are added back into this already volatile environment, you can surely understand our concern,” Lyn Montgomery reportedly said in a letter to the Southwest’s CEO.
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