With the continued rise of unruly passenger behaviors, airlines are taking matters into their own hands. But is this hurting them financially? And who's to say only passengers in the main cabin can act up?
Following the extension of the federal mask mandate, American is suspending alcohol service in economy class through January 2022, the carrier confirmed in an email to Skift on Thursday.
The announcement was initially broadcast to flight attendants through an internal memo on Thursday morning seen by Skift. The current suspension of alcohol sales in economy class was set to expire in September but will now remain in place until January 18, 2022, the memo said.
Alcohol is largely thought to play a part in much of the disturbances created by passengers on board planes. The issue has been controversial since airlines generate healthy revenue from alcohol sales.
For more on the business of alcohol for airlines, read Skift: The Tricky Business of Selling Alcohol on Planes
But the recent spate of bad behavior on planes has raised fresh concerns about passengers being drunk in-flight.
“We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft,” said Stacey Frantz, a senior manager for in-flight service, policy, and procedures in the internal American memo.
The memo said it continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration to no longer provide “to-go” alcohol at its bases in Dallas, Fort-Worth, and Charlotte.
To-go alcohol is a new pandemic trend. Alcohol is served in a plastic cup at airports around the country, allowing passengers to take their adult beverages with them in the terminal and boarding areas.
As of Thursday, the FAA has issued fines to unruly flyers totaling $1 million.
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Photo credit: American Airlines is extending its suspension of alcohol in economy class. Chalabala / Getty Images