After more than two years, American Airlines brought back alcohol sales to its economy class cabin last month. But the union representing flight attendants at American Airlines is now asking that AA limit the number of alcoholic beverages served onboard to two per flight.
Two Drink Limit On Alcohol Proposed By American Airlines Flight Attendant Union
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has welcomed the sunset of the federal mask mandate, noting that it contributed to disruption onboard. Importantly, it fell primarily upon flight attendants to both enforce mask usage and to deal with the surge in unruly passengers such masks created amongst a portion of the traveling public.
But it was not just masks: alcohol also fueled disruption (and has fueled disruption long before the pandemic). It was made worse during the pandemic because the lack of portion-controlled alcohol sales onboard moved many passengers to illicitly bring their own alcohol onboard or over-consume in airport bars prior to their flight.
In trying to find a happy medium that reduces the likelihood of passengers bringing their own liquor while also discouraging overconsumption onboard, the APFA has asked American Airlines to limit alcohol to two beverages per passenger per flight.
Not all flight attendants are onboard with the proposal. It’s one thing to limit passengers to two drinks on a shuttle from New York to Washington, DC but quite another on a flight from Dallas to Honolulu or Los Angeles to London. One flight attendant explained to Condé Nast that flight attendants do not have to punish all passengers for the sins of the few and are able to regulate passenger consumption without a strict rule:
“I disagree with a limit, 100 percent. The bad passengers should not be able to ruin it for the good ones. When a passenger appears to be drunk, we stop serving them. Sometimes it’s before we’ve served them one drink on the plane.”
Any limit would likely apply to economy class only. During the pandemic, alcohol continued to flow in business and first class and the expectation of alcohol in premium cabins is probably too much to counteract with new controls.
The union representing flight attendants at American Airlines has proposed that economy class passengers be limited to no more than two alcoholic drinks per flight. Flight attendants appear divided on the proposal, with some arguing a “one size fits all” approach is not appropriate while others welcoming the change. American Airlines has not indicated how it will address the matter.
Should economy class passengers be limited to two drinks per flight, regardless of flight length?
image: American Airlines