While American Airlines is happy to pour you the drink of your choice in first class, alcohol will remain off-limits in economy class until at least early 2022.
American Airlines Alcohol Ban In Economy Class Extended Till January 2022
In a memo to flight attendants, American Airlines announced it would extend its alcohol ban in economy class to January 18, 2022, the day the (extended) federal mask mandate is set to expire. Previously, the alcohol ban was set to expire on September 14, 2021.
It’s an interesting move considering alcohol will continue to flow freely in business and first class. Does the curtain separating cabins serve as a magic dividing line that somehow makes alcohol safe in front it?
That’s a rhetorical question of sorts, as the reason for the extended alcohol ban seems a concession to flight attendants more than a safety-related concern. I suppose the extra space in premium cabins naturally cuts down on potential conflict.
Other airlines like Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, and United serve alcohol in economy class and seem to manage just fine, not experiencing nearly the amount of onboard behavioral incidents as on American Airlines. Furthermore, most instances of poor behavior onboard are linked to masks, not alcohol.
There’s also a tremendous revenue component to onboard alcohol sales, with high margins and captive passengers not allowed to bring their own alcohol onboard.
So yes, it strikes me as quite curious that American Airlines continues to ban alcohol onboard. In fact, I think it will lead to more incidents, not less. The vast majority of passengers consume alcohol in a responsible manner and keeping passengers occupied with food and drink onboard is likely to keep them quiet, which cuts down on poor behavior.
Is alcohol a right onboard? Of course not. Is alcohol beneficial to the body? Depends upon which study you read, but if so, only in moderation. But those are not the issues. The issue is simply this: will the continued ban on onboard alcohol lead to fewer incidents of misbehavior or more incidents onboard? My concern is that it will lead to more…
This will definitely improve the passenger experience…. Not. https://t.co/ka8JeRnUir
— Trevor (@tmount) August 19, 2021
image: American Airlines