Will airlines ever really ban alcohol?

On April 1, 2019, long before the alcohol-fueled COVID-19 mask challenge, I wrote, “Drunk and out of control passengers are becoming a real problem, groping and assaulting flight attendants, fighting other passengers and the flight attendants, trying to open the door of the aircraft in mid-flight and attempt to enter the cockpit. The title of the April Fool’s story? “Should airlines consider banning alcohol on planes? ”


Since then, the situation has not improved. Passengers released from COVID-19 “house arrest” have gone wild. A woman literally broke his teeth of a flight attendant from the Southwest. Since February, US airlines have forwarded more than 1,300 unruly passenger reports to the Federal Aviation Agency. Passengers were held on board, planes turned around, police or the FBI arrested or questioned passengers. Delta threatened to be banned from SkyMiles. the Washington post proposed an alcohol ban, despite 70 years serving adult drinks, onbard?

Two years ago it was April Fool’s Day, because

  • Alcohol on board is a valuable perk when traveling in First or Business Class, which pays the bills of most airlines.
  • Alcohol can be both a pacifier and a source of profit in economics; that $ 7 beer on board could cost the airline a dollar.
  • Drinking (in moderation) can help passengers navigate today’s flight conditions.

But bad behavior recently prompted Southwest and American to temporarily cut (not “ban”) alcohol sales. Southwest, like other U.S. airlines, suspended all onboard service at the start of the pandemic. Social distancing and limiting contact between flight attendants and passengers was the idea. The temporary end of in-flight service may have helped – it is believed that the airlines do not be major COVID vectors.

Southwest slowly returned to serving snacks and drinks to passengers. However, “following an increase in in-flight and industry-wide incidents involving disruptive passengers, we have suspended previously announced plans to resume on-board alcohol service.” Southwest currently does not have a timeline for “full restoration of pre-pandemic onboard service”, that is, alcohol.

About Joel Simmons

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