American Airlines won't resume alcohol sales in economy this year
August 19, 2021
By Dawn Gilbertson, USA Today
American Airlines passengers traveling in economy class won't be able to buy alcoholic beverages until at least January.
The airline told flight attendants this week that it won't resume alcohol sales until Jan. 18. The timeline is tied to the federal mask mandate for public transportation, which was recently extended until that date.
American had planned to resume alcohol sales this summer, as many of its competitors have already done, but hasn't set a date and scrapped those plans in late May due to high-profile incidents involving unruly passengers. The airline said at the time it would suspend alcohol sales through Sept. 13, the day the mask mandate was due to end. (American does serve alcohol in first class.)
"We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft," Stacey Frantz, American's senior manager of flight service policies and procedures, said in announcing the continued suspension of alcohol sales.
Frantz also said the airline is "gaining ground'' in its efforts to get the Federal Aviation Administration to stop alcohol to-go sales at its hub airports in Dallas and Charlotte, among other airports.
Southwest Airlines is the only other major U.S. carrier that is still not serving alcohol. The airline planned to resume sales on Hawaii flights on June 24 and most on July 14 but changed its mind after one of its flight attendants was physically assaulted by a passenger.
Southwest Airlines does not have a timetable for when it will resume alcohols sales, spokesperson Dan Landson said.