This week, the Federal mask requirement for transportation was expanded through Jan. 18, 2022 in response to the recent spike of COVID-19 cases.
The alcohol ban on American and other airlines was put in place in response to a growing number of unruly and dangerous outbursts by passengers on airlines.
In a typical year, the FAA sees 100 to 150 formal cases of bad passenger behavior. Since January, however, the FAA has reported nearly 3,900 incidents, including 2,867 cases involving passengers who refused to comply with the federal mask mandate on planes.
On Thursday, the FAA said 34 passengers accused of unruly behavior on planes faced more than $500,000 in fines, bringing the total amount of proposed civil penalties to more than $1 million this year.
Of the 34 new cases reported Thursday, 22 involved passengers who did not follow the mask mandate that the Transportation Security Administration has in place.
“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, wrote in a staff note Wednesday.\
Southwest Airlines also said in May that it delayed a resumption of alcohol sales on board after one of its flight attendants suffered injuries to her face and lost two teeth when she was assaulted by a passenger, according to her union. A spokesman for the carrier said the airline hasn’t established a date when to resume alcohol sales.
For American passengers, the booze ban stops at the curtain between the narrow and wide seats and those in the front will continue to have their choice of beverages. It’s part of a patchwork of liquor restriction across the majors. What to fly and drink, you have to fly first class.