American Airlines bans alcohol sales in Economy through January 2022

Photo (c) wsfurlan - Getty Images

The FAA has asked airports to suspend to-go alcohol sales due to an uptick in unruly passengers

If you’re flying anywhere in the Economy class on American Airlines anytime soon and think you’d like to have a cocktail, better think again. The airline has decided to suspend all alcohol sales in Economy through January 2022. 

American’s original ban was set to end in September. The only other U.S. airline banning alcoholic beverages is Southwest Airlines. 

The airline’s ban is of its own choosing, but with the continued onslaught of penalties against airline passengers for alleged unruly behavior -- many involving alcoholic beverages -- American is taking no chances.

"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.

The FAA is calling on airports to help end alcohol to-go sales

Frantz told USA Today that the airline is "gaining ground'' in its push to get the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to cease alcohol to-go sales at airports it flies in and out of, including its hubs in Dallas and Charlotte.

While the FAA has yet to mandate an across-the-board ban on alcohol sales, the alcohol to-go situation is a huge concern for the agency. Earlier in August, the FAA sent a letter to airports requesting they work to prevent passengers from bringing “to-go” cups of alcohol aboard the aircraft.

Even though FAA regulations specifically prohibit the consumption of alcohol aboard an aircraft that is not served by the airline, we have received reports that some airport concessionaires have offered alcohol ‘to go,’ and passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights or they become inebriated during the boarding process,” read the letter. 

“Airports can help bring awareness to this prohibition on passengers carrying open alcohol onboard their flights through signage, public service announcements, and concessionaire education," the letter said.

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