Extended: American Airlines Economy Alcohol Ban

Extended: American Airlines Economy Alcohol Ban

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American Airlines is extending its ban on alcohol sales, and the timing coincides with the federal mask mandate being extended.

American’s ban on alcohol in economy

It has been revealed that American Airlines will extend its ban on the sale of alcohol in economy (including Main Cabin Extra) through January 18, 2022. That’s the same date until which the United States federal mask mandate has been extended, which represents an extension over the previous September 14, 2021, expiration date.

In first and business class, alcohol will continue to be served as before. As a reminder, the FAA prohibits passengers consuming alcohol that they brought onboard, meaning that economy passengers on American Airlines aren’t allowed to drink alcohol.

While most airlines cut back inflight service around the start of the pandemic, American only formally banned the sale of alcohol in economy as of June 2021, due to an increasing number of inflight disturbances. American and Southwest are the only major airlines in the United States to ban the sale of alcohol, while, Alaska, Delta, United, etc., do serve alcohol in economy.

American executives had stated that the ban on alcohol service would apply as long as the mask mandate is in place, though it’s interesting to see that actually happening.

American is extending its ban on economy alcohol service

This policy surprises & confuses me

Am I the only one surprised to see American Airlines sticking with this policy?

  • Airlines make money selling alcohol in economy, so the fact that American Airlines management is saying no to this revenue source while competitors aren’t is noteworthy; I suppose ordinarily Main Cabin Extra passengers get free alcohol, so maybe the economics aren’t actually that favorable for American
  • It seems likely that the transportation mask mandate will stick around even beyond January 2022, so is American prepared to extend this policy even further?
  • Could someone explain to me the logic of how it’s safe to drink alcohol in first class, but not in economy?
  • As I stated when Southwest introduced a similar policy, there’s no doubt people are misbehaving on planes at record levels, but overwhelmingly it doesn’t seem to be alcohol related, but rather seems to involve masks, and the general divisiveness in the country; in some ways I feel like people might be better behaved if they have a drink (how about selling alcohol, but limiting people to one drink each?)
American has no problem serving alcohol in first class

Bottom line

American Airlines will extend its ban on alcohol sales in economy through January 2022, coinciding with the current expiration of the federal mask mandate.

American is fine serving people alcohol in first class, just not in economy class, so I suspect this isn’t a money saving thing, which is also why I find this to be so strange. American’s two biggest competitors are serving alcohol, so it’s all a bit odd.

What do you make of American Airlines’ economy alcohol ban?

Conversations (69)
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  1. Chris E

    While I agree first class and business class customers typically make more money and have furthered their education while others equally educated and financially comfortable who do not travel "up front" may be doing so because it is either unavailable or so abhorrently over priced it is beyond their sensibilities. I for one have a Masters Degree in Finance and retired from EXXON MOBIL after 37 years. I am flying to Mexico and have upgraded...

    While I agree first class and business class customers typically make more money and have furthered their education while others equally educated and financially comfortable who do not travel "up front" may be doing so because it is either unavailable or so abhorrently over priced it is beyond their sensibilities. I for one have a Masters Degree in Finance and retired from EXXON MOBIL after 37 years. I am flying to Mexico and have upgraded my seat to the highest level of amenity which is in the only cabin (Main) of the Aircraft. I will not be served although I have paid for Complimentary Bar Service and AA will not discount the upgrade. I then asked to downgrade which they would gladly do for a fee. [email protected]!?

  2. Tim Dunn

    The US DOT just released its latest Air Travel Consumer Report which covers operations for the month of June 2021 and, as I have consistently said it would be, it reflects how absolutely aweful air travel is in the United States this summer with most airlines.
    As usual, Hawaiian is at the top of the list in terms of on-time and fewest cancellations but Delta has performance that is just as good despite being...

    The US DOT just released its latest Air Travel Consumer Report which covers operations for the month of June 2021 and, as I have consistently said it would be, it reflects how absolutely aweful air travel is in the United States this summer with most airlines.
    As usual, Hawaiian is at the top of the list in terms of on-time and fewest cancellations but Delta has performance that is just as good despite being much, much larger and having hubs and operations across the continental US, the same cities that other airlines operate from. Delta’s system on-time performance was more than 10 percent higher than American and United and a mind-blowing 20 plus percent better than Southwest and JetBlue both of which had less than 2/3 of their flights on-time. Even Alaska’s on-time is 6 points worse than Delta. In cancellations, Delta cancelled just 0.1% of its flights while American and Southwest each had over 3000 cancellations for more than 3% of their system cancelled. And the statistics for other metrics including baggage and wheelchair/scooter handling, customer complaints, oversales and even civil rights complaints are far worse than they were pre-covid and what even those airlines were doing in the spring.
    And this is only the report for June.
    Weather is not the issue here.
    Some airlines including esp. American and Southwest have pushed their systems to their limits throughout the pandemic and they are doing it with predictably poor results this summer
    And to add insult to injury, American and Southwest are the two large airlines that are not serving alcohol in economy. Their passengers are acting out because of the horrible operations and their managements are blaming customers and cutting them off from alcohol rather than admitting that their covid management plans have been wrong throughout the pandemic.
    The level of customer disservice in the US airline industry is not sustainable and airlines that cannot and are not delivering reliability have an opportunity to cut schedules to what is manageable and appropriately deliverable.

  3. Carol Smith

    This is discrimination against lower income people. It infuriates me that they will still be serving alcohol in first class, but not economy. Are they saying that economy passengers are unruly and violent while first class passengers are not!? This is insulting and I hope some one files a lawsuit.

  4. Charles Chan Massey

    I'm thinking that overall it may save them money as it's less for the people who stock the galleys to do, etc. Who really knows their rationale, tho? In the grander scheme, it seems like something Doug Parker and those trained in his methods would do. One example I clearly remember is even after the HP reverse takeover of US they served drinks in plastic up front for several years. I even had a meal...

    I'm thinking that overall it may save them money as it's less for the people who stock the galleys to do, etc. Who really knows their rationale, tho? In the grander scheme, it seems like something Doug Parker and those trained in his methods would do. One example I clearly remember is even after the HP reverse takeover of US they served drinks in plastic up front for several years. I even had a meal served on paper plates from CLT to LAX one time, or as the purser said "If you like our crystal you'll love our china today." Their mentality has always been that if they can save even a few pennies they'll find a way to do it and implement it. So even though they might make money by selling alcohol in coach they have clearly found a way to save even more money by not stocking it at all.

  5. Grattagliano Reynald

    American Airline, United, Delta, will serve soon Arkay alcohol free spirits in a 1.7 fl oz bottle, Arkay offers whisky, rum, vodka, brandy, gin alcohol free. It is a great alternative to licor, have fun without the risk of getting intoxicated.

    1. Eskimo

      Nice guerilla advertising, sneaking it in.
      Too bad their products (and most alcohol free imitation) sucks.

      "have fun without the risk of getting intoxicated." is the dumbest statement I've heard in weeks.
      Getting intoxicated is fun part of alcohol.
      Be a good brainwashed Millennial heard and go have fun with La Croix without the risk of getting intoxicated.
      And when you do drink like real adults, I hope you don't get too drunk drinking root "beer".

  6. SP1980

    I find the article somewhat misleading. No alcohol in Main Cabin does not apply to all flights. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/experience/travel-experience.jsp#foodanddrinkservice

    "Beer and wine are available in the Main Cabin on long-haul international flights to Europe, Asia and Australia."

  7. Eskimo

    I'm still waiting to hear what asinine comments @Elizabeth has to say.

  8. Jeff

    It has nothing to do with the alcohol, it has to do with American's O2 levels they pump into the plane for fuel economy. American before the pandemic had the lowest O2 levels in the cabin which saves a lot of fuel, however, these low oxygen levels lead to distressed passengers who become violent and confused because their brains do not function normally because of hypoxia. A healthy person can experience 93-86 SpO2 levels on...

    It has nothing to do with the alcohol, it has to do with American's O2 levels they pump into the plane for fuel economy. American before the pandemic had the lowest O2 levels in the cabin which saves a lot of fuel, however, these low oxygen levels lead to distressed passengers who become violent and confused because their brains do not function normally because of hypoxia. A healthy person can experience 93-86 SpO2 levels on an American flight. I have not experienced this on Delta or Southwest which has been 95-92 SpO2 on these carriers. If American wants to make money again ob Alcohol, they're going to have to adjust 92 cabin levels to accommodate people wearing masks.

  9. Audrey D Mann

    If you are going ban anything it should include the whole plane not one section.
    I don't drink alcohol, but it would be nice to get soft drink or a bottle of water and what happened to the honey peanuts

  10. Tim Dunn

    All of those that are defending AA's decision to suspend alcohol sales in coach would do well to support it with data from Delta and United's experiences in coach.
    News reports are not necessarily reflective of reality but Delta and United don't seem to be having any more passenger behavior issues than American or Southwest - and Delta and United - and other airlines are serving alcohol throughout their aircraft. and Delta and United...

    All of those that are defending AA's decision to suspend alcohol sales in coach would do well to support it with data from Delta and United's experiences in coach.
    News reports are not necessarily reflective of reality but Delta and United don't seem to be having any more passenger behavior issues than American or Southwest - and Delta and United - and other airlines are serving alcohol throughout their aircraft. and Delta and United might actually have fewer passenger issues. Of course DL and UA are also running much more reliable operations.

    Alcohol is clearly not the issue or else Delta and United and other carriers manage to find much more civilized passengers. Or factors like operational reliability matter a lot more than alcohol sales.

  11. Parker Smith

    Hey we’re in coach because they cancelled a cruise ship and we couldn’t retrieve our first class situation. We’re lifetime platinum on AA and two million miler. And now we can’t have a glass of wine on a six hour glight

  12. Eric

    Fun fact: alcohol sales in Y are not a profit center. After the costs involved with procurement, inventory management, liability insurance, theft, etc. the return is negligible.
    This is coming from almost a decade of experience of in-flight service management.

    And like many others I agree that most (not all) of the bad behavior comes from the back of the boat.
    Monitoring behavior in a smaller cabin is easier for the FAs....

    Fun fact: alcohol sales in Y are not a profit center. After the costs involved with procurement, inventory management, liability insurance, theft, etc. the return is negligible.
    This is coming from almost a decade of experience of in-flight service management.

    And like many others I agree that most (not all) of the bad behavior comes from the back of the boat.
    Monitoring behavior in a smaller cabin is easier for the FAs. My only concern is that problem people will liquor up right before boarding, be coherent enough to board before the alcohol really hits their system, then act foolish after the door closes.

  13. Scarlett

    Primarily, there would be an exchange of payment for alcohol in MC. In order to cut down on contact, alcohol sales were temporarily discontinued. Alcohol is served in FC as it part of the fare; therefore, no exchange of payment/increased contact.

    MCE fares did include A complimentary beverage at one time. However, due to the pandemic, this has been temporarily suspended as well. Catering is no longer providing alcohol for the MC, which includes...

    Primarily, there would be an exchange of payment for alcohol in MC. In order to cut down on contact, alcohol sales were temporarily discontinued. Alcohol is served in FC as it part of the fare; therefore, no exchange of payment/increased contact.

    MCE fares did include A complimentary beverage at one time. However, due to the pandemic, this has been temporarily suspended as well. Catering is no longer providing alcohol for the MC, which includes MCE. With passengers having the ability to change their seats once on the aircraft, there’s no way to truly say “you paid for MCE, you get a drink but you didn’t, so you don’t.” Even if there was, can you imagine passengers that weren’t served alcohol because they are one row behind MCE?

    Tension is already high with many passengers over the mask mandate. The last thing that is needed is to have another irate passenger that is now intoxicated. Some think “just one drink per passenger.” Well, there’s no way to tell how many that passenger had on their previous flight or in the terminal prior to boarding. That one drink could be the one that pushes them over…and what if they wanted their “one drink” to be a double, which is actually the equivalent to three shots since the mini’s are 1.5ounces each? Does that mean everyone would then get their “one drink” as a double?

    Unfortunately, for now, for safety (on many levels) I agree with the ban. Hopefully, this time next year, this will all be behind us.

    1. Chris E

      I'm sorry but you are misinformed. I upgraded my MC seat to include bar service which continues to be an available option. They should be providing discounts for those of us who already paid and change the cost of the upgrade to a lesser amount.

  14. Kevin

    Simple. They don't have a problem serving alcohol in Business and First because the people who fly up front aren't revolting, smelly animals - that economy cabin sounds absolutely ghastly.

  15. Stephen

    Service on Delta in Economy and Economy Comfort along with transatlantic meal service was surprisingly good.

    Can't say the same about KLM who were only serving terrible wine and beer. And terrible food.

    Delta status matched me for 2021 and I have met the match and standard qualification requirements. With my business travel being low to zero in 2021-2022 clearly AA are not encouraging me to switch back.

  16. Edward Sobolewski

    Perhaps no alcohol is served in Main Cabin on AA is that most, if not all disturbances take place in the Main Cabin.

  17. Rob

    What about premium economy on transatlantic flights? Is that banned too?

  18. Paul

    "Could someone explain to me the logic of how it’s safe to drink alcohol in first class, but not in economy?"

    It has nothing to do with the covid safety of serving/consuming alcohol. It's related to the insane uptick in passangers acting like toddlers and at times physically assaulting flight attendants over having to wear masks... And you and every other sassy pants travel blogger knows it. The silly and rhetorical questions you all...

    "Could someone explain to me the logic of how it’s safe to drink alcohol in first class, but not in economy?"

    It has nothing to do with the covid safety of serving/consuming alcohol. It's related to the insane uptick in passangers acting like toddlers and at times physically assaulting flight attendants over having to wear masks... And you and every other sassy pants travel blogger knows it. The silly and rhetorical questions you all keep posing in this regard are simply unnecessary.

    Reducing the amount of alcohol on board reduces the chances of intoxicated passangers escalating conflicts.

    Why not completely ban it?
    I'm sure there was a cost benefit analysis conducted by management that determined continuing to cut it from first class would disenfranchise the high spenders who fill those seats (though apparently serving subpar "food" in first hasn't been deemed a problem )

    And I suspect there may be some clacist assumptions being made too... Assuming that folks with the money to pay for first class seats are less likely to cause trouble. (Of course, whether this assumption is true or fair is an entirely different conversation)

  19. Rich

    I find this amusing

    I've done 22 sectors on American in first sine I recommended flying in June.

    Why would you drink the dross they serve in first class? It's appalling.

    Much better wine in the clubs but at $10+ a glass. Or like the champagne we downed in Dallas a couple of weeks ago at $45 a bottle.

  20. Will

    I just actually called the executive liaison number to bitch about this after reading the post. I'm already tired of the complete lack of service demonstrated by AA flight attendants in both coach and first. In fact, the only two times I've been thanked for my loyalty this year have occurred on RJ flights. I can deal with more reduced pitch seating, but to not even have the option to get a drink and then to have to deal with rude attendants is ridiculous.

  21. J Opperman

    Interesting that AA has decided econo class is not worthy of an alcoholic beverage, but 1st class is. I rarely imbibe on flights but I can see where the majority of econo flyers may take offence.

  22. NYGuy24

    In economy people are packed in like sardines and cranky. The last thing you want is some anti-masker getting drunk and causing a problem. Not really an issue in first class where people are much more spread out. Most people in first class want to be left alone and the ratio between FAs and people in F or J is better than in economy, so they are able to spot if someone has had too...

    In economy people are packed in like sardines and cranky. The last thing you want is some anti-masker getting drunk and causing a problem. Not really an issue in first class where people are much more spread out. Most people in first class want to be left alone and the ratio between FAs and people in F or J is better than in economy, so they are able to spot if someone has had too much before it becomes an issue. Even though the booze is free in first class I never over indulge. The last thing I want is to arrive at my destination with a hangover or to make the jet lag worse than it needs to be. When I hit my limit I just tell the FAs no more for me and that is it.

  23. Dave

    These are my observations. Initially, and even so, the customers paying for first class are usually conscientious when booking; knowing that a) there will be more spacing, 2) there will be more food and beverage choices and 3) (in the back of ones mind) there will be a certain type of people in first class, who, for the most part, take first class or fly frequently.

    In coach on the other hand, we see...

    These are my observations. Initially, and even so, the customers paying for first class are usually conscientious when booking; knowing that a) there will be more spacing, 2) there will be more food and beverage choices and 3) (in the back of ones mind) there will be a certain type of people in first class, who, for the most part, take first class or fly frequently.

    In coach on the other hand, we see people already getting into full on brawls; whether or not alcohol is a preexisting contributing factor should not matter; but if we add alcohol into the equation inflight, things may very well get even further out of hand; not just brawls, but also beligerant behaviour and the non-conscientiousness of mask wearing and those around the person.

    Think of it as a punishment... or timeout. Group mentality, if we have a handful of people who act like disruptive kindergarteners, then they shall be punished as such and hence snacktime will be taken away for the whole class instead of on an individual basis in hopes that the others will help whip the one into conformity.

  24. Marshall Jackson

    I’m willing to be proven wrong, but IMHO, alcohol service in the coach section of any airline’s airplane is not why or how people are acting up. One, and at most two passes of the drink cart are all you’re going to get on most domestic flights, and I challenge you to go ahead and try and buy more than a couple rounds.

  25. Adi89

    It’s probably more likely that customers in first class are AAdvantage members, more like to be frequent travellers and feel that they have a “relationship” with the airline that matters to them, and hence more likely to comply with cabin crew instructions. Also, some people just wouldn’t fly first class if there’s no alcohol. Domestic US first class is almost indistinguishable from economy (particularly where there is no difference in the hard product) except for...

    It’s probably more likely that customers in first class are AAdvantage members, more like to be frequent travellers and feel that they have a “relationship” with the airline that matters to them, and hence more likely to comply with cabin crew instructions. Also, some people just wouldn’t fly first class if there’s no alcohol. Domestic US first class is almost indistinguishable from economy (particularly where there is no difference in the hard product) except for the alcohol service.

  26. Brian Iacobucci

    they are getting bad as the corrupt government we have.

  27. Alex

    We can bail them out every time there is a financial crisis, home made or pandemic, but as an adult over 21 then having a drink, beer or so should not be a class issue. I pay for my beer in economy and in all other premium classes it’s priced into the ticket. If I don’t behave without alcohol the consequences will be same as with. Plus with their little iPads FA, they can control...

    We can bail them out every time there is a financial crisis, home made or pandemic, but as an adult over 21 then having a drink, beer or so should not be a class issue. I pay for my beer in economy and in all other premium classes it’s priced into the ticket. If I don’t behave without alcohol the consequences will be same as with. Plus with their little iPads FA, they can control consumption and restrict it. Why does this problem not exist anywhere else in the world?

  28. Nige

    I like that economy people don’t have access to alcohol. Sadly, you have the entire social-economic scale on a plane, and I feel safer knowing the Group-9ers aren’t getting drunk….it would turn into a Spirit flight if they did.

    I also think that if you are in First and show proof of vaccination you shouldn’t have to wear a mask. We need to stop shying away from separate rules for certain people.

    1. Andrew-Stuart

      Haha, I've always said to people for years that an aircraft cabin is a model of human socio-economic status. The people travelling in First class are usually more educated, earn more money and are less violent. But far at the back of the plane, sits..........well, passengers who usually travel on Spirit Airlines!

  29. Donna

    Just a few thoughts. First, someone slowly sipping on cocktails will have an excuse to not wear a mask throughout the flight and I’m sure we can agree that the economy cabins are more densely populated creating higher health risk to other passengers. Second, one crazy drunk passenger who cannot be controlled leading to a diversion and possible cancellation of a flight probably costs a whole lot more than the profit on alcohol sales. As...

    Just a few thoughts. First, someone slowly sipping on cocktails will have an excuse to not wear a mask throughout the flight and I’m sure we can agree that the economy cabins are more densely populated creating higher health risk to other passengers. Second, one crazy drunk passenger who cannot be controlled leading to a diversion and possible cancellation of a flight probably costs a whole lot more than the profit on alcohol sales. As for the first and business class passengers, there might be incidents where these passengers get out of line forcing a landing to off load them but I haven’t heard of any.

  30. Doug DeNunzio

    The alcohol on Tampa to New York is cook lol a few timers in sister of 2.3 hours.

    1. Never In Doubt

      Airfarer, you've been "Doug DeNunzio'd". That's his/her standard MO.

  31. Tim Dunn

    Running an on-time operation with minimal cancellations will do more to reduce flyer angst than any other reason; since AA has some of the worst on-time and cancellation performance - alongside Southwest - it is not a surprise they have some of the worst in-flight behavior issues.

  32. Chris c.

    If you look at the people that are causing disturbances in the back of the aircraft, you will find that over 70% involve intoxicated people. They sit in the bar before the flight and have a few cocktails and then a couple more on the flight and it's game on.

  33. Never In Doubt

    I'm all for limiting alcohol, or anything else, for the unwashed masses in the back.

  34. 305

    Those arguing it’s a “cost saving measure, MCE typically gets free drinks”: rarely if ever does one get served more than one alcoholic beverage in MCE. The FAs do the first beverage service then disappear to their galleys. Ring the call button? Good luck, slim chance they’ll bring you another.

    Also, project Oasis slashed the number of MCE seats on many aircraft. I’d have to see the numbers, but seems 30 potential free beverages...

    Those arguing it’s a “cost saving measure, MCE typically gets free drinks”: rarely if ever does one get served more than one alcoholic beverage in MCE. The FAs do the first beverage service then disappear to their galleys. Ring the call button? Good luck, slim chance they’ll bring you another.

    Also, project Oasis slashed the number of MCE seats on many aircraft. I’d have to see the numbers, but seems 30 potential free beverages vs the opportunity cost to sell them to 126 seats doesn’t make sense as “cost savings” to me

    1. Taylor

      I've often gotten 2 or more beverages in MCE, but let's just take your numbers as an example. If there are 30 MCE seats and half of the MCE customers request 1 free alcoholic beverage and we assume American is paying $5 in cost per drink, that would cost them 15 customers * $5 = $75. If there are 126 economy seats, let's assume that 10% of them buy a beverage at $9 each. That's...

      I've often gotten 2 or more beverages in MCE, but let's just take your numbers as an example. If there are 30 MCE seats and half of the MCE customers request 1 free alcoholic beverage and we assume American is paying $5 in cost per drink, that would cost them 15 customers * $5 = $75. If there are 126 economy seats, let's assume that 10% of them buy a beverage at $9 each. That's 13 passengers * ($9 price - $5 cost to American) = 13 * $4 = $52. This would mean American would lose about $25 per plane ($75 in cost to provide drinks to MCE minus $52 in profit from selling alcohol to the rest of economy). Keep in mind - the drinks are not free to American, they only earn the profit on each drink not the full sales price. At best, having alcohol in the economy cabin is likely break even given the MCE complementary drinks. Throw in that it also angers the flight attendants, and the decision makes more sense, even though I personally don't like it

    2. Capital Obvious

      They are not paying $5 a drink lolz.

    3. 305

      Exactly. The profit margins are so far off here. Almost as if they wanted to push a certain agenda...

    4. Timtamtrak

      Airlines are paying at the absolute most $1 per beverage. Where I work we pay no more than 70-80 cents for a liquor mini.

  35. Sean

    I think this policy is the epitome of a corporation that is out of touch with reality. Most of the incidents they are using to justify the alcohol ban happened after the ban was already in place. Also, I think for the overwhelming majority of people, having a drink actually sedates them, and the small percent that get aggressive probably would have anyway (as we're seeing). Just disappointing...

  36. Steve

    There is no physical interaction with pax in F/C when serving alcohol whereas in coach there’s the passing back and forth of credit cards. It’s to minimize touch points. Also, M/C extra do not get alcohol served to them.

  37. Macdc

    Probably a good idea considering the way American treats its customers.

  38. Ryan

    This should not apply to EXPs sitting in coach since they are not selling alcohol to those customers.

    1. Louise

      As EXP in main cabin I asked FA for wine- she replied they only stock enough for First Class. I reminded her the EXP benefit of complimentary snack and beverage in coach, and she said she understands and has had tons of unhappy EXP customers and apologized profusely, but that new covid-era rules prohibit any alcohol served in main cabin. I wrote to AAdvantage customer service which confirmed that no alcohol at all is currently...

      As EXP in main cabin I asked FA for wine- she replied they only stock enough for First Class. I reminded her the EXP benefit of complimentary snack and beverage in coach, and she said she understands and has had tons of unhappy EXP customers and apologized profusely, but that new covid-era rules prohibit any alcohol served in main cabin. I wrote to AAdvantage customer service which confirmed that no alcohol at all is currently allowed in Main Cabin, even to EXP. YMMV.

  39. Brooks

    I would think that the revenue drop from First Class passengers who want to get their drink on shifting to another airline is the main driver for not going universal. I'm one of them that would and I'm petty enough to not do business with an airline for a good while after being mistreated (rightly or wrongly). It took almost a decade before I would fly Delta again after a crap-tastic interaction. I have a...

    I would think that the revenue drop from First Class passengers who want to get their drink on shifting to another airline is the main driver for not going universal. I'm one of them that would and I'm petty enough to not do business with an airline for a good while after being mistreated (rightly or wrongly). It took almost a decade before I would fly Delta again after a crap-tastic interaction. I have a few American First Class Flights coming up in September and November. I'll want to get my drink on.

  40. SFO-FF

    I’d argue this just actually encourages people to get drunker. I’ve sat at many an airport bar during the pandemic watching someone guzzle down double vodka sodas because they knew they couldn’t get a drink on board. I genuinely believe people are getting drunker prior to getting on the plane by using the ban to justify binge drinking.

    Also, the issues tend to be occurring during boarding. Which has nothing to do with something...

    I’d argue this just actually encourages people to get drunker. I’ve sat at many an airport bar during the pandemic watching someone guzzle down double vodka sodas because they knew they couldn’t get a drink on board. I genuinely believe people are getting drunker prior to getting on the plane by using the ban to justify binge drinking.

    Also, the issues tend to be occurring during boarding. Which has nothing to do with something served onboard.

    All that said, the argument that people use consuming a drink to not wear a mask is probably valid. But it’s sure not the justification they are using.

    1. 305

      Someone here gets it. The pregaming is rampant. No shock the incidents are typically pre-departure like you said

    2. Andrew-Stuart

      In much the same way that young people these days drink at home first to get drunk, using alcohol that's in the house, prior to going out clubbing. That way, they save a few bucks by not needing to buy expensive drinks at the bar to get the same level of intoxication....

  41. Alonzo

    This is hilarious. Keep banning alcohol like behavior is going to improve once you bring it back lmao. People are not changing, bad behavior will continue once alcohol is brought back....in 2023.

  42. Taylor

    Does this mean no alcohol for Main Cabin Extra as well? If so, I wonder if it is indeed a cost cutting move -- on some flights, I bet the cost savings from not providing free drinks to MCE exceeds the profitability from selling alcohol to the rest of the Economy cabin

  43. Chris

    Here's the logic:
    For the most part you don't have imbeciles sitting in first and business class

    1. Jack

      I think most of us fly enough to know that's entirely false.

  44. Chris

    I’m a flight attendant (different airline), and think I get their rationale. Those with alcohol prolong having their mask off generally. Our policy is to keep mask on and take sips then replace. Having a drink constantly in front of you shouldn’t give you a free pass.

    1. Chris E

      So First or Business Class are less likely to spread the virus...you can't be serious

  45. Klaus

    Maybe the assumption is that first class passengers are behaving better than Basic Economy Class passengers?

    Or the ratio FApassenger is better in first class and AA thinks that FA can intervene quicker in F in critical situations?

  46. Anthony

    Seems like a cost cutting initiative. Delta has been selling alcohol in economy the entire time, and it has caused no issue. I have used drink coupons to buy a few drinks this year. Frankly this change makes me less likely to fly AA over the next several months.

    1. Klaus

      Cost cutting?
      Don’t they make money selling booze?

    2. Sel, D.

      @Klaus not likely with all the free booze they give out in main cabin extra.

    3. Eric

      Alcohol is complimentary in main cabin extra. Not happy hour. A service is done, and that's pretty much it. They could give you a refill, but ring your call bottom for a drink, and you tell me how it goes.

    4. Sir Walter Raleigh

      @Eric - just flag down an FA passing by.

      They’ll give you stink eye but they will give you a second or even third round.

  47. Brodie

    The non-revs flying in First class would object if alcohol was banned. It’s a morale booster with minimal cost.

    1. Mike

      Lol you’ve got to be joking

    2. D3kingg

      @Brodie

      Non revs drink like fish

  48. chris

    I agree a drink and a sandwich would probably calm people down, not rile them up.

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Kevin

Simple. They don't have a problem serving alcohol in Business and First because the people who fly up front aren't revolting, smelly animals - that economy cabin sounds absolutely ghastly.

Will

I just actually called the executive liaison number to bitch about this after reading the post. I'm already tired of the complete lack of service demonstrated by AA flight attendants in both coach and first. In fact, the only two times I've been thanked for my loyalty this year have occurred on RJ flights. I can deal with more reduced pitch seating, but to not even have the option to get a drink and then to have to deal with rude attendants is ridiculous.

Chris E

I'm sorry but you are misinformed. I upgraded my MC seat to include bar service which continues to be an available option. They should be providing discounts for those of us who already paid and change the cost of the upgrade to a lesser amount.

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