In response to negative behavior on flights, American Airlines has suspended alcohol sales on some of its services. Affected services include those traveling to and from Washington DC. This comes following a day of disruption, which saw flight attendants dealing with onboard aggression.
No more alcohol on Washington flights
American Airlines has taken what it is calling precautionary measures on its flights traveling to and from Washington DC. These measures include no longer serving alcohol on these flights. The suspension of alcohol sales is thought to be temporary, with the airline saying it is to ensure its customers’ and team members’ safety. In a statement to CNN, American Airlines commented,
“We are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air.”
While the airline has not shared details of any specific incidents, its decision comes on the same day thousands of people descended on Washington as Congress began its joint session to certify Joe Biden’s victory. Earlier yesterday, several incidents were shared on social media of flights being disrupted, including a Delta flight with Mitt Romney onboard.
This is what happened when Mitt Romney boarded a plane full of patriots headed to DC 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/2zi5fLke5y
— Art TakingBack 🇺🇸 (@ArtValley818_) January 6, 2021
For American Airlines itself, footage was shared of supporters shining a pro-Trump projection onto the ceiling of the cabin. Passengers shouted at each other, and a flight attendant was forced to intervene.
And so it begins.
On a plane from TX —> DC flight attendants are struggling to control a plane full of Trump supporters as they display a pro-Trump projection and harass others passengers bound for DC.[DM to license]#dc #trump #trumprally #protest #thisisamerica #sos pic.twitter.com/BlTCbD8ntl
— Maranie R. Staab (@MaranieRae) January 6, 2021
Of the incident, American Airlines told ABC News,
“Our team is reviewing this incident. We applaud our outstanding crewmembers for their professionalism in de-escalating a tense onboard situation and getting our customers to their destination safely.”
Flight attendants union warns of dangers to staff
The largest flight attendant union in the US has urged airlines to weed out and ban those passengers who were involved in the protests.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which represents almost 50,000 flight attendants across 17 airlines, released a statement following the day’s events, reading,
“Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together.’ The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe.
“Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.
“We in aviation have a serious role to play in national security. Airlines, in coordination with TSA, DHS, FAA, DOT and law enforcement must take all steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew by keeping all problems on the ground.”
While passengers have been barred from flights for not adhering to mask-wearing rules, it would be highly irregular to ban passengers who have participated in a protest on the ground. However, when these same people take their grievances to the skies, any unruly or disruptive behavior onboard a plane can be punished by law.