Another airline is suspending in-flight alcohol service in the wake of an attack that left a flight attendant with missing teeth. Per CNN, American Airlines has followed suit with Southwest, which delayed their planned return to alcohol service after the flight attendant was "seriously assaulted" by a passenger on a flight from Sacramento, Calif., to San Diego earlier this month. While alcohol was not mentioned in the police report filed following the Southwest assault, American said in a memo obtained by CNN that alcohol has been a contributing factor to "atypical behavior" of passengers in-flight. "Over the past week we've seen some of these stressors create deeply disturbing situations on board aircraft," the memo said. "Let me be clear: American Airlines will not tolerate assault or mistreatment of our crews."
In March 2020, American joined other airlines in suspending alcohol service as the pandemic unfolded in order to limit flight attendant interaction with passengers. American reinstated alcohol service in its first and business class cabins May 1. That service will continue to be offered. However, coach cabin alcohol service won't resume until Sept. 13, the same day TSA says it will lift its mask mandate for all passengers. Per USA Today, Southwest Airlines did not offer a timeline for when its alcohol sales would resume. The president of the union representing Southwest flight attendants said last week that there were 477 incidents of "misconduct" by passengers on Southwest planes between April 8 and May 15, and that her members were concerned about Southwest’s plan to resume selling alcohol on flights. (More Southwest Airlines stories.)