In a direct response to an increase of aggression and negative behaviour onboard American Airline’s (AA) flights bound for Washington DC, the US Capital, the carrier has announced a complete ban on the sale of alcohol onboard routes to the city; The move comes just a day after mass-disruption across the Capitol, following an attempted coupe by Trump Supporters.
Just a ‘Precautionary Measure’
The carrier has announced the move to be just a ‘precautionary measure’ among many introduced on their routes to and from Washington DC. One such measure is this new ban on alcohol sales onboard flights. It is thought that the measure is only temporary, to ensure safety of both passengers and crew onboard AA Flights. In a statement to the media a spokesperson said:
“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.”
The move comes just a day after thousands of disgruntled Trump Supporters descended on the US’ Capitol Building, just as Congress were beginning a session to certify President-Elect Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Videos circulated on social media show disruption onboard several flights, including a Delta Airlines flight in which Mitt Romney (a Republican Senator) was onboard:
Speaking to ABC News, a spokesperson for American Airlines added:
“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.”
Backed by Flight Attendants Union
One of the country’s largest Flight Attendant Unions, the “Association of Flight Attendants” (AFA) representing over 50,000 flight-crew across 17 different US Airlines, released a statement supporting the move by AA, amongst pleas for passengers bound for Washington DC:
“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 behaviour 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 travelled 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.”
Whilst it is thought that passengers Washington-bound for protesting would not be banned by the carrier, it is most certainly the case that passengers causing disruption onboard a flight pose a risk to the safety of the aircraft, and may well end up barred from the carrier.
What are your thoughts on this disruption, and subsequent move by American Airlines? Were they right in their act to ban alcohol sales? Let us know in the comments below!