Two major airlines will postpone bringing back alcohol service after an uptick in passenger aggression.
Both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced the suspension this week after multiple flight attendants reported an uptick in rowdy and violent behavior from passengers. The announcement comes after a viral video showed a Southwest flight attendant being punched in the face for asking the passenger to keep her seat belt fastened while the plane was still moving. The attendant lost two teeth as a result of the injury, and the assailant, 28-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez, was banned for life from flying Southwest and now faces assault charges, the New York Times reports.
“We have just never seen anything like this,” Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants said in a meeting with federal aviation officials this past Wednesday. “We’ve never seen it so bad.”
The Federal Aviation Administration received 2,500 reports of aggressive and rowdy behavior since Jan. 1. 1,900 of those complaints stemmed from flight attendants asking passengers to keep their mask on. People are still required to wear masks on planes through September 13. American Airlines in particular said it would not consider bringing back alcoholic options until after the federal mask mandate expires.