Two DFW airlines are suspending alcohol service on flights: Both Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Fort Worth-based American Airlines have placed a delay on alcohol service, following an increase in bad behavior on planes and inside airports.
The airlines initially stopped alcohol service in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to limit interaction between customers and airline personnel.
Southwest had plans to reinstate alcohol service in July but decided to delay the reinstatement.
"Given a recent uptick industry-wide of incidents inflight involving disruptive passengers, we're pausing previously announced resumption of alcohol service onboard," said a Southwest spokesman. "We realize this decision will be disappointing for some Customers, but we feel it to be the right decision now in the interest of Safety and comfort of all onboard."
They're still moving forward with expanding their onboard selection but only soft drinks and coffee.
According to CNN, American Airlines sent a memo to its flight attendants that said that having to enforce face masks was a factor, stating, "Over the past week we've seen some of these stressors create deeply disturbing situations on board aircraft. American Airlines will not tolerate assault or mistreatment of our crews."
American Airlines' alcohol service will remain suspended through September 13, which is the end date for the Transportation Security Administration's mandate requiring masks on all travelers in airports, airplanes, terminals, trains, buses, and boats. It was originally supposed to end on May 11 but the TSA extended it to September.
A representative from the flight attendants' union told the Associated Press that there were 477 incidents of misconduct by passengers on Southwest planes between April 8 and May 15.
Among the worst was an episode in California when a passenger punched a flight attendant while on a California flight on May 23. The altercation was caught on video, showing 28-year-old Vyvianna Quinonez punch the flight attendant in the mouth before another male passenger intervened.
According to Yahoo, Quinonez repeatedly ignored standard in-flight instructions and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing. The flight attendant lost two teeth.
Another incident took place on May 25 at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, also caught on video, in which a woman trying to get on a flight screamed at police and demanded to speak to the "manager of the fucking airport."
Terre Ann Bluse, 62, of Carson, Washington, was arrested on charges of resisting arrest, search or transport, possession of marijuana under two ounces, possession of a dangerous drug, and public intoxication.
According to the police report, she tried to rush the doors of an American Airlines flight after she was denied boarding. American Airlines staff tried to stop her and another passenger pushed her away, causing her to trip and fall.
She also shouted to other passengers that she had been choked and urged them to videotape her arrest. Officers had to pick her up by her feet and shoulders to get her into a police car.