Sud-Ouest backs off on service resumes
Airlines cut the majority of in-flight services at the start of the pandemic, although we have seen airlines slowly adding services as the situation gets more under control thanks to widespread vaccination.
Last week Southwest announced it would resume selling alcohol on flights starting this summer, as the company seeks to restore “more elements of Southwestern hospitality than customers know and like ”.
Well, not so fast, apparently. Southwest indefinitely postpones in-flight alcohol sale. Southwest’s in-flight operations manager Sonya Lacore explains that “based on increased passenger disruption in flight” she “made the decision to re-evaluate the restart of on-board alcohol service.”
This follows a flight attendant from the southwest who was recently physically assaulted by a passenger, even breaking two of her teeth. The passenger had repeatedly ignored the instructions for wearing the seat belt, putting the trays in an upright position, etc.
Is alcohol the problem?
Some of the passenger behavior that we have seen in the last few months has been absolutely horrific. The latest incident we saw of an assaulted southwest flight attendant disgusts me. We have seen an increase in air rage incidents, and I applaud the FAA for cracking down on that and taking a zero tolerance approach.
That being said, I’m not sure alcohol is the problem here, or even alcohol would make things worse? Keep in mind that a vast majority of the incidents we saw during the pandemic did not involve alcohol, as they happened when the airlines offered almost no service. Heck, the only ‘under the influence’ story I’ve seen recently is about a guy who brought his own cocaine on a robbery.
A lot of people get nervous and stressed out when they get on a plane these days, and just have a bad attitude. It has been a difficult year. Maybe a drink will help some people calm down and not behave like morons?
In this spirit:
- As air rage incidents have increased, we are talking about a small percentage of passengers overall
- I think reestablishing a sense of normalcy in flight could lead to a decrease in these incidents rather than an increase
- Of course, this will not be the case in all areas, but I do not think that offering to sell each passenger a single drink will have catastrophic consequences.
At the end of the line
Southwest Airlines was supposed to resume in-flight alcohol sales from June, but the airline backed down. This is due to an increase in air rage incidents, including a Southwest flight attendant who was physically assaulted last week.
As I see where the southwest is coming from, is this a case where I’m not sure alcohol is the problem? Virtually every air rage incident we’ve seen has happened without airlines serving alcohol, and it didn’t seem to do the trick.
How do you feel about Southwest continuing to suspend its alcohol service?