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American Airlines passengers will have to wait a little longer before alcohol sales resume in the main cabin.
That is because the company has decided to extend its suspension of in-flight alcohol service until Jan. 18, 2022.
“We are doing all we can to help create a safe environment for our crew and customers onboard our aircraft,” American said in an internal memo obtained Thursday by NBC News.
This is not the first time the carrier has pushed back the suspension’s end date. Shortly after Southwest Airlines banned a passenger accused of attacking a flight attendant and knocking out two of her teeth, American announced it was extending the suspension of alcohol sales until Sept. 13.
News of the latest extension came on the same day the Federal Aviation Administration announced that proposed fines for unruly passengers this year had topped $1 million. Just weeks ago, the agency warned airports across the country to monitor serving alcohol to passengers, citing a spike in unruly or dangerous passenger behavior aboard airplanes this year.
In a typical year, the FAA sees 100 to 150 formal cases of bad passenger behavior. Since January, however, the FAA has reported nearly 3,900 incidents, including 2,867 cases involving passengers who refused to comply with the federal mask mandate on planes.
On Thursday, the FAA said 34 passengers accused of unruly behavior on planes faced more than $500,000 in fines, bringing the total amount of proposed civil penalties to more than $1 million this year.
Of the 34 new cases reported Thursday, 22 involved passengers who did not follow the mask mandate that the Transportation Security Administration extended to next January, according to the FAA.
Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News.
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