American Airlines issued new “precautionary” measures, including an alcohol ban on flights to and from Washington, D.C., the day after hundreds of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Andrew Trull, a spokesperson for American Airlines, told NBC News in an email Thursday that they had increased staffing at airports in the D.C. area, among other measures.
“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,” Trull said.
No alcohol would be provided on D.C. flights on Thursday, but Trull said the company would “continue to monitor the situation.” Due to the pandemic, American Airlines stopped serving alcohol in the main cabin on Mar. 24, but it is still available in first class, according to the company.
The announcement came a day after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol — a chaotic and at times violent scene that left four people dead and forced Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to evacuate the building. Three of the four deaths reported on or around Capitol grounds were due to “medical emergencies.” One woman was shot and later died.
Julie Hedrick, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told union members in a letter Wednesday that they were aware of several flight incidents where flight attendants “were forced to confront passengers exhibiting politically motivated aggression towards other passengers and crew.”
Hedrick advised flight attendants to “maintain situational awareness, and attempt to deal with all safety and security issues on the ground.”
“As safety professionals, we are well trained in handling inflight disruptions, but we should never find ourselves having to deal with politically motivated verbal or physical altercations onboard,” Hedrick said in a statement.
“Remain extra vigilant on flights departing from the Washington, D.C. area for the next few days, and involve your fellow crewmembers if you have safety concerns.”