Southwest Airlines said Friday it will not resume alcohol service as planned after the recent assault on one of its flight attendants, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
The airline had planned to resume serving alcohol on some flights starting in June.
On May 23, a Southwest passenger was arrested on suspicion of felony battery causing serious injury after she allegedly struck a flight attendant during a flight from Sacramento to San Diego, according to a statement from the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department.
“The passenger repeatedly ignored standard inflight instructions (tray table in upright position, seat belt, etc.) and became verbally and physically abusive upon landing,” Southwest Airlines spokesman Chris Mainz told CNN.
Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s head of in-flight operations, wrote in the memo related to alcohol service that “based on the rise in passenger disruptions in flight, I’ve made the decision to re-evaluate the restart of alcohol service on board.”
Earlier Friday, Southwest said it banned the woman accused of assaulting the flight attendant on Sunday and knocking out two of her teeth.
Mainz told CNN the passenger “is restricted from ever flying on Southwest Airlines again, and she has been advised this decision is final.”
The Federal Aviation Administration says it has a zero-tolerance policy for unruly passenger behavior and has proposed civil fines ranging from $9,000 to $52,500 against at least 15 passengers in May.
The FAA said in a news release issued on Monday that it had received about 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers since the beginning of the year, including about 1,900 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate.
CNN’s Chris Boyette, David Williams and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.