How American Airlines Procedures Are Changing As It Prepares For Possible January 20th Unrest

As America prepares for January 20th, in the wake of last week’s unpleasantness as electoral votes were counted, businesses across the country are taking precautions. Risk is almost always backward-looking, and the last threat is what’s on our mind most. Some of that is rational, since it means raising an estimate of the likelihood that something could occur based on new information.

Here are the preparations that American Airlines is taking in advance of the inauguration.

  • American is dropping alcohol from DC flights again starting Saturday and running through Thursday, January 21 – the day after the inauguration of Joe Biden as President.

  • They’re going to be housing crew near DC airports and avoiding downtown DC. That both keeps employees away from protests and ensures they’re able to operate flights in case there are disruptions that would get in the way of commuting back and forth. They’re also going to have more staff at gates.

  • And American is going to keep crew members away from state capitols for their overnights as well, so their procedures aren’t limited to the DC area.

Here’s the internal message from American:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The twin ravagement by COVID and DONALD TRUMP combined have made way to many people crazy in the USA. Time to take some chill pills to mitigate 6 more days of TRUMP exposure and a vaccine for COVID protection.

  2. They say that gift giving is more about the person giving the gift than about the recipient. Same principle applies here: corporations, including airlines, will feel better about themselves for taking these inaugural “precautions.” We (at least those of us who don’t see a Right Wing Extremist around every corner) know these precautions are extremely unlikely to make any difference to safety at all.

  3. Another Y2K panic which will have the same outcome: nothing. Like Y2K, the panic is inflated by people who profit from it.

    Follow the money. The stock market doesn’t register any concern at all.

  4. Maybe should just ground themselves nationwide for 5 days on either side of January 20 just to be safe.

  5. Did these commenters see what the right-wing extremists did and attempted to do on January 6? I guess not, to them, the people in that white lynch mob were just good Americans. That kind of lawlessness and terror by white people has been overlooked and minimized for centuries in America. These people are still doing it right in front of our faces.

  6. @GaryLeff: I understand you write a lot and also have a full-time job – and I appreciate all the excellent information I get from you. However, to characterize January 6th’s riot, attempted sedition, and potential imprisonment and murder of legally elected officials for carrying out their duty and oaths as “last week’s unpleasantness” is out of line.
    Let’s call it what it was: an attempted coup by people who believe the lies of the most dangerous man to ever occupy the White House.
    I’ll get off my soap box now.

  7. @RD — I’m always amused by people who complain that a writer understated the seriousness of some situation and then, himself or herself, massively OVERSTATES the seriousness. If, God forbid, we ever see an “attempted coup” in Washington, it won’t be led by a guy wearing pelts and buffalo horns. There will be weapons. Big ones. And the coup leaders won’t mill around and leave in an hour.
    We now return to our regular semi-normal reality.

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