Passenger With Bottle Of Wine On Tray Table Drinks It On Short Miami Flight

American Airlines won’t serve alcohol in coach, because they’re afraid it will make poorly-behaved passengers even worse. But they’ve found that customers keep bringing their own alcohol on board anyway. BYO and drinking it (not served by a flight attendant) is illegal. The airline has deployed its lobbyists to try to get airports to stop allowing restaurants to sell alcohol to go.

They’ll serve alcohol to first class passengers, though, and on a recent Charlotte-Miami flight one passenger was spotted with a full bottle on their tray table for the short 650 mile trip – impressive indeed for a two hour flight.

Credit: R. Tedrow, Used With Permission

This passenger didn’t bring the bottle themselves. They’re seated in the aisle and making no attempt to hide it. Instead the flight attendant poured this passenger a glass of wine, according to our sources, and then gave the man a whole bottle.

If I were this customer, I’d see my mission as that of a Robin Hood bartender and bring the bottle back to coach the way one American Airlines passenger did three years ago. Robin Hood, that is, or Flavor Flav who once grabbed airline snacks and passed them out throughout the cabin declaring “Today the back of the plane is 1st class!!!!”

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. So, a first class (actually really a somewhat so so business class) AA customer was given a glass of wine (in plastic cup – which is NOT first class), and then gifted with an UNOPENED bottle of wine (that would be first class.). What do you expect him to do with the bottle? Put it in his lap as it wouldn’t fit in the seat pocket! I assume that eventually he put the bottle in his carry on or carried it off UNOPENED in his hand. So what is wrong with this? Nothing in my mind….I appreciate the generosity of AA. Having flown this route numerous times I can now hope for similar treatment. Who knows:? Stranger things have happened on AA.

  2. Gary I am sorry but so what. He is not bothering anyone and is enjoying his flight. Why do you and others believe it is necessary to try and get people in trouble for no reason other than click bait / views. I usually enjoy this blog and enjoy your knowledge of points and miles, but not this post! Please focus on what you do best and don’t get involved in this PC “wokeism” cancel culture.

  3. Outrageous but maybe the FA was this guy’s niece. By the way, some editing would have helped this article.

  4. Who knows what preceded the gift of the bottle? Perhaps the passenger did a favor for the attendant like giving up the seat he really wanted to accommodate a couple. I was once flying in First on BA from Delhi to London and connecting to JFK. The CSD had trouble finding anyone in First willing to fill out the obligatory survey and I wasn’t sleeping and said I would. When I returned it to him, he brought me an unopened bottle of champagne.

  5. To Dnn: Perhaps you would endorse having the TSA folk perform a breathalyzer on all the people who are passing through “security?””

  6. Gary….how about saying “the bottle himself” and “He is seated” and not succumb to the nonsensical “them” and “they” usage from the woke crowd?

  7. I agree with Dikaios. These woke pronouns are nonsense. I’d much prefer not to see them written here.

  8. Ridiculous article. Find something worth spending your time on. This guy was simply minding his own business and not causing any problems. Instead you guys are drawing attention to this and probably going to get the flight attendant in trouble or fired. Come one, chose topics that are worth it.

  9. That bottle is full. Nothing was pour from that bottle so is this really a well sourced article.

  10. I see Gary is back to his whiney AAntics. Good God @Gary, you must be so miserable churning out so much negativity.

  11. I agree with DNN . The cabin crew should make the entire cabin aware of the no alcohol policy. It is pitiful the decent pax have to suffer for a small minority of thoughtless louts !

  12. Grammar is important when you write for the public.

    “This passenger didn’t bring the bottle themselves.”

    To help you, ‘this passenger’ is singular and ‘themselves’ is plural.

  13. Alcohol should not be severed or allowed on flights. There are enough problems for Flight Attendants to deal with without having to deal with someone who over did drinking alcohol.

  14. I am the only one who thinks it is funny that the tablet is NOT in the “fancy” AA tablet holder bracket in the seat but rather snacks on that tiny thing?

    Also, is maybe the passenger next to him also enjoying the wine?

  15. Donna there is no indication that the passenger was inebriated and I for one like to drink alcohol while on board. Responsible drinkers should not have to pay the price for the rowdy fee who cannot control their consumption. And Peter your comments are beyond absurd! “Decent passengers”. What this guy is not decent because he dared to enjoy a bottle of wine while in FC. get over yourself already.

  16. The picture is of a closed bottle…. Maybe the gentleman asked what white wine they were serving? Steward left bottle on tray so he could read at leisure. No facts just jealous conjecture.
    There is something in this world called personal responsibility.. You are responsible for what class you sit in on a plane.

  17. Just flew American and I would say that alcohol would be in better “taste” than allowing a passenger to paint her fingernails in flight in coach without one word from stewardess, while other passengers in close proximity had to suffer with acetone smell coming through their masks. Not only rude but item with acetone is flammable!.

  18. Covid policies are still in place that’s why plastic cups are being used. Flight Attendants are responsible for monitoring a passengers consumption of alcohol. Passenger should not be given the bottle.

  19. @Donna – what do you mean when you state that……Alcohol should not be “severed” or allowed on flights. Be honest – were you drunk when you composed that sentence?

    @Gene – I was wondering the same thing. Looks a little like 1960’s Joan Rivers.

  20. Oh TWA used to do that all the time. My flights back to STL from PHL every Friday night, we’d open the wine cellar and drink until landing. Good At You AA!

  21. The bottle is unopened and was likely a gift for having reached a certain milestone of accrued miles or flights on this airline. That’s fairly common practice for the major airlines. They don’t allow the passenger to open the bottle on the plane.
    First time I’ve read anything written by this “expert”. I don’t understand how someone who flies so much wouldn’t know that…unless he just wants to stir up trouble for click bait. In which case, well done sir.

  22. I don’t know why people keep coming up with stories about what happened when there’s a first hand report of the passenger drinking the bottle.

  23. Agree with some of the comments, this was a clickbait post, I don’t really see the point of this article.

    I also don’t see the point of anyone criticizing the author of using “woke” words. I didn’t even notice, but it’s rather ironic that they are bothered but it, as reeks of hypocrisy. People that get upset over other people being offended. Everyone, just be nice to one another. “Woke” literally is not hurting anyone.

  24. Just another stupid example of your poor journalistic work.

    Oh look, top tier customer loved a bottle of wine and FA went above and beyond and gave a gift.

    Holy shit- not a news story.

  25. My friend asked me the other day, how much I spend on a bottle of wine?
    “Usually less than half an hour” was my answer!

  26. Before 9-11 it was nothing to bring a pint on the flight and spike you soda in flight… now public funding allows the airline to gouge citizens and limit citizens rights in the name of security…

  27. The real question would be, why does the airline think that people without money are animalistic and will just GO CRAZY and start killing people because they had a glass of wine? Maybe if the attendants didn’t treat economy like chattal in steerage instead of hard working people who only have enough money for the basic seats, maybe they wouldn’t get treated like shlt in return. What a bunch of elitist fu(ks.

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