Pregnant Woman Denied Water On American Airlines Flight For ‘Covid Safety’

A pregnant woman was denied water on an American Airlines flight because of coronavirus, since the airline isn’t offering drink service to economy passengers – though they plan to restore this June 1.

The American Airlines twitter team was on the case. And they tried. But they were no match for this flight’s crew.

While passengers in first class have been able to request full drink service, those in back are given a back with a small bottle of water, snack and sanitary wipe. Cabin crew could have gone to get something from the forward galley, or likely had an extra Covid Snack Bag.

Beverage service returns to American Airlines coach on June 1. At the end of April giving water to passengers is a Covid-19 transmission risk, but apparently that risk goes away on the first of June.

June 1 is an important date for many things, not just Covid-19 transmission.

  • Anne Boleyn was crowned as Henry VIII’s queen.
  • Kentucky and Tennessee were admitted into the U.S. as states.
  • The first skirmish of the Civil War took place.
  • The first automobile theft happened.
  • The DC-4 made its first commercial flight.

The airline’s flight attendants union takes credit for “pushing off the return of a main cabin beverage service.” Some of the blame needs to be parceled out to the union, some to the airline for capitulating to them, but most to the crew of this particular flight who reportedly refused a pregnant woman water.

To be sure someone who is ‘unwell’ probably shouldn’t fly because being trapped inside a metal tube when you’re sick isn’t a good idea. But there’s no reason to believe the woman was ‘sick’ prior to the flight as opposed to ‘pregnant’. And American’s guidelines allow passengers to travel up through the 36th week of a pregnancy, and after that with a doctor certifying fitness to fly.

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. Those little bags containing a disinfectant wipe and cookies has not been passed out on any AA flight I’ve had since January or February. And when they did pass them out, everyone got offered one.

  2. So if they give her water because she was unable to carry her own onboard, the guy sitting in 23B (ua_nyc) and is transitioning to female gets offended because he has gas and wasn’t offered bottled water.

  3. The flight attendants union reminds me of my kids’ teachers union. Can’t even be bothered to teach more than a couple of hours a week because of Covid – and they are virtual to boot

  4. When I grouched to my mother (1913-2012) about abusive treatment as shown in stories like this she had a lifetime of experience to sum up her philosophy:

    “People are stupid.”

  5. I’ve wondered if the airline isnt letting the union take the fall for the inexcusable lack of service. Will service ever return to pre pandemic levels? Might not my flight attendant have been mildly appalled that business class passengers on a 3+ International flight over the dinner hour (many of whom may not have had an opportunity to eat since well before their first leg) got a tiny bag of pretzels and a drink. She was on board for the duration anyway, surely sitting on her rear day after day doesn’t give great job satisfaction. I cant help but feel some at least are this lack of service.

  6. I know someone who is an FA for AA and says that they generally not only refuse to serve anything in Y, but will even report fellow flight attendants who offer drinks to passengers for violating policy. However, I flew CVG-DCA yesterday in F, and was surprised to be offered drinks not just once, but twice during the 1 hour flight.

  7. Chris,
    CVG-DCA is operated for AA by Envoy/American Eagle.

    Unions have been the death knell of more than one US airline. After surviving covid, thanks to the US taxpayer, AA’s “service” just might be its Achilles heel.

  8. Been flying during Covid times and initially, AA flight attendants were friendly and welcoming. With flights more crowded now, they are back to their snarling ways….oh well. The pleasantness didn’t last very long.

  9. It’s a sad day in American aviation when Spirit Airlines outclasses American Airlines on the service front.

  10. Too bad the social media team didn’t send an ACARS message to the flight deck. I think they are in the SOCC now so they likely can access someone with ACARS a few desks away.

  11. Are we asking too much to have a woman at 32 weeks of pregnancy to bring her own water? I am not condoning AA F/A for not providing water in this situation.

  12. I am a retired UAL Flight Attendant. To adhere 100% to corporate policy & not use your own common sense is inexcusable. Under any circumstances flying can be very stressful & things like buying H2O can be overlooked. Of course, some people have no common sense & some are rude & insensitive from the start. They should not be in public service.

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