Federal Court reverses ban on US Airways New Mexico liquor license

This week, a federal appeals court overturned a ban the had been preventing US Airways from serving alcohol on flights to and from the state of New Mexico. The ban was put in place back in 2006 after an incident involving a drunk passenger.

The passenger, Dana Papst had been served two drinks on his US Airways Albuquerque flight, despite already being intoxicated. On his drive back home from the airport, he smashed into oncoming traffic, killing himself and five others.

For years, the airline had been in court trying to get the ban overturned, but it took a federal judge to rule in their favor.

US Airways had argued that airline alcohol laws are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and not local states. Part of the states decision to ban the airline from serving alcohol was based on a history of citation for over-serving passengers.

What do you think? If an airline has a history of over-serving, should states be allowed to revoke their liquor license?


[Photo credit: AP]

Las Vegas airport wants you to start getting boozed up at the baggage claim liquor store

McCarran airport in Las Vegas is like most other airports in the nation – they are hurting quite badly. Visitor numbers are down, ad revenues are down, and because you can no longer smoke in their airport, even gambling revenues are down.

But what do you do as the main airport for Sin City? Well, you come up with innovative ways to make more money. And what could be more appropriate for Las Vegas than a baggage claim liquor store?

According to airport officials, visitors to Vegas often have their cab or limo driver stop at a local liquor store anyway, so why not make access to booze even easier?

One county commissioner is not too thrilled about the concept, and had the following to say:

“What’s next? Airport strip clubs? Topless bars? Is that appropriate for county property? I mean, that’s ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, too.”

Well, yeah – those would probably do quite well at the airport. In fact, add some tables and hotel rooms and people won’t even need to leave the terminal building.

The planned liquor store is still in its early stages, but the airport has already determined that the store would be legal. So, next time you are in Vegas, you may be able to grab your bags and a couple of cases of beer.


(Image credit: Getty)

US Airways can’t have New Mexico liquor license

US Airways sued New Mexico in 2007 because the state’s Regulation and License Department denied its liquor license application. This came after a passenger killed five people in a crash while driving drunk after getting intoxicated on the flight.

In the suit, US Airways contended that New Mexico can’t control its on-board liquor service, require training for cabin crew about alcohol or enforce any sanctions against the carrier. The airline cited the fact that federal law preempts state law. U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo, though, did not agree, ruling in favor of the state. Under this ruling, US Airways will not be permitted to serve alcohol while flying over New Mexico or while on the ground there.

New Mexico Regulation and License Department Superintendent Kelly O’Donnell calls the decision “a victory, a huge victory, for public safety,” according to the Associated Press. The airline is reviewing the decision.