An Associated Press survey of airline flight attendants — a group that represents a valuable “influencer” when it comes to travel trends — found that they were bothered by the easyaccess to alcoholic beverages and food they provide when on board. Here are three concerning themes:
1. Flight attendants on board-allowed to serve alcoholic beverages for everyone
The survey asked attendants about passenger instructions and snack availability. Seventy-two percent said they had offered alcoholic beverages, 56 percent said they had offered food, and 65 percent said they were given room to serve snacks.
The survey suggests that in a great number of cases — 70 percent for “unaccompanied minors” — flight attendants are prohibited from only serving passengers seated in first class, even though they get free peanuts and pretzels.
Passengers younger than 18 can’t board a plane or board aircraft with an infant or child unless in an unaccompanied minor’s seat. Therefore, much of what crewmembers are doing is clearly to placate parents.
Notably, 39 percent of flight attendants said they are often or frequently asked to serve alcohol to minors.
2. Employees served healthy snacks
Only 48 percent said they often or frequently served healthy snacks on board, the survey finds.
The survey also raises questions about the food served. The survey of cabin crew — of which only 500 took part — was conducted from April 16 to April 20.
“Over half (55 percent) felt there were no food or snacks on board to replace any ongoings that food had to be replaced with,” the survey reports. “Nearly all (99 percent) felt that the airline’s food and beverage standards were poor, with most having a ‘meh’ or ‘bad’ effect on overall comfort.”
Thirty-seven percent said they had seen food left out on the wing, and 43 percent said they had seen food on-board items not labelled.
But there was some good news, according to the survey:
More than 90 percent of flight attendants think the airline has a ‘positive effect’ on the flight experience
Flight attendants described a “positive working environment”
“Airline policies are very lax when it comes to employee performance evaluation”
“Many airline policies are illegal, and even if not they are not in compliance with the FAA regulations which is increasing rates of illnesses.”
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