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Light-fingered airline staff ‘lifting more than just peanuts’

April 26, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A crackdown by Cathay Pacific on flight attendants allegedly helping themselves to Champagne, cutlery, wet wipes and small pots of ice-cream – to the tune of millions of dollars – has “sent shock waves through the cabin crew community”, according to reports from Hong Kong.

The airline started conducting random inspections of crew leaving flights. Several staff were caught red-handed, having long regarded such bounty as an unofficial perk, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported.

The paper said spot checks by security teams last weekend had led to at least six employees, including both senior and junior crew, awaiting possible disciplinary action.

Loss of property has cost the company “untold hundreds of millions” over the years, according to one estimate. (This is possibly calculated in Hong Kong dollars, currently running at about 5.5 to one Australian dollar.)

Going, going, gone! Ice-cream disappears from Cathay cabin

The report said crew were particularly fond of the small pots of Häagen-Dazs ice-cream served in-flight. Cabin crew had been known to have home freezers packed with the product.

Other items being regularly “souvenired” include pens branded with the Cathay Pacific logo – and wet wipes. A company memo has warned staff that even possession of company peanuts constitutes a breach.

The hygiene and food safety rules that ban removal of food or drink from planes apparently don’t cover unopened bottles of alcohol or caviar. Champagne and caviar dancing out the door could cost Cathay more than peanuts.

Written by Peter Needham

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