Cathay Pacific flight attendants union responds to allegations and online rumours

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24th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The flight attendants union of Cathay Pacific has expressed their disappointment at the untrue allegations and online rumours that have targeted frontline crew members. In an internal email sent to members on Wednesday, the union referred to guidelines that allow flight attendants to request photos or videos of them to be deleted if passengers record them without consent.

The remarks were made after the airline fired three flight attendants on Tuesday night for allegedly discriminating against and laughing at mainland passengers who requested a “carpet” instead of a “blanket.” The union stated that according to the Inflight Service Delivery Manual, flight attendants can request passengers to delete photos or videos taken without consent. If passengers refuse to do so, flight attendants can inform the captain and the inflight service manager.

The union also referred to company policies that adopt a “zero-tolerance” approach towards passengers who refuse to abide by the rules, similar to the approach taken towards employees who seriously breach policies and the code of conduct. The policies also state that the company will take all possible actions to ensure that staff receive full support when handling relevant incidents.

The union expressed their disappointment that they only had bad news to report, but they expect Cathay Pacific to support staff to protect themselves and provide relevant instructions. They noted that flight attendants are frustrated due to labor shortages and exhausting shift rosters, but they will continue to deliver professional services and treat passengers and colleagues from different cultures equally.

Meanwhile, a netizen suspected to be one of the involved flight attendants published a post on Xiaohongshu on Tuesday night, criticising the passenger for not expressing herself clearly and challenging one of the flight attendants who did not speak Putonghua. The post was later deleted, and the user account has been deactivated.

The allegations and online rumours have caused a stir on social media, with many expressing their support for the flight attendants and calling for more understanding of the difficult working conditions they face. Cathay Pacific has not yet commented on the situation beyond confirming the dismissal of the three flight attendants.