A hotel in London complained that some cabin crew members of Air India would bring empty boxes to fill with taking away food at the buffet.
But the crew involved defended the actions of some of their team members, complaining of meagre layover allowances and lengthy working hours.
The Hotel Renaissance London sent an email deemed ‘unfortunate’ by the Air India Inflight Service Dept, complaining of crew members taking food ‘to eat later’ at the buffet.
This prompted Air India to send a missive to its employees – particularly cabin crews – informing them a buffet is not a takeaway.
“While we are aware that this could be a very small minority indulging in such behaviour, we would be forced to take serious disciplinary action against the offenders,” said the note date Feb 6, with a sub-header ‘MUST READ’, addressed to the employees.
The note said the company has “no desire to allow the reputation of Air India to be tarnished by a handful of such individuals.”
Admitting to the mishap, a crew member told news agencies sometimes they have 26 hours of flight and layovers and they have to catch up on sleep before the next flight.
“Even so, only a couple of us would be bringing boxes to fill and eat later. Most don’t do that,” the crew member said.
Then again, said the crew member, room service is not provided for free in the said hotel.
“It comes with a service charge of 10 pounds so as to discourage people from ordering meals in their room.”
It appears those accused of taking away food from the buffet are contract inflight crew members.
“Some are on contract as they are paid 60% less than the regular crew. The layover allowance is meagre and ranges from $600-1200 per month during which time we do at least ten layovers,” said a crew member.
Nevertheless, it is a huge embarrassment for Air India, the flagship carrier airline of India!