Cabin crew secrets: Flight attendant reveals ‘volatile issue’ crew face that pilots don’t

Cabin crew and pilots work the same flights but their treatment and pay are very different. A former flight attendant has revealed there is one “volatile issue” they face. It’s a problem that plane passengers sometimes experience – although not to the same level. Ex cabin crew member Elliott Hester discussed the problem in his book Plane Insanity.

Hester revealed that sometimes the cabin crew are not provided with any airline food at all.

“Food – of lack thereof – is a volatile issue for crew members as it is for airline passengers,” he wrote.

“Many union contracts require that airlines provide onboard meals for pilots. Flight attendants at some carriers have no such luck.

“Unless we happen to be working on a long-haul international flight, there’s often no food designated for the cabin crew.

“And during long, multileg flight sequences, when we’re on duty for up to fourteen hours, and quick connections require sprints from plane to gate – three, four, sometimes five times a day – there simply isn’t time to eat on the ground.

“Often there’s not enough time to stand in line for a takeaway meal at an airport McDonald’s.

“When time is short and hunger opens a crater in our stomachs, we rely on the old standby leftover aeroplane food.”

Hester continued: “After the passenger meal service is completed, flight attendants often gather in the first-class galley.

“We don’t just come here to socialise, however. When we crowd into the galley we mean business.

“Like vultures hovering over the half-eaten corpse of an antelope, we lick our beaks, lusting for an appetiser or a dinner roll and hoping to snare some leftover meat.”

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Leftover aeroplane meals are not always guaranteed, Hester explained, and it’s risky not bringing your own packed lunch.

“Catering companies have gotten much better attaching the number of entries to the number of passengers,” he said.

“After all, the airline ends up paying for extra meals. It’s in their interest to match the number of meals with the exact number of passengers.

“If every passenger decides to eat, and the plane has been stocked with the appropriate number of meals the galley ovens should always end up empty.

“So too will the stomachs of the luckless crew members who fail to bring food from him.”

A pilot for a UK airline, who wished to remain anonymous, has exclusively revealed to what the pilot and captain really eat. 


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