Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants are Being Searched to Prevent Theft of Ice Cream and Pens

Qantas was forced to pay $33,000 to a flight attendant caught stealing liquor from a plane but labor laws aren’t nearly to tiled towards employees in most countries as they are in Australia.

An Emirates flight attendant was charged with stealing $5000 from passenger wallets and the airline wants passengers to stop stealing first class liquor (United wants passengers to stop stealing business class bedding.)

Cathay Pacific is now cracking down on flight attendants stealing from their aircraft and the list of items they’re interested in — from pens to ice cream — is surprising. Several flight attendants have been ‘caught red handed’.

At least six employees – a mix of senior and junior crew – were on Saturday placed under investigation awaiting possible disciplinary action, following spot checks by professional security teams at Hong Kong International Airport.

…One of the most popular items had been the small pots of Häagen-Dazs ice cream served in-flight. Cabin crew had been known to have freezers at home packed with the product.

…From wet wipes to company branded-pens, an array of items had been taken by flight crews over the years. To avoid any doubt over policy or procedure, the company memo said even the removal of peanuts constituted a breach.

The airline is conducting random searches of employees on arrival in Hong Kong. Generally first time offenders are being given just a warning.

Crewmembers apparently believe food likely to go to waste anyway might as well get eaten (by them later), taking a different view than the company. The flight attendants union for its part supports ‘zero tolerance’ but not the surprise searches of its members.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. If Hong Kong customs and border protection is like the U.S., crew should declare any food items taken from the plane. I recall a story about a woman who was booted from Global Entry for failing to declare an apple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *