Claims About Flight Attendants I Wish Were True

A piece in the Daily Mail claimed that there’s only one hotel in Nairobi that they can put crew up in, and that the hotel has so many complaints about raucous flight attendants that they’re at risk of losing their contract. Thus BA is going to have to stop flying to Nairobi unless their flight attendants become less wild.

It’s a three year old article that came across my Facebook feed this morning.

British Airways bosses fear having to scrap lucrative flights because of mounting complaints about raucous cabin crew parties at luxury hotels.

Topless air hostesses and champagne-fuelled pool parties have prompted a flood of protests about wild behaviour.

Now BA has warned its captains to control their crews during overnight stops – or the airline may be forced to abandon at least one route.

The problem is particularly acute on routes crewed by young recruits – so-called ‘mixed fleet’ which was at the heart of the recent BA industrial dispute

British Airways still serves Nairobi, of course.

There are three possibilities about the piece:

  1. It was completely made up. Someone’s flight attendant fantasy run amok in the newspaper.
  2. It was an attempt by the flight attendant’s union to slam BA’s younger, cheaper recruits.
  3. It was an attempt by British Airways to take a play from the strategies of some Asian carriers and from their London rival Virgin Atlantic.

If it’s not a completely made up story by the paper, then it’s either:

  • like when Cathay Pacific’s flight attendants union complained their uniforms were too sexy. It was their way of telling you they have sexy uniforms so come fly me the Hong Kong-base airline!

  • airlines selling sex. That’s less a British Airways approach in recent times than a Virgin Atlantic one.

Oh, and these are wild romps with under age flight attendants.

Other routes allegedly suffering ‘crew behaviour issues’ include Mauritius, Las Vegas, San Diego and other U.S. destinations where the legal drinking age is 21 – meaning crews who cannot drink alcohol in public bars are more likely to party in their hotel rooms.

The piece at one point says that flight attendants steal liquor from the plane, and at another point says that they are allowed to buy alcohol on the cheap so it’s less expensive to party in their room than in bars. And it describes ‘what goes on.’ In some school boy’s fantasy, I think.

Sometimes I just love the British press…

‘In Cyprus once, crew returning to the hotel from a night out found a donkey tied up in a field. The donkey was led back to the hotel and the crew managed to get it into a lift and up to the fourth floor, before hotel security intervened.’

It would be funny if the claims in the piece were true, so I wish they were, but I’m not buying it.

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 »

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  1. You may be surprised to know that there is more truth in that piece than fiction! 🙂 Some of the antics of the BA mixed fleet crew in the initial couple years were quite ahem, extreme. Things are more normal now. And yes, they were extremely disruptive at the Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi and yes, the Ole Sereni was the only security approved hotel for British crews back in 2011.

  2. Interesting you mentioned the Cathay uniforms. ANA has new uniforms coming up and besides asking for pants as an alternative, they mentioned the skirt is the same length as what they wear now. My wife tells me that the first few rows can actually see up the skirt unless they angle their legs a certain way when they sit. So they complained to the union.. OOPS! the union rep is their manager….go figure.

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