In a recent interview, United Airlines flight attendants spoke out against the expectation of passengers to have clean lavatories on their flights. They argue that it is unrealistic for people to expect this from airlines and that the responsibility should fall on the passenger instead.
The one mile at a time is the motto of United Flight Attendants Union. They believe that it’s unrealistic for passengers to expect clean lavatories on flights.
Passengers Can’t Expect Clean Lavatories, Says United Flight Attendants Union
on September 23, 2023 by Gary Leff
You anticipate the toilets on an Asian or high-quality Middle Eastern airline to be reasonably clean throughout the trip. I’ve seen ANA flight attendants clean toilets in between passengers, and Emirates employs specialized personnel to this task on their A380s.
However, after a long-haul travel on a US carrier, it’s virtually a given that the bathrooms would resemble something out of a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller in which we all must join together to rebuild mankind from the ashes.
United Airlines, on the other hand, wants to alter that. According to Mateusz Maszczynski, the airline has a new onboard announcement in which flight attendants “ask passengers for comments on the cleanliness of the onboard toilets.” Passengers who observe filthy toilets may inform a flight attendant, who will…
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), led by Sara Nelson, claims that the new announcement would lead to “unrealistic customer expectations” since cleaning filthy toilets isn’t covered under the cabin staff contract. What’s needed is that
- removing water splatters off the counter
- Supplies such as toilet paper and paper towels need to be replenished.
- removing any stray paper towels
- Ensure that the garbage can is completely closed.
While completing the action steps that are part of contractual responsibilities on certain United flights may be progress, flight attendants aren’t obliged to do anything else, such as cleaning floors or high-touch surfaces.
Because going above and beyond does not benefit a crewmember in a seniority-based system, only those flight attendants who take genuine pleasure in the service they provide and the customer experience in their cabin are likely to go above and beyond contractual obligations.
Flight attendants, for example, have brought their own flowers to the toilets, which some international airlines offer, since they believe it improves the service. The business does not compensate these flowers, and they do not get merit pay for providing a better experience.
United is undoubtedly correct in thinking that if flight attendants announce to passengers that filthy bathrooms should be reported, some of those flight attendants will really do something about it — even if they can’t be punished for not doing so. They are also correct in believing that if they can improve areas of bad customer experience, they can improve the P&L as well.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
The flyertalk united is a subreddit for the discussion of United Airlines. It’s been said that it’s unrealistic for passengers to expect clean lavatories on all flights.