• Sun. May 28th, 2023

Cathay Pacific fires three flight attendants for mocking passengers

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has fired three flight attendants after they were accused of mocking non-English speaking passengers.

Cathay Pacific chief executive Ronald Lam apologised in a statement on Tuesday and said the airline had “zero tolerance” for employees violating the company’s policies and code of conduct.

According to local media reports, an audio recording of the alleged incident on the flight from Chengdu, China to Hong Kong on Sunday was posted to Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu.

A flight attendant had allegedly made fun of a passenger who asked for a “carpet” instead of a “blanket”.

“If you cannot say blanket in English, you cannot have it,” someone was heard saying in the recording, with laughter, as well as, “Carpet is on the floor, feel free … to lie on it.”

In Mr Lam’s statement, provided to news.com.au, he said an investigation into the incident had concluded and as a result, the three cabin crew members involved were terminated in accordance with the company’s policies.

He said the incident was a “valuable lesson” for the airline.

“To avoid any similar occurrences in the future, I will personally lead a cross-departmental task force to conduct a comprehensive review into our service flow, people training and relevant mechanisms to further enhance Cathay Pacific’s service quality,” Mr Lam said.

“Importantly, we need to ensure that all Cathay Pacific employees must at all times respect customers from different backgrounds and cultures, and that we provide quality services consistently across all markets that we serve.”

Following Mr Lam’s comments, authorities in Hong Kong released a statement on Wednesday.

Transport and Logistics secretary Lam Sai-hung said he was “distressed by the inappropriate comments” made by Cathay Pacific cabin crew members.

“The incident is a serious breach of Hong Kong’s reputation for service excellence, longstanding values and ethical standards,” he said.

“I have expressed my deep concern to Cathay Pacific and demanded the management to improve their services immediately.

“I noted that Cathay Pacific has terminated the cabin crew members concerned and will conduct a comprehensive review in light of the incident, including re-examining its service flow, staff training and relevant mechanisms, with a view to improving service quality.”

He added that he hoped the review would be completed as soon as possible and “fundamental improvements” would be made.

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