It’s one thing to take an extra snack or meal on a long flight, but Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific is dealing with outright thievery on its planes. A wide range of items is reportedly going missing from Cathay Pacific flights, including mini tubes of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, bottles of Champagne, and cutlery. Much of the blame is being placed on the cabin crew, but CEO Rupert Hogg believes the blame may lay elsewhere. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program, “The bigger issue is a pilferage issue and it may not necessarily be around cabin crew. We are losing, I don’t know, wine or things like that from aircraft or somewhere in the supply chain.”
The airline is cracking down on petty theft, issuing an email to employees explaining that they can only take items for personal consumption, and removing anything else from the aircraft is grounds for punishment. “In view of an increasing number of reported losses of company property,” said the airline in a statement, “we have informed our cabin crew that random inspections will be carried out.”
Indeed, six employees — a mixture of senior and junior crew members — were placed under investigation Saturday and face possible disciplinary action after spot checks by security teams. “We are dealing with cases in a fair and reasonable manner in accordance with standard internal procedure,” said the statement.
According to the South China Morning Post, an unnamed flight attendant admitted that crew members often took food they believed would otherwise go to waste, though the rules prohibit the removal of any airline food.