“A buffet is not a takeaway” was the title of the memo that Air India officials sent to international crew earlier this week after Marriott’s Renaissance London Heathrow called out Air India crews for filling their lunch boxes with food from the buffet according to the Times of India.
“We have received an unfortunate email from the management of hotel in London stating that some AI crew members regularly come down for breakfast with empty boxes into which they fill food items from the buffet, presumably to eat later.”
The airline warned that disciplinary action would be taken if the reports from the hotel continue:
“This may include, not being scheduled on international sectors, as we have no desire to allow the reputation of Air India to be tarnished by a handful of such individuals.”
Crew members spoke to the Times of India and said taking food is sometimes necessary due to short layovers at LHR which force members to choose between sleep and eating. Layover allowances have also been reduced and would not cover local restaurants or room service.
“We land in London either at 7.30am or 6.30pm. We are dead tired by then as it’s 14-15 hours from the time we have left home. So we just want to crash. Unlike earlier when the layover was 2 days, it’s now only 26 hours and so we have to catch up on sleep before the next flight.”
“It’s the worst for cabin crew who have been taken on contract as they are paid 60% less than the regular crew. The layover allowance is meagre and ranges from $600-1200 per month during which time we do at least ten layovers.”