A crew member of Urumqi Air airlines apparently got hungry and didn’t bring her own snack, instead taking a taste of the passenger meals. The little nibble got her suspended after video footage showed her eating the leftover in-flight meals. The video was filmed shortly before the flight landed on November 30, according to a report, and was uploaded on China’s social media platform Weibo.
A statement was released from the airline in response to the incident, noting the stewardess’ suspension: “We confirmed that the air hostess shown in the video to be one of our employees at Urumqi Air. The flight attendant had been handling the leftovers accordingly and had seriously violated our company’s regulations.”
While some believed that the video showed the woman eating from the trays prior to serving the meals to passengers, these were leftover meals. Her taste test of the discarded meals, however, was in violation of the company policy, not to mention pretty darn gross.
It turns out that the crew member herself uploaded the video for “entertaining purposes.” The airline is currently investigating the matter.
Many people weighed in with comments on the Shanghaiist Facebook post about the story, with one commenter noting:
“Are stewardesses not human too? Do they not have a right to eat? It’s food that wasn’t purchased, it would end up in the bin anyway.”
Another person responded:
“Every company has procedures and this is the consequences of not following the company procedure, furthermore what if she gets food poisoning from the leftover food, who will take responsibility and can she sue the company if it is the case. A lesson to learn.”
Another commenter weighed in with this opinion:
“There are a lot of reasons why cabin crews don’t have time to eat. Airline company has tight schedule and they have limited time to eat, so maybe she was hungry during the flight. I sometimes don’t have time to eat too because of the tight schedule. Don’t assume leftover foods are foods that are already eaten by passengers, instead they are foods not eaten by passengers and it’s safe. BTW, I worked in an airline company before and everyday I had to wake up at 4 in the morning and go home around 9 at night, sometimes at 11 or 12.”
Another commenter noted:
“I used to be a flight attendant and we were given staff meals plus we were allowed to eat uneaten / extra pax meals. Instead of throwing away this extra food why not donate it to the millions of Chinese living in poverty???”
One person didn’t believe this was leftover food at all, explaining:
“Do people actually believe their explanation? If it was leftover, she didn’t need to take a small bite off every single tray of food. Those were clearly not leftovers. Those were food waiting to be served, and she was snacking them.”
Another commenter pointed out this theory from a public relations standpoint:
“Video like that could seriously tarnish the reputation of the airline. It’s sort of suggestive of ‘look at the poor thing. She’s reduced to that. Surely it’s her awfully abusive employer to blame for such a sad state of affairs.'”