Cathay Pacific staff 'refuse to smile'
Industrial action will not disrupt flights, but cabin crew will withhold alcohol and smiles
Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has assured a leading travel agency, Wing On Travel, that its flights will not be disrupted by industrial action over the coming holiday period because it has a contingency plan, the South China Morning Post reports. Cabin crew are planning to stop serving meals and drinks - and even stop smiling, according to some reports - in pursuit of a five per cent pay rise.
Tsang Kwok-fung, leader of the airline’s 6,000-strong Flight Attendants Union, said of the upcoming work-to-rule: “We will be selective in providing our services. This could include not smiling at passengers, not providing certain types of beverages, such as alcohol, or stopping serving meals.” He added: “In a nutshell, it means passengers will still be able to reach their destinations, except they are paying a five-star price to get a three-star service.”
The action comes after the Hong Kong-based airline offered only a two per cent pay rise next year. The union is exploring other measures such as following safety rules to the letter and offloading oversized luggage, which would inevitably delay flights.
Wing On Travel's assistant general manager Daisie Sin Pui-fong was not able say to describe Cathay’s contingency plan, because the airline won't give details. "I guess it will rearrange the number of staff on standby," she said.