Hundreds of US-bound Air India fliers stopped getting fresh snacks as the airline has cut down on one round of meal service since over 10 days owing to shortage of flight attendants.
The snack packet comprising a sandwich, cupcakes, cookies and a packet of peanuts was earlier served fresh in neatly packed trays but is now clubbed with the airline’s first meal soon after boarding. “Passengers consume the hot meals and keep the snack for later. But by the time they open it the sandwiches turn soggy and the rest of the food is barely edible,” said a senior cabin crew personnel.
According to sources, most passengers have been returning the snack packets and even got into arguments with the cabin crew while the crew feedback logbooks on flights to New York, Newark and Chicago are filled with such complaints.
An Air India spokesperson however, denied any change in the on board meal service. “There has been no change in our meal service on long haul international flights,” said the spokesperson. On the crew crunch, the spokesperson said, “There is shortage of crew on ground but that has no impact on cabin service on board.”
According to sources in the airline’s cabin crew department, the airline has inadequate flight crew on board these flights.
“There are only 2 to 3 cabin crew to serve more than 300 passengers at any given time and the rest of the crew need to get their mandatory on board rest of five hours. Despite being aware of this the airline has been consistently assigning limited flight attendants on these sectors,” said another senior official from the airline’s in-flight services department.