The inimitable Brian Sumers shares a change in policy coming to short United effective January 1. Instead of trying to offer a full drink service to economy passengers, flights attendants will pre-pour a selection of beverages and place those onto a “pick up pan” for customers.
It’s a quicker drink service that is easier to complete and also means less choice for customers. Flight attendants will choose what to pour, though they’re encouraged to offer coffee on morning flights.
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) December 13, 2018
I do think it’s hilarious that United suggests the time savings will be used to interact with customers. There’s more time spent interacting with customers asking their choice and delivering on it. What sort of interaction does United envision here, other than with a People magazine in the galley?
On the whole flight attendants are being asked to do less. This won’t lead to fewer flight attendants being staffed — it applies to domestic flights where generally the legal minimum staffing already prevails. It may help mollify some employees miffed about United staffing international business class with reduced flgiht attendant staffing or still angry over the airline’s plan from earlier this year to replace bonuses with a lottery.