Cathay attendants in more-seats moan

Local | Sophie Hui 6 Aug 2018

Cathay Pacific flight attendants have complained that the distribution of meals is taking longer since the carrier added more seats to its flights.

Starting this April, the airline increased the number of seats per row from nine to 10 in economy class on some Boeing aircraft.

As a result, each seat has been narrowed from 46.99 to 43.43 centimeters.

The Flight Attendants' Union conducted a survey last month, where members said they were overwhelmed by the increased workload.

Although there are more seats on the plane, the union told the media that the number of crew members remained the same, meaning each flight attendant has to serve more passengers.

Dora Lai Yuk-sim, the vice-chairwoman of the union, said since the aisles have become narrower, if passengers have to walk by, flight attendants have to push the catering trolley to the front or back.

Some staff complained that when the flight is full, they have to spend about three hours completing the meal service, which is 30 percent longer than before.

Lai also said passengers have to wait longer to use the restrooms, and the cabin does not have enough space for passengers' luggage.

The union also said there have been an increasing number of complaints from passengers, and hopes the airline can review its plan to add more seats on aircraft.

Cathay Pacific said: "The seating configuration on the 777 aircraft has become the airline industry standard. It is not new to the market as many other major international airlines have already adopted it."

Cathay also said the new seating configuration in economy class is set to be completed on 65 Boeing aircraft by the end of next year.

The company has also invested in the latest hardware, which include the new seats having customized cushioning.

"They are also wider than the seats on other airlines which operate the same types of aircraft in the same configuration," it said.

"An additional lavatory is being added to each regional 777 aircraft."

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