After pee-gate incident, Air India updates its alcohol service policy
Amid recent incidents of unruly passenger behaviour, Air India has modified its in-flight alcohol service policy wherein cabin crew have been told to tactfully refuse further serving of alcohol if needed.
The Tata group-owned airline has been slapped with penalties in the last few days by DGCA for the unruly behaviour of passengers onboard two international flights for reporting lapses. The exact changes in the revised policy could not be immediately ascertained.
According to the revised policy, guests should not be permitted to drink alcohol unless served by the cabin crew and that the cabin crew be attentive to identifying guests that might be consuming their own alcohol.
“Service of alcoholic beverages must be carried out in a reasonable and safe manner. This includes tactfully refusing to (further) serve a guest alcohol,” as per the policy.
In a statement, an Air India spokesperson said the airline has reviewed its existing in-flight alcohol service policy, taking reference from other carriers’ practice and input from the US National Restaurants Association’s guidelines.
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“These were largely in line with Air India’s existing practice, though some adjustments have been made for better clarity, and NRA’s Traffic Light system included to help crew recognise and manage possible cases of intoxication.
“The new policy has now been promulgated to crew and included in training curricula. Air India remains committed to the safety and well-being of our passengers and cabin crew, including but not limited to the responsible service of alcohol,” the spokesperson said.
On Tuesday, Air India said it has closed the internal investigation into the actions of its crew operating and administrative staff supporting the AI 102 (New York-New Delhi) on November 26, 2022.
In a statement, the airline said it accepts that notwithstanding the mitigating circumstances, based on the letter of the CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement) it did not correctly classify the incident and therefore did not report it as required.
“The crew and ground staff have been issued warning letters to henceforth adhere strictly to CAR definition of ‘unruly’ when reporting incidents onboard so that later investigation can assess the facts. The cabin crew and ground staff have been counselled and have since returned to duty,” it said.