A prominent flight attendant wants food and drink eliminated (again) on shorter flights, which has left me scratching my head. That’s not a viable solution.
Flight Attendant Wants Food And Drinks Eliminated, But Should Focus On Masks Instead
Poole is a reader of Live and Let’s Fly and we have exchanged thoughts on Twitter over the years. She’s not lazy or looking for a way to sit on her jumpseat and read magazines – this is not what this is about. Indeed, I give her the benefit of the doubt that this is rooted in genuine concern about her safety and the safety of her flying partners.
But the facts simply do not add up. Nor does the logic.
Certainly we could marginally increase safety by forcing everyone to remain in their seats during the flight. We could marginally increase safety by refusing to provide food and drinks and prohibiting passengers from bringing their own food and drink onboard.
But that strikes me as the same overreaction as using a sledgehammer to hunt a housefly.
If we are already wearing a seatbelt, have airbags, and driving carefully, should we just not drive at all…out of an abundance of caution?
If airline safety studies are to believed, the filtration systems onboard dramatically reduce the chance of virus transmission.
Asking if we will starve is the wrong question. Rather, it is about securing the greatest outcome for the greatest number. What we’ve seen in part by the dramatic cutback of food and drink onboard is increased incidents of air rage. That’s what happens when you don’t sell passengers portion-controlled bottles of alcohol and they instead sneak on their own.
And what do you notice happens when that disruption occurs? No masks. The masks come off even when the disturbance is not about masks. And when voices are raised and fighting breaks out, flight attendants are put in more immediate physical danger than the small risk of contracting COVID-19, especially if vaccinated.
The solution is not to eliminate food and drink onboard. To the extent that a solution is available, it should be requiring surgical-type masks or even N-95s and not the ineffective cloth masks that fail to protect from the expulsion or inhalation of vapors.
It’s so strange to me, and frankly undermines the idea of masks in the first place, when flight attendants whine about passengers masking up, but seem to care little (based upon what many wear themselves) what kind of masks are actually worn.
I take Poole at face value that she is concerned. And indeed, COVID-19 is a killer and the vaccine will not fully stop it. But banning food and drink, despite the marginal safety benefits, seemed to be treating the virus with the wrong approach. Instead, wearing proper masks and taking steps (like food and drink) to cut down on in-flight disturbances seem like the better policy.