With Air India reviewing its alcohol service policy, the new guidelines say that the cabin crew should act respectfully without raising voice and guests should not be permitted to drink alcohol unless served by the cabin crew.
It also says that the cabin crew should be attentive to identifying guests who might be consuming their own alcohol.
The policy review came after after the airline drew flak following the ‘pee-gate’ incident, wherein a flyer named Shankar Mishra reportedly urinated on an elderly female passenger in a drunk state on board a New York-New Delhi flight in Novermber last year. Mishra is presently under judicial custody.
As per Air India’s reviewed liquor policy, the cabin crew ahould behave with the passengers in a polite manner, and not call the guests ‘drunk’.
“Don’t call the guest ‘drunk’, warn them politely that their behaviour is unacceptable. Don’t be persuaded to give them ‘one last drink’ if they have had enough,” the new policy says.
The guidelines also prohibits the cabin crew from raising their voice.
“Don’t raise your voice. If they raise theirs, lower yours… Don’t put off refusal, act while the guest can still be reasoned with,” the policy says.
It also says that serving of alcoholic beverages must be carried out in a reasonable and safe manner, which includes tactfully refusing to (further) serve a guest alcohol.
The airline has also issued a set of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for service refusal. These require the cabin crew to be polite and avoid value judgements and use tact to politely inform the guest that “you will not serve them any more alcohol”.
Managing unduly intoxicated patrons must be done assertively and respectfully, it says.
Under the reviewed guidelines, cabin crew may refuse serving liquor or remove any unconsumed alcohol in case a guest consumes his own liquor, and where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the guest’s faculties are impaired by alcohol to an extent that will present a hazard to the aircraft, to persons on board (crew or guests) or to the guest himself.
On Tuesday, Air India had said, “We have reviewed our existing in-flight alcohol service policy, taking reference from other carriers’ practices and inputs from the US National Restaurants Association’s (NRA) guidelines. These were largely in line with Air India’s existing practice, though some adjustments have been made for better clarity. Also, NRA’s Traffic Light system has been included to help the crew recognise and manage possible cases of intoxication.”
“The new policy has now been promulgated to the crew and has been included in the training curriculum. 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,” said an Air India spokesperson.