Flight attendants union calls to limit food and booze service to stem tide of unruly passengers

The union representing flight attendants at Canada’s major airlines says reducing on-board food and drink service might help combat a rise in unruly passenger behaviour.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says flight attendants are being subjected to verbal abuse from some passengers who don’t want to comply with the federal requirement to wear a mask on board.

The union says some passengers are taking their masks off to eat or drink and then leaving them off for longer than they should. It says this can lead to confrontations and also potentially exposes flight attendants to the virus.

Many airlines have restored most of their food and beverage service this summer after reducing service during the first stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Transport Canada still recommends that airlines limit non-essential tasks, including in-flight service.

The union says Transport Canada should take a stricter stance. It says the regulator should reduce food and drink service on short-haul flights or set a limit on the amount of time a passenger can have their mask off to eat and drink.

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