Saturday 18 November 2017

Cabin crew guilty secrets: from sex in the sky to short-changing passengers

Flying high. Photo: Deposit
Flying high. Photo: Deposit

Gordon Rayner

From joining the mile-high club to short-changing passengers, air stewards have admitted just how often they break the rules while they are in the sky.

Lying to passengers about the availability of duty free products, and accepting tips and gifts are also high on the list of misdemeanours to which they have confessed.

A survey of 718 British air stewards aged 18 and over who are currently in the job or have been in the past five years found that 89pc said they had broken airline rules during a flight.

When they were asked what rules they had broken, more than a fifth - 21pc  - said they had "indulged in sexual relations with a colleague during a flight" while 14pc said they had had in-flight sexual encounters with passengers.

The most common "crime" was lying about the availability of products in the in-flight shopping catalogue, presumably because of laziness (28pc) while one in five had short-changed passengers.

Asked how much they thought they had pocketed from short-changing passengers per month, the answers averaged out at £331 (€428) per year.

More than half (54 per cent) said they had given change in a different currency to hoodwink passengers, while 40 per cent said they had got away with it simply because "most passengers don’t check their change".

However, German crews are even more dishonest.

The survey by the price comparison site asked cabin crews from Germany, Spain, France and Italy whether they had short-changed passengers, and 29pc of Germans said they had, with the average fraud coming in at £410 per year.

Britain was second-worst, followed by Spain (24pc of crew stealing €157 per year), France (19pc and €116) and Italy (18pc and €97).

A further seven per cent of cabin crew said they had accepted tips and gifts from passengers, which is against company rules for their airlines.

Antoine Michelat, co-founder of, said: “It’s completely unacceptable for cabin crew to be short-changing passengers; they’re knowingly pocketing the money that should be going back to the customer and are therefore stealing.

"Just under £30 a month may not sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but that’s over £300 per year – and if the results of this survey are anything to go by then cabin crew in Germany are stealing even more.

"They may think it’s OK by passing it off as the odd 20p here and 50p there, but that’s still money that’s not rightfully yours and belongs to someone else.”

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