Onboard Tidying Tools and New Inflight Announcement
September 22, 2021
While a recent Inflight Services Weekly (ISW) article announced an expansion in the types of “tidying tools” provisioned onboard the aircraft, there has been no change to Flight Attendant tidying responsibilities.
First and foremost, we have never been required to clean the aircraft, and our Contract language supports this understanding. Our Contractual tidying requirements are defined in Section 3.Y. of the Contract and in Chapter One of the Inflight Policies and Procedures Manual. Throughout the flight, we are required to restock supplies, tidy lavatories, and pick up newspapers and visible litter.
Our responsibilities in the lavatory include wiping up standing water on the counter, restocking supplies, picking up loose paper towels, and ensuring the trash flap is closed. We do not wipe up liquid on the floor, disinfect flush buttons, door handles, toilets or other commonly touched surfaces; that is cleaning.
In our discussions with management related to the provisioning of the equipment and its use, we also expressed concern about the new announcement in the eFAAB soliciting feedback on untidy lavatories. Very specifically, we identified the likelihood that this announcement may create unrealistic passenger expectations as it pertains to the scope of Flight Attendant responsibilities. For example, should a passenger inform a Flight Attendant that a lavatory “needs attention” and that “attention” requires intervention that would extend beyond the scope of our traditional tidying duties, there could be a resultant, unrealistic expectation that Flight Attendants will clean the lavatory. It might even result in an entirely inaccurate perception the Flight Attendants did not address the issue. Management understood our concern and reiterated the procedure to follow if the lavatory requires attention outside our area of responsibility; that is to remove the lavatory from service.
Rest assured, our tidying duties have not changed, and the company is simply provisioning a “tidy kit” that contain plastic tongs and a dustpan, on all aircraft.
Please contact your Local Council to report any issues you may encounter related to the tidy kits or feedback you may have on the new announcement.