United Flight Attendants Have Bathroom Concerns

United Flight Attendants Have Bathroom Concerns

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United Airlines flight attendants are worried that a new inflight announcement will create unrealistic expectations for passengers when it comes to bathroom cleanliness. I think they have a valid point.

United flight attendants don’t have to clean bathrooms

For context, it’s important to understand that flight attendant job duties differ around the world, and on some level it reflects the quality of the overall passenger experience on various airlines:

Emirates has dedicated shower & bathroom attendants

As you may have guessed, it’s a different story at most airlines in the United States, regardless of how long the flight is, and what cabin you’re traveling in. If you’ve ever taken an ultra long haul flight on a US airline, you’ve probably found that the lavatories at the end of the flight look like what I’d imagine sort of a scat play and golden shower kink den would look like, or something.

For example, at United Airlines flight attendants are responsible for tidying lavatories, but not for cleaning them. While lavatories are supposed to be cleaned between flights (by cleaning crews), during flights the crew’s responsibility is limited to:

  • Wiping up standing water on the counter
  • Restocking supplies
  • Picking up loose paper towels
  • Ensuring the trash flap is closed

Crews are not responsible for:

  • Wiping up liquid on the floor
  • Disinfecting the flush button, door handles, toilets, or other commonly touched surfaces
Lavatories on US airlines often aren’t very clean

United flight attendants concerned about “unrealistic expectations”

AFA-CWA, which is the union representing United Airlines flight attendants, has expressed concern about some changes to United’s inflight announcements. Specifically, United has allegedly added an announcement soliciting passenger feedback on the cleanliness of lavatories, telling passengers to let a flight attendant know if a lavatory “needs attention.” As the union describes this:

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.

This concern was brought to the attention of management, which stated that lavatories should be taken out of service if they require service beyond what’s in the scope of the flight attendant contract.

What’s my take on this?

  • Given how the contract is written, I can understand why the flight attendants are concerned that this could create unrealistic expectations, since crews aren’t actually supposed to clean lavatories
  • I do find it a bit ridiculous that airlines haven’t worked out a way to have bathrooms cleaned a bit on long haul flights; that being said, the flight attendants can’t be faulted for this when it’s not in their contract
United flight attendants don’t have to clean lavatories

Bottom line

United flight attendants aren’t happy about a new inflight announcement telling passengers to inform the crew if there are any issues with the lavatory. The problem is that the flight attendants contract doesn’t require them to clean lavatories, but rather only to tidy them. As a result, flight attendants are concerned that this creates unrealistic expectations.

I think the flight attendants are right to be concerned here. I do think US airlines need to find a way to have lavatories cleaned inflight (whatever form that comes in), at least on long haul flights, but that’s not something crews can be blamed for.

What do you make of this United lavatory situation?

(Tip of the hat to Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

Conversations (95)
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  1. Dee McDonald

    Who else on a flight could possibly manage this task!! Sorry flight attendants but when serving the public there are always jobs that " must" be done! Whether it's in your job description or not!! Choice " call the pilot" and tell him to come back and clean the restroom!!! Which makes no sense at all!! Quit bitchin and take care of your passengers!! For which YOU are being paid to do!!!

  2. Linda

    I have flown 12 flights domestically since July 2020 to take care of an elderly mother. I can tell you what absolute pigs people are! Routinely there is pee all over the bathroom floors as well as the toilet seats, the toilet seats are left up, paper towel shreds all over the bathroom, trash on the floors and much of the time the sink is dry so clearly people aren’t washing their hands! It most...

    I have flown 12 flights domestically since July 2020 to take care of an elderly mother. I can tell you what absolute pigs people are! Routinely there is pee all over the bathroom floors as well as the toilet seats, the toilet seats are left up, paper towel shreds all over the bathroom, trash on the floors and much of the time the sink is dry so clearly people aren’t washing their hands! It most certainly isn’t the flight attendants job to clean a bathroom after pigs! Add to that, if you plan to wash your hands for the 20 seconds the CDC recommends, the faucet in the bathrooms stay on for maybe 3-5 seconds. So you have to touch the dirty handle 6-7 times to wash your hands? If I have to use the bathroom on a flight, I leave it feeling like I need a shower from head to toe from disgusting filth!

    1. Jorge Paez

      You can't lower the seat!!??
      Also, do you want it left down when men urinate?
      My suggestion for your paranoid obsession with germs: adult diapers!

  3. iamhere

    One of the issues with americans in particular is basic etiquette for other people.

  4. iamhere

    The bigger issue is if a lavatory goes out of service. One less lavatory for passengers to use and especially if you are in a type of economy cabin that makes a big difference.

  5. Zeek

    Americas lavs go in a death spiral. You come in its gross, so you'll do minimal if any cleaning up after yourself and you aren't going to clean up after the last person. Leave it messier than before. Then obviously FAs don't want to clean it so it just get worse.

    Asian lavs, I go in its clean. I see the attractive FA constantly clean it. I want to leave it in the same condition...

    Americas lavs go in a death spiral. You come in its gross, so you'll do minimal if any cleaning up after yourself and you aren't going to clean up after the last person. Leave it messier than before. Then obviously FAs don't want to clean it so it just get worse.

    Asian lavs, I go in its clean. I see the attractive FA constantly clean it. I want to leave it in the same condition because you don't want her knowing you made that mess. I clean up after myself. Lav stays clean.

  6. Alex

    Travel on a US carrier is always a bit upsetting because the Americans can't keep the damn toilets clean. It doesn't matter what the flight attendant contract says. What does is that the loo needs to be cleaned at least on an hourly basis. If that means bringing on extra people who take up a seat on every flight and are responsible for keeping things fresh, so be it. They can pick up the cabin as well so stray napkins don't stick to my shoes.

    1. Nils

      One shudders to think why the shoes might be sticky in the first place.

  7. jm

    I'm a UA FA. I tidy the lavs and clean up to some extent, usually checking every half hour when not in the middle of a service. It's easier now that we have Clorox wipes and lots of gloves on the plane. Sometimes, it gets bad enough that I have to lock the lav off, but usually, it can be cleaned. I don't do vomit. I don't think I'll ever understand why it gets so...

    I'm a UA FA. I tidy the lavs and clean up to some extent, usually checking every half hour when not in the middle of a service. It's easier now that we have Clorox wipes and lots of gloves on the plane. Sometimes, it gets bad enough that I have to lock the lav off, but usually, it can be cleaned. I don't do vomit. I don't think I'll ever understand why it gets so filthy. I can't imagine throwing paper or spraying urine throughout the lavatory. I always wipe the water off the counter and flush the toilet when I use the lav. If I had to vomit, it would be in the toilet if at all possible, not in the sink and not on the floor...and if I did, I wouldn't just leave it there. People are disgusting.

    1. Dee McDonald

      Absolutely people are very disgusting!! I cant believe what there homes must look like for the way they leave public restrooms!! Its disgusting that flight attendants or ANYONE should have to clean up after filth like I have seen in aircraft and public restrooms!! Sorry state of affairs for the greatest country on earth!!!

  8. PM1

    I usually fly ultra-longhaul. I am 1K with United and have no status with Air France. My United flights in the past few years have not been pristine (regardless of cabin). FA's are also hit or miss.

    My latest flight in economy with Air France was a revelation. I went to the bathroom to change my child's diapers and the FA noticed and told me hold on for a minute - let me check...

    I usually fly ultra-longhaul. I am 1K with United and have no status with Air France. My United flights in the past few years have not been pristine (regardless of cabin). FA's are also hit or miss.

    My latest flight in economy with Air France was a revelation. I went to the bathroom to change my child's diapers and the FA noticed and told me hold on for a minute - let me check the bathroom and make sure I clean it for your baby. Not only that, they were kind to my family again and again over the next 4 longhaul flights. Guess who I'm seriously thinking of switching my business to in the future?

    1. Eskimo

      Are you being sarcastic or you really mean it?

      Source of sarcasm:
      https://onemileatatime.com/news/united-airlines-diaper-gate/

      United literally cannot handle shit very well.

  9. Anthony Johnson

    To the "ER Board Certified Doctor" in the first response, may I retort, sir. Exactly how much is it you are paid sir? Are you in a "management" position? These are flight attendants, not medically licensed professionals on board. It is easy to see others as "subordinates" when elevated to high responsibility and high paying jobs. Look beyond your own self-centered ego when addressing others to their required expectations.

    1. SushiGirlNYC

      @Anthony Johnson - What point are you trying to make? What is self centered about @KevinK sharing his profession, and sharing what he does outside of his contract? Avg annual pay for a FA is 60K. 60K earners cannot be expected to clean up after others? But 30K maintenance workers are? And 400K doctors better shut up if they do?

  10. Kylie P

    Bathrooms on US carriers in general are disgusting. Just returned flying Qatar and enjoyed the cleaned lavatories throughout the entire longhaul 16+ hr flight.

    1. Anthony Johnson

      That is certainly a perk on flying a government subsidized airline. They have no profit motive to be concerned about and that makes all the differance doesn't it?

  11. Donna

    A few years ago on an A330 AA long haul flight I walked into a lavatory in Business Class and the guy who exited ahead of me had taken a dump on the toilet rim and walked back to economy. I notified the FA and suggested she lock it up and she did. Not the FAs job to clean up after these human cesspools. There is no shortage of twisted, mentally deranged people flying these days, even on long haul international flights.

    1. SushiGirlNYC

      @Donna - I would have called him out! CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF YOU ANIMAL!!!

    2. Dee McDonald

      Absolutely!! I would have called on him to clean up after himself ASAP!! WHAT a jerk!! Human beings are more often than not very disgusting

  12. Cheryl

    I really don’t want someone who is handling my food to clean a public restroom in between. People need to be respectful of others and clean up after themselves!

  13. Checkpoint Cheryl

    Agree with all comments, but there does have to be some sort of solution, because the condition of toilets is not just an aesthetic problem, it's a health issue too. Maybe there is a technical solution? A way to at least disinfect the entire space between uses?

  14. KevinK

    Falcon269. I completely disagree with you. I’m a board certified ER doctor, with 25 years of clinical experience; theoretically the highest rung on the ladder in any ER. I cannot tell you how many times I have brought a patient a urinal, bedpan, cleaned up their vomit, saliva, blood….or brought them a food tray, helped them to dress…you name it. Surely this is beyond the scope of MY JOB and not in my contract which...

    Falcon269. I completely disagree with you. I’m a board certified ER doctor, with 25 years of clinical experience; theoretically the highest rung on the ladder in any ER. I cannot tell you how many times I have brought a patient a urinal, bedpan, cleaned up their vomit, saliva, blood….or brought them a food tray, helped them to dress…you name it. Surely this is beyond the scope of MY JOB and not in my contract which is “to diagnose and treat” BUT….. a patient is a patient with needs. Anyone who thinks a job is below them needs to go find another job.

    1. SushiGirlNYC

      @KeviInK - Agree with you there. Americans (which I am) are ridiculously entitled. Always "above the job". I'm in management, and my job doesn't require me to do 1/2 of what I do, but when it means either I do it, or timelines are missed, or I have on pissed off customer, guess what, I roll up my sleeves and do it.

    2. Watson

      If FAs got paid as much as a board-certified ER doctor, I'd be inclined to agree.

    3. Eskimo

      @Watson and @Anthony Johnson

      I should expect these work based on how much they get paid?
      So people who got paid more than a board-certified ER doctor should clean the bathroom?

      Can't wait for Jeff Bezos or Tom Brady to wash the toilet.
      Too bad I can't expect Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg to do the same since their paycheck just $1.
      I hope it fills up your ego that you get paid more than these billionaires.

    4. K Lim

      I want you to be my doctor.
      Kevin is a selfless person and doing putting others ahead of his ego.
      We need more Kevin and less assholes.

    5. Dee McDonald

      Absolutely correct!!

  15. Estimate79

    I'm with Sushigirl... If you make the mess, then clean up after yourself. Buying an airline ticket doesn't provide you with a maid to follow you around and unless you are flying with your mother who cleans up after you then you had better police the area and leave it as you found it. The only exception would be if someone is violently ill and cannot help themselves in which case the Lav should be locked out of service for safety and health reasons.

    1. SushiGirlNYC

      Right on! And fair comment abt the truly violently ill. But those ppl are usually super apologetic, and those are few and far in between.

  16. George

    Theory (what happens 0.01% of time): Flight attendants are there to keep the passengers safe and keep everyone in check

    Reality (what happens 99.9% of time): Flight attendants are glorified servers, waiters, trash collectors, and cleaning crew

    Yeah I guess let's stick to theory United.

  17. Joey Pompano

    Hey look, with the cost of a flight these days being equivalent to a house payment, if I wanna take a dump on the floor, that's what I'm gonna do and those over paid, arrogant slags can just clean it up.

    1. Watson

      Flights are cheaper than they've ever been...

    2. Dee McDonald

      Good grief please stay home so mommy can clean up after u! What a jerk!! Human beings can be sooooo very disgusting! Who in there right mind would want to be a flight attendant and put up with what has been written on this post tonight!! Good God

  18. DLPTATL

    Glad Delta FA's aren't part of the union. Delta's RR's aren't as clean as a the ME or Asian carriers by the end of most flights, but much better than on UA or AA because the FA's care and aren't discouraged to do the right thing for their passengers by their union.

    1. Alex

      No, they're just dumb enough to think the company will take care of them out of pure sympathy. If it weren't for FA unions at other carriers, Delta flight attendants would be having a hell of a time. You can thank unions for the good life you have.

  19. BEASTRESCUSE

    See it. Fix it. An employee (pilot, flight attendant, passenger, Air Marshal) has a responsibility, out of respect for fellow humans, to leave surroundings in better conditions then they were found. If a flight attendant turns their back on a mess, their employer should turn their back on their contract, employee, and right to live in the US.

    1. Dee McDonald

      Amen and Amen!! I have cleaned up small mess in flight restrooms before I could even meet my needs!! U do what u have to do!! But makes u wonder what some home look like!! SCARY

  20. Dick Bupkiss

    This presents a great opportunity for United to solve two ongoing problems -- kill two birds with one stone:

    1. Filthy lavs -- caused by passengers with bad upbringing. Something needs to be done about this.

    2. Unacceptable bad behavior by idiot passengers in the cabin: refusal to wear masks, acting out, drunken hooliganism, generally being a complete ass and acting like a spoiled 4-year old. Also caused by bad upbringing, also needs to be...

    This presents a great opportunity for United to solve two ongoing problems -- kill two birds with one stone:

    1. Filthy lavs -- caused by passengers with bad upbringing. Something needs to be done about this.

    2. Unacceptable bad behavior by idiot passengers in the cabin: refusal to wear masks, acting out, drunken hooliganism, generally being a complete ass and acting like a spoiled 4-year old. Also caused by bad upbringing, also needs to be addressed. Even the FAA wants airlines to crack down more, and they are right. Time to get real about this...

    The solution: make the people acting out in the cabin clean the toilets (and give them that hazmat suit AFTER they clean the loo). Add this to part of the terms & conditions of the ticket purchase. Make the warning prominent and repeat it during the pre-departure safety announcement. Then enforce it. Have an Air Marshall with zip-ties stand and show them just like the seat belt and lifejacket demo -- live, not on some gag-reel video. If the offenders don't comply, then hog-tie them and lock them in that nasty bathroom, let them spend the remainder of the flight, maybe face-down in that filth. All the bathrooms get filled up with hog-tied idiots wallowing in feces? Fine, then divert, call in a replacement aircraft (charge the actual costs of all this to the offenders), and fine every miscreant to the maximum. Send them to jail to clean the toilets there, too, for a year or two.

    Apply some serious consequences, the idiots will get the message eventually, and everyone benefits.

    1. Dee McDonald

      Sounds like a plan to me!! Eventually these disgusting human beings will get the message and maybe decide to take a bus the next time!!

  21. Kyle

    Airplane lavs (or any public restroom) should be treated like national parks… leave no trace. Unfortunately, your average slovenly American fat ass can barely do their business in an aircraft lav let alone maneuver around to tidy up.

    1. Dee McDonald

      If they cant clean their mess up they shouldn't make it!!! Good grief!! Some humans are such pigs

  22. KR

    My position is well known from previous comments on OMAAT, and it remains the same. Airplanes are disgustingly filthy. Covid’19 boarded planes and traveled worldwide. For a brief time, some cleaning was done. Not much. Now the filth is back to normal. The airline industry should be shut down entirely until passenger safety is safeguarded health wise. Whatever it takes, the airlines need to get it done. Thank you for letting me comment.

    1. Dee McDonald

      There is no excuse for nasty filth!! If u Cant or wont clean up after yourself STAY HOME!!! NO public area should be subjected to someones inappropriate personal behaviors!!

  23. Sam

    I was on a transcontinental United flight a couple years ago, and a man who was completely blind had an unfortunate episode of explosive diarrhea and basically missed the toilet completely. Total disaster.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the flight attendants put on rubber gloves, grab some cleaning spray and paper towels, and 30 minutes later it was back in service. Not sure how to reconcile that with the fact that apparently...

    I was on a transcontinental United flight a couple years ago, and a man who was completely blind had an unfortunate episode of explosive diarrhea and basically missed the toilet completely. Total disaster.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see one of the flight attendants put on rubber gloves, grab some cleaning spray and paper towels, and 30 minutes later it was back in service. Not sure how to reconcile that with the fact that apparently that's outside the scope of their contract. I guess she was just going above and beyond.

  24. Paul

    FAs should clean the restrooms & it should be written into their contracts. FAs can be instructed to wear PPE and sanitize themselves before resuming service duties.

    1. Sue Nottoiletcleaner

      You walk a day in our shoes.. or in one of those nasty lavatories.. it will NEVER be part of our contract because we will NEVER vote it in… clean up after yourselves you nasty passengers..

    2. Justin

      The Delta flight attendants manage … and are always in a much better mood than the union FAs, too. Lav was cleaned at least twice by a FA on my ATL-LAX flight last week.

  25. Sam

    90% of FA's are completely lazy and angry.

    That being said, if the contract says they don't have to clean the bathrooms, they shouldn't.

    Management needs to either renegotiate the contract or put someone on board to clean bathrooms. On long-haul flights, I could see the need for a dedicated bathroom attendant. It would be a full-time job rotating around all the bathrooms and cleaning them. On many foreign carriers the FA's do it and do a good job.

  26. Uniteddy

    This annoucement was added almost 2 years ago, so not sure why NOW its a hot topic. Most of us skip this announcement anyway. Because, realistically, if you bring an "untidy lavatory" to "our attention", we'll just lock the door and inop it until it's cleaned by cleaning professionals with professional cleaning products.

  27. Sassy

    As a retired airline employee, I always carry Clorox wipes. When I travel, I wipe down the lavatory before and after. One, for my own OCD issues, two, I want my airline lavatory to look nice and clean for others. The FA’s are not there to clean up after nasty customers. It’s amazing how filthy people leave the lavatories! It’s outrageous!

    1. Dee McDonald

      Absolutely Amen and Amen!! Their homes must be beyond disgusting !!

  28. Santastico

    They want to sit and gossip all flight long. They are so lazy.

  29. K Lim

    I’m with you Ray most flight crew I encountered won’t even look at you or say welcome onboard and thank you at the end of the flight and you expect them to clean bathrooms?
    I’m talking about you American Airlines cabin crew!
    I nominate them to receive the Emmys for the worst flight crew in the whole wide world.

  30. David

    It's not a job I would want, but even on the long haul ET flight from IAD to ADD, which I take on a somewhat regular basis, I've seen the FA's spruce up the lavs multiple times during the 13 hours.

  31. Bruce Barnburner

    For Starters, Just To just have a smile, perhaps, upon entering a United Flight Cabin would be a miracle, and worth a million, but they just cannot muster up any pleasant human interactions, even on Long Haul, always the long face, and then at meals chucked at ya like it's a effort...it's a tray...It's Your Job, act like you care, you think..!! Either Business or Cattle, it's Your Job...!! And secondly, this garbage about "Having...

    For Starters, Just To just have a smile, perhaps, upon entering a United Flight Cabin would be a miracle, and worth a million, but they just cannot muster up any pleasant human interactions, even on Long Haul, always the long face, and then at meals chucked at ya like it's a effort...it's a tray...It's Your Job, act like you care, you think..!! Either Business or Cattle, it's Your Job...!! And secondly, this garbage about "Having to...??" manage the lavatories, good gawd...are you kidding us..? For simple Sanitary Needs for the OVER Paying Customers, that pay large amounts to sit in uncomfortable seats for many hours, how hard is A simple check-in of the lew, dunnie, the restroom..., pick up f a few, and RESTOCK the Crap Towel dispenser that as mentioned, always come out in a handful instead of one, And... soad possibly...?>? This seems Imperative for a Busy Air Flight, with many bodies crammed into a tube, basic human needs aren't not priviledge, they are a RIGHT..! Not only logical, but practical, as in, one flight crew, should be dedicated to just to do that, why the HELL NOT...? America and it's Sad Ass Airlines and it's second class flight provisions getaway with murder, and it's about time someone takes it to the People in Charge, and make themself heard that we want to be treated as if we are, and we ARE, PAYING CUSTOMERS, Treat Us Like We Matter or we Go Elsewhere...!! Haruumph...!! ;p

  32. Erica Walker

    Fed Up is spot on.
    This is one of many reasons to put your money with Asian carriers for overseas travel. Service, food, and comfort are not in the US union contracts. Their purpose is solely to transport people, in bulk!

  33. Fed UP

    another reason not to fly US airlines... You are spot on, on those 8, 10 or 12 hour flights, the cabin and restrooms are a shambles, a total pig stye, due to the passengers and the lack of any attention by the crew. Welcome to 2021. And, of course, COVID will now be used as yet another excuse to not do anything, just like 9/11 and getting arrested for asking for a bag of peanuts.

  34. SushiGirlNYC

    If space only allows for flight attendants, and not for cleaning staff, then flight attendants need to clean. And if that work is beneath you, don't take the job. I'll be honest, no idea if there's dedicated cleaning staff on airlines like ANA/JAL/Cathay, but their lavatories are never "bad". But let's be real, the problem is half on staff and half on passengers. Staff can't be above cleaning. But passengers can't act like animals either....

    If space only allows for flight attendants, and not for cleaning staff, then flight attendants need to clean. And if that work is beneath you, don't take the job. I'll be honest, no idea if there's dedicated cleaning staff on airlines like ANA/JAL/Cathay, but their lavatories are never "bad". But let's be real, the problem is half on staff and half on passengers. Staff can't be above cleaning. But passengers can't act like animals either. I don't expect a passenger to clean after another passenger, but if you went into a clean lavatory, and YOU made a mess, clean up after yourself!

    1. Dee McDonald

      Exactly if u fly and Make a mess ClEAN IT UP!! The flight attendants are not your maids!!!

  35. Jetjock64

    I don't think the FAs would mind the extra duties if management would just propose a proper contract amendment, with increased pay for some unpleasant tasks. FA unions are a busines not a charity, and they can be reasonable.

    1. Dee McDonald

      No way should a flight attendant be expected to clean up after an adult unless they Are in a medical emergency

  36. Andrew Wright

    Well, we do not “lift carry-on” luggage for whoever wrote that. But no it’s not in our contract to clean. The airline is free to bring that in. Everything costs!

  37. SRINIVASAN BALASUBRAMANIAN

    Most passengers would agree that in-flight service provided by cabin staff of American ('American' = American, Delta, Continental, United, etc.) airlines is far inferior to service offered by other international airlines.
    Didn't know that 'providing poor service' is part of their employment contracts.

    1. Dee McDonald

      In the USA it is any more!!The word "service" is now considered a " nasty' term by many of thoes who were hired to provide it!! And they have no problem letting the customer know!! By their attitude and lack of service!!!

  38. PDT

    Simple. Fly ANA or equivalent. They board a full 77W in 18 minutes flat, apologize for 3-minute late departure, and keep the lavs tidy. The experience is like night and day. It sets a positive tone for 10+ hours in the air.

  39. Falcon269

    Flight attendants are required by the Federal Aviation Regulations. They became high altitude waiters by a male dominated airline industry and were fired at age thirty so that they would always be sex objects (until the 1960s). They are professionally trained persons for a variety of emergencies. They should not have to clean vomit from the bathroom floor.

    1. Vito

      Well, then who should? The Captain? Maybe the person who is unconscious on the floor of the restrooms?! On a long haul, sometimes we can’t wait until landing…

    2. HotelGM

      Eh, I work in travel (hotels) and I have a houseman who saved a guest's life with an AED whole waiting on the ambulance to arrive. He still keeps the lobby bathrooms cleaned up.

      Somewhat of a tangent, but hotel staff generally hate airline crew contracts. They're generally demanding assholes, just as bad on the ground as they are in the air. Pilots are generally more chill than FAs.

  40. dander

    Change the contract, provide an attendant on long haul. and clean them on turn arounds

  41. James Nicoletti

    I have worked for an airline and will tell you only a fool would want a flight attendant cleaning a toilet and then handing out water bottles, drinks, and snacks on the flight. It's true the bathrooms are filthy, but that is because some people are pigs. Don't blame the flight attendants.

    1. Dee McDonald

      EXACTLY!! 150% CORRECT

  42. steve

    I was on a United flight from Shanghai to San Francisco and 3/6 economy class lavatories were out of order, and the other 3 quickly became an atrocity on the scale you describe. That was a very, very long flight. I get it's not in their contract or whatever, but I cannot imagine it would cost _that_ much to create a new janitor attendant job on long haul flights for general cleaning.

  43. R B

    “ sort of a scat play and golden shower kink den would look like, or something.”
    Where did you get the idea from?

  44. kaboom

    but really should the attendants be responsible for doing more than a restock and tidy? let's put the blame for a gross lav where it belongs, the bad traveller. I rarely see an airplane lav in bad condition. maybe I'm just lucky.

    1. Willie

      For what, negotiating the scope of work for their resources? If I am selling a service and I write a contract with my customer for the work that I agree to do for the schedule and budget in which I will do it, am I toxic for not providing services beyond what is negotiated in the contract?

  45. Jeffrey I Chang

    Perhaps we can have a new position for airlines. a person to offer you gum, mouthwash, and to wipe up pee after a passenger and they can give said passenger and envelope after for services rendered.

  46. Dave Alden

    We were asigned seats on a flight next to rear lavatory at Kona to Lax. [missed flight day before].We had to put blankets over are heads to lesson the odor.It was obvious they weren't cleaned on the turn around to the mainland.PHEW!

  47. Ray

    Typical American nonsense: complains that immigrants are taking their jobs, and then doesn't want to do work typically carried out by immigrants (cleaning lavs that are typically done by immigrant ground crew). The other problem is, airlines have been cutting number of lavs on board (say 5 to 3). When does it become a safety or sanitary issue when sh1t overflows and you only have 2 functioning toilets for 250 people?

  48. Ben

    I'd be thrilled if - given the extensive engineering that goes into airplanes - someone could develop paper towel dispensers which didn't always result in 28 sheets coming out at once.

  49. Abey

    Not everything has to be “in the contract “ when the primary concern is providing a comfortable flight you’d clean the bathroom, unfortunately in the US they are “primarily there for your safety “ that’s why we have granny’s on 12+ international flights that can’t lift a carry on or clean a restroom

  50. M Casey

    The worst lavs are found on the Latin American inbound flights to the US, a lot of these countries do not have a toilet seats, the will squat over an open hole. I’ve met many arrivals that can attest to this.

    1. Nicolas

      Lmao have you ever even been to Latin America? Do you really think we don't have toilets? I'm not surprised coming from a USian but wow.

  51. Pete

    This reflects American culture, passengers who treat the bathrooms like their golden shower kink den and then expect others to clean up after them.
    Then the flight attendants who think they should be above cleaning the bathrooms.

  52. Di

    I understand that if it’s in their contract, they don't have to do it, like you said, it’s strange how they have not found a way to do this on long haul flights.
    But that being said, I work for an airline outside of the US. We aren’t forced to clean the bathrooms during flight, only restock and keeping it tidy, but also have not seen a crew member leave a toilet in an...

    I understand that if it’s in their contract, they don't have to do it, like you said, it’s strange how they have not found a way to do this on long haul flights.
    But that being said, I work for an airline outside of the US. We aren’t forced to clean the bathrooms during flight, only restock and keeping it tidy, but also have not seen a crew member leave a toilet in an unusable state, since we also have to use the lavs during flight. If it is indeed so dirty that we can’t clean it with the items provided to us, we lock the lav. But I guess it’s different rules at different airlines.

  53. Shawn

    Ben - Do you just recycle everything Gary posts now?

  54. mowogo

    Don't try lumping airline lavs in with dens of depravity, the dens of depravity generally get cleaned after activities.

  55. tuotuo

    and golden shower kink den would look like
    LOL
    you naughty boy

    1. GBOAC

      I was wondering whether anyone else had noticed Ben's "earthy perhaps even salacious" description. Have to admit being surprised (but not in a bad way) seeing those terms in this blog.
      Looking forward to more surprises from Ben:-)

  56. James

    Well, it's obvious. Americans are lazy. Their flight attendants are glorified waitstaff. Who need the kitchen and other staff to actually do any work.
    Of course, recently they need to control crowds, which really is an American issue again. I doubt any other country has the same level of rowdiness and criminality on airplanes.

    1. Amy

      James so you feel
      Flight attendants are glorified wait staff? Well how bout they offer you a Diet Coke while you’re having a heart attack?

    2. James

      So the only people in the world who know how to do CPR are flight attendants? Wow, we need to put them in the hospitals! Quick! No wonder people are dying there.

  57. DWT

    I think the new inflight announcement is somewhat representative of how UA's management is totally out of touch with what their rank and file is able to provide in practice (whether due to contractual limitations, like in this case, or just the general attitudes and motivations of their employees). They've made huge proclamations about how they are positioning themselves to be a "premium" carrier, but the truth is, many of their customer facing employees simply...

    I think the new inflight announcement is somewhat representative of how UA's management is totally out of touch with what their rank and file is able to provide in practice (whether due to contractual limitations, like in this case, or just the general attitudes and motivations of their employees). They've made huge proclamations about how they are positioning themselves to be a "premium" carrier, but the truth is, many of their customer facing employees simply won't be able to follow through.

Featured Comments Load all 95 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Falcon269

Flight attendants are required by the Federal Aviation Regulations. They became high altitude waiters by a male dominated airline industry and were fired at age thirty so that they would always be sex objects (until the 1960s). They are professionally trained persons for a variety of emergencies. They should not have to clean vomit from the bathroom floor.

James Nicoletti

I have worked for an airline and will tell you only a fool would want a flight attendant cleaning a toilet and then handing out water bottles, drinks, and snacks on the flight. It's true the bathrooms are filthy, but that is because some people are pigs. Don't blame the flight attendants.

Ben

I'd be thrilled if - given the extensive engineering that goes into airplanes - someone could develop paper towel dispensers which didn't always result in 28 sheets coming out at once.

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