A Twitter user who claims to be a serving flight attendant for Aeroflot has made some pretty shocking allegations about the Russian flag carrier in a series of Tweets on the social media site. Going by the name of @PlusUltraFilm, the flight attendant lays bare a culture that puts looks and perception above safety and security. The allegations come just day’s after Aeroflot flight SU1492 crash landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, resulting in the tragic death of 40 passengers and one crew member.
The series of Tweets starts off with allegations about the aircraft model that was involved in Sunday’s accident – the Russian built Sukhoi Superjet 100-95. The anonymous flight attendant claims the aircraft is riddled with problems including an allegation that the emergency exits often get stuck in the ‘Armed’ position.
An inadvertent slide deployment would not only be embarrassing but it could also seriously injure ground workers. In one case, the flight attendant even claims the door of a Sukhoi Superjet literally fell off when opened – apparently, Aeroflot and regulators covered up these incidents to avoid drawing attention to the safety defects of the aircraft.
There are also claims about the way Aeroflot treats its flight attendants. According to this Twitter user there is an unofficial caste system with flight attendants ranked as A, B or C. Type ‘A’ are “young, beautiful, clever with knowledge of languages” and more often than not female flight attendants who will work in Business Class on sought after international routes.
Type ‘B’ will get to fly to Europe or China, while Type ‘C’ are relegated to working domestic routes – often on the Sukhoi Superjet. These flight attendants are more mature or are being ‘punished’ by Aeroflot – sometimes for very minor indiscretions according to the source.
Translated from Russian into English, one Tweet reads:
“In order to understand the logic of Aeroflot, one must proceed from the fact that this is an extremely greedy company that treats its employees as much like cattle as possible…”
Referring to the SU1492 accident, @PlusUltraFilm claims Aeroflot will pay each crew member involved in the incident 3 million rubles ($46,000). The family member of the deceased crew member will receive 5 million rubles ($76,000). Apparently, this is “hush money”. In the past, Aeroflot is accused of getting crew to sign non-disclosure agreements following other incidents including a 2017 incident in which 27 passengers were severely incident when a Bangkok-bound Aeroflot flight hit severe turbulence.
And the allegations keep on coming. These include:
- Flight attendants are banned from uploading photos to social media sites for fear of ruining Aeroflot’s image of having young, glamorous crew.
- Aeroflot allowed a flight to depart without any portable oxygen cylinders because it didn’t want to deal with the delay or getting replacement bottles.
- Aeroflot often has broken equipment and these go unfixed until regulators or inspectors are known to be getting onboard a plane.
- Flight attendants are punished for even the smallest of mistakes – so, they don’t report problems for fear of getting in trouble.
- Reporting issues could see flight attendants pushed onto domestic flights.
The Twitter account has since been deleted but in the day that the Tweets were live, they were re-tweeted thousands of times. In 2017, several Aeroflot flight attendants sued the airline for discrimination, claiming the airline sideline “old, fat and ugly” crew.
“Everyone older than 40 or with clothing size larger than small or medium was taken off international flights,” claimed one of the flight attendants who brought the case. A Moscow court, however, sided with the airline and a spokesperson for Aeroflot said at the time that it did not discriminate.