Starbucks will offer flight attendants and other essential workers a free tall brewed coffee throughout the month of December to thank front-line responders and the health care community for the “significant efforts” they’ve made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle-based coffee chain said it made the decision after a recent uptick in Coronavirus infections across the United States.
Along with flight attendants, pilots and healthcare professionals, Starbucks is also extending the offer to a whole range of essential workers including: law enforcement officers, dentists and dental hygienists, mental health workers hospital staff, military on active duty, contact tracers, vaccine and pharmaceutical researchers, TSA, and medical researchers.
“It has been an extraordinarily difficult year, especially for the front-line responders who are serving our communities,” explained Virginia Tenpenny, Starbucks vice president of global social impact.
“We want to show our deep gratitude for those who support and protect us every day with a small gesture of kindness and a cup of coffee.”
From December 1 through to December 31 any of the listed front-line responders can get a tall brewed coffee (hot or iced) at no charge. The offer can be redeemed at any Starbucks company-operated branch in the United States, as well as select licensed stores.
There doesn’t appear to be any limit on how many free coffee’s front line responders can get hold of through this offer.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) claims its members are the second most likely exposed category of workers after healthcare workers. At the start of the pandemic, the union lobbied airlines to provide personal protective equipment for flight attendants at a time when airlines banned staff from wearing face masks or gloves for fear of upsetting customers.
The union accused some airlines of putting flight attendants at risk by not taking action sooner, arguing that aircrew didn’t have the option to work from home or socially distance onboard planes.
In recent days, the union that represents flight attendants at American Airlines has slammed the airline for creating schedules that put its members at greater risk, while Delta blamed a Thanksgiving meltdown that resulted in 600 flight cancellations on an unexpected uptick in the number of COVID-19 infections amongst its pilots.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.