Thai Airways says it has opened an urgent investigation after flight attendants apparently forgot to collect meal trays from at least three passengers on a recent flight from Singapore to Bangkok.
Passenger Praewa Nang Mana posted a short video on TikTok of the plane landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with meal trays still sitting on the tray tables in a row of three seats.
Airlines are legally responsible for ensuring tray tables are folded away before landing so that egress isn’t impeded in the event of an emergency evacuation. Mana also says she and her fellow seatmates struggled to fasten their seats because the tray tables were in the way.
Approaching the end of the two-hour flight from Singapore, Mana says in her TikTok that she was surprised to hear the Captain tell the flight attendants to prepare the cabin for landing while some passengers still had meal trays on their trays.
But Mana says none of the flight attendants noticed that some passengers still had meal trays. Mana even rang the flight attendant call button to alert the crew, but no one allegedly answered the call.
A spokesperson for Thai Airways says there could be a number of reasons why the trays weren’t collected prior to landing but added that the airline “will not be complacent in investigating this incident”.
“We are urgently investigating to find out the facts,” the statement continued.
“Thai Airways would like to stress that the company holds the safety of passengers to the utmost importance. Cabin crew has a checklist to ensure the orderliness of the cabin prior to take off and landing and must work according to international aviation safety standards.”
Only after landing in Bangkok did the cabin crew realise that the meal trays were still out in the cabin and collected them away.
One possible explanation is forecast severe turbulence, in which cabin crew may have been advised to remain seated rather than go into the cabin to ensure tray tables were folded away.
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.
A few months ago I flew Thai in J from CGK to BKK. They skipped me when serving meals it wasn’t until other passengers got served desert that I asked if they forgot about me. Also noticed other passengers having a hard time getting the attention from cabin crew.
Safety comes first! There could have been turbulence and if it was truly an issue, they could have put the trays on the floor until landing. 🤷🏽♀️