Thai Airways Cabin Crew: Adversity in the Air

They say colleague morale is an important factor for the overall impression of a business. So why do Thai Airways staff always look so downright disgruntled?

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Thai Airways B777 at Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 1. This aircraft will take the Thai crew back home to Bangkok

I do like flying with Thai Airways most of the time. I love their livery, with purple and gold logo and lettering emblazoning the white fuselage. I also think that despite heavy interference from the Thai Government, the airline is fairly well run. What I do notice from my own experiences, however, is the Thai Airways cabin crew being among the more miserable cabin crews in the sky. But why could this be?

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Why so serious?

There’s no doubting the professionalism of Thai Airways stewards and stewardesses. They often go out of their way to inform and provide service during flight. Yet on those occasions when they have nothing much to do and are not interacting with passengers directly, they often let their true side surface, which in my experience means they appear rather miserable and bored. Sometimes it looks like as though Thai cabin crew are just going through the motions. I’m sure they’re not, but it’s just how it looks.

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Distribution of meals on Thai’s longhaul flights TAKE AGES!
Thai cabin crew is often stressed and disorganised
Thai cabin crew is often stressed and disorganised
We waited 30 minutes for THIS?!
We waited 30 minutes for THIS?!

From my many flights with Thai (mainly regional around SE Asia) I have observed that even the simplest of things, such as distributing meals or drinks takes AGES, and it seems the crew are a little disorganised when doing this. Once, I had to wait over 30 minutes for a sandwich, whereas on Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines or Garuda, this would have been a simple 10 minute job to feed the whole cabin, with motivated cabin crew working together to provide an efficient service. I began to wonder if the Thai Airways cabin crew that I personally saw were happy in their jobs, or if the adversity their airline is facing financially is beginning to take its toll on the morale of its employees.

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I would love to fly with Thai Airways again, especially longhaul (maybe on the A380 from London Heathrow to Bangkok), and see if there have been any noticeable improvements in the recent past. Some of Thai’s older aircraft are really in need of a refit, and perhaps with a nicer and more modern cabin interior it will really bring the best out of the Thai stewards and stewardesses.

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