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Topic: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: TravelsUK
Posted 2011-10-06 02:18:48 and read 8120 times.

I'm curious to know the reason why US (and Canadian) carriers use plastic cups for serving pre-take off drinks in F & J? If it's for some form of security or safety reason why do other carriers flying from the US appear to use use proper glasses?

Before anyone jumps down my throat for in any way demeaning any US security or safety regulations I would like to reiterate - I am just curious!

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-10-06 02:36:17 and read 8073 times.

I know it's an FAA requirement for US carriers to use plastic cups before departure. I'm not sure whey that it is. Supposetly it's for safety reasons.

The777Man

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: HAWK21M
Posted 2011-10-06 02:47:32 and read 8039 times.

Unless you are ok with metal glasses.....Dont want glass to be used as a weapon.....add to the quick disposal of plastics & weight saving.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: bastew
Posted 2011-10-06 03:18:24 and read 7971 times.

The safety perspective kind of makes sense.

At BA we use 'glass' glasses pre take off but then we have to collect them all in once the safety video is completed and we are securing the cabin (for safety - 'glass' glass for t/o landing is a no-no). Some people, especially those that boarded in the latter stages, have sometimes only had a few sips of their fizz before we have to take it from them. I guess if they were plastic we could just leave them with the passenger to finish up at their leisure.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: panamair
Posted 2011-10-06 04:08:51 and read 7867 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 1):
I know it's an FAA requirement for US carriers to use plastic cups before departure

Not sure anymore as Delta actually uses real glasses for the pre-takeoff OJ/champagne in international Business these days; AFAIK, it is the only US carrier to do so. Domestic First pre-takeoff beverages are still in the plastic 'glasses' though....

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: TravelsUK
Posted 2011-10-06 06:18:41 and read 7659 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 1):
Supposetly it's for safety reasons.

My logic would say that it would be safer to use real glasses on the ground whilst the aircraft is stationary or fairly stable whilst taxiing to the runway rather than in the air with unexpected turbulance...

On that note, anybody know are glasses used on board the ones designed to shatter completely if dropped rather than leaving potentially dangerous large shards of glass?

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: quiet1
Posted 2011-10-06 06:19:17 and read 7660 times.

At UA, and as I understand at other US carriers, all galleys must be secured before the cockpit can be advised the cabin is ready for pushback. The galleys must remain secured during taxi and takeoff. Secured means all carts, bins and modules must be, and remain, closed and latched.

Glass drinkware, of course, needs to be inside a cart/bin/module to be secure for takeoff. So, to avoid the scramble to pick up -- and stow -- all predeparture glasses before requesting clearance for pushback, it was decided to use disposable (plastic) glasses which can be dropped into a trash chute with a spring-loaded cover later on in the departure process.

Airlines *could* use glass, but a passenger would have to surrender his/her drink much earlier in order to re-stow the glass in the galley before the cockpit could request pushback clearance. Using plastic, they can continue enjoying a beverage until after the safety demo, at which time the plastic must be surrendered.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: jetMarc
Posted 2011-10-06 06:28:38 and read 7619 times.

It has nothing to do with FAA regs determining whether glass or plastic is used. All the FAA requires is all service items furnished by the carrier (including cups, glasses, cans) need to be collected prior to take off and landing.

Most airlines probably use plastic on the ground to reduce the amount of glassware needed to be carried onboard as its heavy and expensive. Why carry dirty glasses for an entire flight that were only used for a few minutes on the ground? Also, .they must be collected prior to take off, usually with limited time. You'd have to dump the contents and restow glassware in the proper cart/atlas carrier, whereas plactic, you simply toss the whole thing into the trash.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: ItalianFlyer
Posted 2011-10-06 06:51:35 and read 7522 times.

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 6):
At UA, and as I understand at other US carriers, all galleys must be secured before the cockpit can be advised the cabin is ready for pushback. The galleys must remain secured during taxi and takeoff. Secured means all carts, bins and modules must be, and remain, closed and latched.

Glass drinkware, of course, needs to be inside a cart/bin/module to be secure for takeoff. So, to avoid the scramble to pick up -- and stow -- all predeparture glasses before requesting clearance for pushback, it was decided to use disposable (plastic) glasses which can be dropped into a trash chute with a spring-loaded cover later on in the departure process.

Airlines *could* use glass, but a passenger would have to surrender his/her drink much earlier in order to re-stow the glass in the galley before the cockpit could request pushback clearance. Using plastic, they can continue enjoying a beverage until after the safety demo, at which time the plastic must be surrendered.

  

International flights involve earlier boarding times. That gives F and C/J customers more time to enjoy a beverage and glassware is used early in the boarding process; but the same rules apply....everything has to be collected, stowed and secured before pushback.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: TravelsUK
Posted 2011-10-06 07:29:18 and read 7405 times.

Quoting jetMarc (Reply 7):
Most airlines probably use plastic on the ground to reduce the amount of glassware needed to be carried onboard as its heavy and expensive.

Fair point but given the mega $$$ charged for an F ticket I would expect a glass!

It just doesn't look right IMHO and I can only judge by pictures in thr Trip Reports forum, it looks so tacky and not really what one would expect on an international first class flight especially when teamed with a paper napkin with advertising on it!

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: sac
Posted 2011-10-06 07:59:38 and read 7298 times.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):
International flights involve earlier boarding times. That gives F and C/J customers more time to enjoy a beverage and glassware is used early in the boarding process; but the same rules apply....everything has to be collected, stowed and secured before pushback.

And in a perfect world coach would board by row and seat number from back forward, stow all the luggage in it's proper place. All customers would turn off mobile phones and other electronic devices when when the door is closed and announcements made to do so. But we all know that doesn't happen. Nor does First and Business class customers boarding early to have time to enjoy a pre flight beverage. I remember this changed not to long after TWA 843 L1011 incident at JFK on July 30, 1992. I could be wrong but I believe it came out in the investigation that glass was in the cabin and not secured in the galley.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: klkla
Posted 2011-10-06 08:10:47 and read 7268 times.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):
Fair point but given the mega $$$ charged for an F ticket I would expect a glass!

It just doesn't look right IMHO and I can only judge by pictures in thr Trip Reports forum, it looks so tacky and not really what one would expect on an international first class flight especially when teamed with a paper napkin with advertising on it!

  

I agree with you on this. Cheap plastic cups on international long haul flights in Biz & First looks cheap. If Delta can use glass for pre-depatrture drinks then there obviously isn't a law against it and the other airlines could choose to do the same thing if they wanted.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: kgaiflyer
Posted 2011-10-06 08:19:43 and read 7225 times.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 2):
.....add to the quick disposal of plastics & weight saving.

For domestic departures, I didn't expect that there was a different reason than this.

The plastic goes into the same trash with the 'grande' coffee cups, undrunk sodas, and trash from take-out eaten pre-takeoff. With boardings at 1-L and our crowded single-aisle aircraft, drink debris up front sometimes doesn't get collected until after takeoff, and I'd hate to see ceramics and glass flying about the cabin as the plane climbs.

[Edited 2011-10-06 08:23:09]

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: steve6666
Posted 2011-10-06 09:07:09 and read 7084 times.

Quoting bastew (Reply 3):
I guess if they were plastic we could just leave them with the passenger to finish up at their leisure.

Please don't do that. Quite often, when you are sat on the upper deck window seats, you find your neighbours' bottles of water sliding down towards you on rotation. I don't really fancy having someone else's champagne/OJ coming visiting and spilling all over me.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: USAirALB
Posted 2011-10-06 20:07:32 and read 6493 times.

I'm pretty sure US recently started using glassware on pre-takeoff beverage rounds in Envoy. Not 100% sure though. In my experience, the FAs usually collect cups/glasses right before the safety video ends or, right before performing a manual demo.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: ordjoe
Posted 2011-10-06 21:20:38 and read 6035 times.

CX uses glass on USA departures. In all honsty this is just to placate the FAA?

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2011-10-06 21:25:49 and read 6020 times.

It's a cheap and nasty cost saving measure simple as that.

All this safety argument is crap. Every other major carrier from around the world in developed countries
with high safety standards can manage it perfectly fine, on board US built aircraft following US designed safety procedures and recommendations. Are you telling me every other carrier doesn't secure glassware before takeoff and push back? No way I'd buy that one.

Next, when you're boarding a large aircraft, like a 747. Boarding time is a good 40 minutes, maybe a tad more. Obviously J class and F class pax like to linger in the lounge for longer. The time advantage is for Y class pax. What it means is all those foreign carriers flying larger aircraft actually have MORE glassware to secure in a shorter time span. It also doesn't take long at all. glasses are quickly emptied and then stored in purposed built containers in 'pigeon hole' style compartments. That can be done before the door closes if needed. That's no big deal. Also most airlines only use small glasses for pretakeoff. The usually only hold about 100 ml anyway. that's about 2 mouthfuls, it doesn't take long to drink.
What it is, really is a bad first impression for your best customers. Now I'll grant it, that if the competition are largely doing the same that is the standard expected. But let's say you're Delta, and you're carrying Air France's customers. Good way to make them chose DL again over AF? Remember, the overwhelming majority of people flying to and from the USA are not Americans. The domestic mindset shouldn't apply all the time. That being all said, I think of course the passenger is not an idiot either. Let's take Lufthansa's J class pax. If they are used to LH's sleep at an angle thing, and then get united's fully flat seat... I think they won't be impressed by the plastic cup but the seat definitely looks like an upgrade.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: DeltAirlines
Posted 2011-10-06 21:40:57 and read 5918 times.

Quoting panamair (Reply 4):
Not sure anymore as Delta actually uses real glasses for the pre-takeoff OJ/champagne in international Business these days; AFAIK, it is the only US carrier to do so. Domestic First pre-takeoff beverages are still in the plastic 'glasses' though....

US Airways also uses real glasses for pre-departure beverages in the Envoy cabin now. It was part of the Envoy service improvements launched earlier in the summer.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):
Fair point but given the mega $$$ charged for an F ticket I would expect a glass!

Given that very few people pay for first class domestically in the United States (something like 90% of passengers in First are elite upgrades from coach), there's very little revenue premium.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: Lufthansa
Posted 2011-10-06 22:20:31 and read 5717 times.

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 17):
Given that very few people pay for first class domestically in the United States (something like 90% of passengers in First are elite upgrades from coach), there's very little revenue premium.

And that is a fair point and one that probably justifies plastic. Long Haul is a different story however.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: quiet1
Posted 2011-10-06 22:40:41 and read 5618 times.

Quoting jetMarc (Reply 7):
It has nothing to do with FAA regs determining whether glass or plastic is used. All the FAA requires is all service items furnished by the carrier (including cups, glasses, cans) need to be collected prior to take off and landing.

The FAA does not determine whether glass or plastic is used. The FAA's only concern is that before the "cabin ready" call can be made to the cockpit, all galleys must be secured. The cockpit cannot begin pushback prior to receiving the "cabin ready" call. The airlines, UA at least, decided to go with plastic to allow passengers a bit longer time to enjoy their drink, and potentially reduce the amount of delayed pushbacks while F/A's scampered around picking up and stowing glass stemware before pushback.

Quoting ItalianFlyer (Reply 8):
International flights involve earlier boarding times. That gives F and C/J customers more time to enjoy a beverage and glassware is used early in the boarding process;

Except, as mentioned above, many of the premium cabin customers linger in the lounges before boarding -- and I don't blame them -- but still seem to want that glass of pre-departure champagne, with the expectation they can sip it, not chug it while a toe-tapping F/A waits to collect the glass.  
Quoting klkla (Reply 11):

If Delta can use glass for pre-depatrture drinks then there obviously isn't a law against it and the other airlines could choose to do the same thing if they wanted.

Again, the FAA doesn't care about plastic or glass. The airlines made a balanced decision to allow passengers longer time to enjoy their beverage, and undoubtedly factored in the weight component, as well.

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 15):
CX uses glass on USA departures. In all honsty this is just to placate the FAA?

Not placate. To comply with FARs. Those FARs don't apply to CX, SQ, LH, etc.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
All this safety argument is crap. Every other major carrier from around the world in developed countries
with high safety standards can manage it perfectly fine, on board US built aircraft following US designed safety procedures and recommendations. Are you telling me every other carrier doesn't secure glassware before takeoff and push back? No way I'd buy that one.

Safety regulations vary country by country. Perhaps the Singaporean safety officials don't mind if a Singapore Girl has to open a cart momentarily to stow a rack of predeparture glasses during taxi out. The FAA does. Buy it or not, that's the reality of it. Crap it may well be.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: nethkt
Posted 2011-10-06 23:01:57 and read 5531 times.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):
Fair point but given the mega $$$ charged for an F ticket I would expect a glass!

It just doesn't look right IMHO and I can only judge by pictures in thr Trip Reports forum, it looks so tacky and not really what one would expect on an international first class flight especially when teamed with a paper napkin with advertising on it!

Super like....it looks so tacky and cheap!

Glass glass is definitely heavier not by much (say you carry 40 more of pre-take off serving to F/J pax), but it's reusable. The cheap plastic will be defo trashed away.

But well, if we really want to know, we could compare the carbon footprint from the extra weight of carrying glass glass and the carbon footprint of recycling the cheap plastic cups. Well, I'd say to process of recycling plastic produces a lot more carbin footprints as you need to carry them back to catering area then to trash truck bring to recycling factory bla bla...

It's First and Business class, at least make it a big deal!! Not every passenger is upgrader!!

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: ghifty
Posted 2011-10-06 23:25:05 and read 5427 times.

Is it really because of safety standards? If I wanted to (I don't) I could kill someone with the metal seat buckle.

Probably just frugality.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: nethkt
Posted 2011-10-07 03:58:01 and read 4769 times.

Quoting ghifty (Reply 21):
Is it really because of safety standards? If I wanted to (I don't) I could kill someone with the metal seat buckle.

How about with iPad (that you keep in literature pocket), Louis Vuitton bag strap, the needle end of women high heel etc?

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: TravelsUK
Posted 2011-10-07 08:20:46 and read 4593 times.

So, if I understand correct there is nothing specific that says US carriers must use plastic, it is at the airlines diescretion and from what I undertsand therefore basically a time saving measure.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: quiet1
Posted 2011-10-08 00:23:52 and read 4275 times.

@TravelsUK: Essentially, yes. According to posts above, US Airways has started using glass stemware for predeparture beverages on (at least some?) flights.

Not sure I would call it "a time saving measure," other than it may prevent delayed pushback, but it's more a balance of giving customer longer time to hold on to drink + weight savings.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: HAWK21M
Posted 2011-10-08 02:17:53 and read 4250 times.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 22):
Quoting ghifty (Reply 21):
Is it really because of safety standards? If I wanted to (I don't) I could kill someone with the metal seat buckle.

How about with iPad (that you keep in literature pocket), Louis Vuitton bag strap, the needle end of women high heel etc?

seems more of an Anti Injury due accident measure rather than a deliberate one.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: HKG212
Posted 2011-10-08 10:27:46 and read 4097 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
It's a cheap and nasty cost saving measure simple as that.

     
Same goes for the bottom-shelf bubbly US airlines serve as pre-flight "champagne". Why are they doing it? because they have been getting away with it forever, that's why. Just like the 1-drink coupon in the Admirals Club.

I understand the logic of charging for everything in coach, but those J/F tickets are pretty damn expensive (not everyone is on an upgrade). Show some class.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: malaysia
Posted 2011-10-08 10:45:15 and read 4117 times.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 20):
Glass glass is definitely heavier not by much (say you carry 40 more of pre-take off serving to F/J pax), but it's reusable. The cheap plastic will be defo trashed away.

My friend who worked in catering has told me some surprising things, they actually scavenge as much of these plastic cups as well as plastic utensils to wash and repackage again.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: Quokka
Posted 2011-10-08 12:11:59 and read 3992 times.

Quoting HKG212 (Reply 26):
Same goes for the bottom-shelf bubbly US airlines serve as pre-flight "champagne".

Funnily enough I have been told by cabin crew on another airline that the bubbly they serve before take-off is not the same as the one served in flight. I have been offered Moet before departure and Dom Perignon after.

Quoting malaysia (Reply 27):
they actually scavenge as much

I have been told the same by cabin crew when I asked. Some airlines make a positive out of how much they recycle. If it is true, in the current climate, kudos to them. Just dumping everything can't save that much in the long run.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: fly2yyz
Posted 2011-10-08 13:37:01 and read 3902 times.

Hmmm TS, a Canadian charter carrier, serves pre-departure drinks in glasses - not plastic.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: Eagleboy
Posted 2011-10-08 14:14:22 and read 3867 times.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 5):
On that note, anybody know are glasses used on board the ones designed to shatter completely if dropped rather than leaving potentially dangerous large shards of glass?

Having dropped a few in my time, they do not shatter, they break like 'normal' glass. I would think the shattering could actually make them more difficult to tidy up, you can lift shards but sweeping shattered glass on carpet is quite hard.

(I once dropped a glass at a seat row, it bounced and landed upside down INTO the glass tray (holds up to 24 glasses) on the bottom of the dinner cart, the pax beside me was very impressed with how 'tough' our glassware was....)

Quoting quiet1 (Reply 6):
Airlines *could* use glass, but a passenger would have to surrender his/her drink much earlier in order to re-stow the glass in the galley before the cockpit could request pushback clearance. Using plastic, they can continue enjoying a beverage until after the safety demo, at which time the plastic must be surrendered.

While this does sound like a plausible reason, we just ensure to collect the glass containers directly after the safety demo is complete.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: quiet1
Posted 2011-10-08 23:48:41 and read 3637 times.

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 30):
While this does sound like a plausible reason, we just ensure to collect the glass containers directly after the safety demo is complete.

You do all that before pushback???   

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: N1120A
Posted 2011-10-09 11:40:22 and read 3376 times.

Quoting TravelsUK (Thread starter):

I'm curious to know the reason why US (and Canadian) carriers use plastic cups for serving pre-take off drinks in F & J? If it's for some form of security or safety reason why do other carriers flying from the US appear to use use proper glasses?

Its safety - you can't have glasses flying all over the place. Its also timing, as the FA's don't actually have to collect the cups in case there is an issue before takeoff.

Quoting TravelsUK (Thread starter):
Before anyone jumps down my throat for in any way demeaning any US security or safety regulations I would like to reiterate - I am just curious!

No one will jump down your throat. US security regulations are generally a joke. This rule, however, is grounded in decent safety reasoning.

Quoting sac (Reply 10):
And in a perfect world coach would board by row and seat number from back forward

No. In a perfect world, its window-middle-aisle by seating area. Much faster.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):

It's a cheap and nasty cost saving measure simple as that.

No it isn't. These same have glasses on board. This is a way to not run afoul of safety regulations in case not all cups are picked up on time.

Quoting malaysia (Reply 27):
My friend who worked in catering has told me some surprising things, they actually scavenge as much of these plastic cups as well as plastic utensils to wash and repackage again.

If they do this, I commend them. The airlines are huge consumers of single-use type items that can either be recycled or reused.

Topic: RE: Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?
Username: L1011Lover
Posted 2011-10-12 18:30:02 and read 2986 times.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 16):
It's a cheap and nasty cost saving measure simple as that.

How ironic that you (Lufthansa) made such a statement.

Because when Lufthansa's 747 crashed in Nairobi in 1974 a lot of passengers in First Class were badly injured maybe even killed by flying glassware of not recollected pre-departure drinks.

Best regards

L1011Lover


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