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Plastic Cups On The Ground In F & J?  
User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 8350 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!

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8303 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



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8269 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.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1030 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 8201 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.


User currently offlinepanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4977 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 8097 times:
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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....


User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7889 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?


User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7890 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.


User currently offlinejetMarc From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7849 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.



"Sucka, I'm gonna send you out on Knuckle Airlines. Fist Class!!" ~ Mr. T
User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 7752 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.


User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 7635 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!


User currently offlinesac From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 98 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7528 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.


User currently offlineklkla From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 946 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7498 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.


User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4330 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7455 times:
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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]

User currently offlinesteve6666 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 429 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 7314 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.



eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3177 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6723 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.


E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineordjoe From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6265 times:

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

User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6250 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.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8913 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6148 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.


User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3224 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5947 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.


User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5848 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.


User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5761 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!!



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5657 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.



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinenethkt From Thailand, joined Apr 2001, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4999 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?



Let's just blame it on yields.
User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4823 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.

User currently offlinequiet1 From Thailand, joined Apr 2010, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4505 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.


25 HAWK21M : seems more of an Anti Injury due accident measure rather than a deliberate one.
26 Post contains images HKG212 : 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
27 malaysia : 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
28 Quokka : 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 flig
29 fly2yyz : Hmmm TS, a Canadian charter carrier, serves pre-departure drinks in glasses - not plastic.
30 Eagleboy : 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 diff
31 Post contains images quiet1 : You do all that before pushback???
32 N1120A : 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
33 L1011Lover : 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 wer
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