Paetongtarn threat burns stewardess

A Thai Cathay Pacific flight attendant who said she wanted to throw coffee in the face of one of Thaksin Shinawatra's daughters has been fired.

  • Published: 4/12/2012 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

About 50 people gather in front of the Bangkok office of Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific to protest against misconduct by a member of the airline’s cabin crew. SOMCHAI POOMLARD

The flight attendant said she wanted to throw coffee in the face of Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of the ousted premier, while she was on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

"I immediately told my flight manager I could not work knowing the daughter of my enemy was on the plane," the attendant wrote on her Facebook page, according to reports.

"I called my personal adviser asking if it would be all right to throw coffee at Paetongtarn, but was told that this could breach Hong Kong's laws."

The cabin attendant was also accused of posting the list of passengers for the Hong Kong-bound flight from Bangkok on Nov 25, on which Ms Paetongtarn's name appeared, on the internet.

The airline last night confirmed the incident had taken place.

"We can confirm the incident involved a member of our cabin crew who has privately posted certain information on a social media site about one of our passengers, and that it is an unauthorised incident," it said.

"We can also confirm the cabin crew member concerned is no longer an employee of the company."

The statement added: "The airline is honoured to serve Thailand and looks forward to demonstrating to its many customers across the country that this was an isolated incident."

Earlier yesterday, about 50 people gathered at the Bangkok office of the Hong Kong-based airline to demand action against the flight attendant.

Leslie Lu, manager of Cathay Pacific in Thailand, received a letter from the protesters and later apologised.

Sources in the industry said the disclosure of the list of passengers to the public alone was serious enough to warrant dismissal of an employee.

"The manifest is confidential information, well-guarded by airlines, and should never have been given to unauthorised people," said a chief executive of a Bangkok-based airline.

Though no coffee was actually thrown, the remarks compounded the seriousness of the case because it reflected an improper attitude, he said.

"Airlines are a service industry and a flight attendant cannot discriminate against passengers because of his or her personal feelings," he added.

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Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
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