An overeager Cathay Pacific ground personnel got herself into trouble after assisting a passenger with a seafood dilemma on Friday.
The arriving passenger, a Cathay Pacific “diamond” member who was carrying 20 raw hairy crabs from Hong Kong, was reportedly told by Taipei immigration personnel that he could not import raw seafood. He then had the brilliant idea of cooking it first.
The traveler was on his way back to Taipei on Friday when immigration officers at Taoyuan International Airport told him he could not bring the crabs into the island unless they were cooked, reported Apple Daily (via South China Morning Post). He then asked a member of Cathay’s ground staff for help.
Without going through the standard immigration channels, the worker brought the passenger to the airline’s VIP lounge on the departure area. They then sought help from the VIP lounge restaurant staff to cook the crabs for him. His request, however, was declined due to the kitchen being outsourced.
The Cathay employee then brought the man to a restaurant in the arrival section of the airport where they again sought help to cook the crabs. When the restaurant staff agreed, all the crabs were cooked, taking almost an hour to finish. In the end, the man was allowed to leave the airport with his cooked crabs.
When the news of the incident broke out via Apple Daily, local authorities launched an investigation into the incident. Now the overly-helpful employee is set to face disciplinary action from Cathay Pacific, which said in a statement that the incident could have been a case of an employee being too keen to help. It stated however, that the staff should take note of other concerns in dealing with passengers.
An unnamed experienced flight attendant however said the helpful staff member was just probably under pressure since Cathay values “diamond” member passengers.
“Cathay requires us to treat every passenger with sincerity, especially ‘diamond’ members. We have to greet them and introduce ourselves on board every flight. The ground staff member might have misinterpreted what the company required of us,” the crew member was quoted as saying.
“I don’t think the staff member should be punished because the company places emphasis on the loyalty programme, which gives us unnecessary stress. The employee was just inexperienced.”