British Airways Flight Attendant Suspended For Eating Passenger's Leftover Muffin?

The Daily Mail is reporting that a flight attendant for British Airways has been suspended for eating a leftover muffin that was headed to the trash.

BA are treating the incident as theft after he was reported at Heathrow airport on Monday.

The man’s collegues are furious with the decision, branding the airline ‘heavy handed’ and accused them of acting like a ‘police state’.

One BA worker told The Sun: “The cabin crew member on a long-haul flight took a muffin destined for the bin.

“Now his career hangs in the balance. Everyone is up in arms – it is a disgusting way to treat a member of staff.”

Guess who’s “taking this seriously?” (emphasis ours)

A spokesman for the company said yesterday: “One member of the cabin crew has been suspended on suspicion of theft.

“While such incidents are extremely rare we take all allegations of theft extremely seriously.

However, British Airways appeared to make a U-turn today denying that the steward was suspended because he eat a left over muffin.

A BA spokesman said: “It is half-baked to suggest we are suspending someone over a muffin. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Someone is lying! Did he get busted over the muffin or not? In any case, now we know what George Costanza is up to these days.

BA steward suspended ‘for eating leftover muffin’ on passenger’s meal tray [Daily Mail]
(Photo:Daily Mail)

Comments

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  1. snazz says:

    mmmm, im gonna go get a muffin now

  2. dirty foreigner says:

    Oh English people, so clever, saying it’s half baked to suspend someone over a muffin.

  3. IrisMR says:

    I hope their muffins were worth getting fired over. Somehow I doubt it…

  4. Pope John Peeps II says:

    Half-baked! A Muffin! Ha ha ha ha! Oh British Airways! You charming scamps! What a loveable bunch of rogu- FUCK YOU!!!

  5. coan_net says:

    yea…. a muffin does all of a sudden sound pretty good to me also.

    … oh, and about the story – sounds like there is more to it then just a muffin – maybe there is additional things things that this person is being blamed on taking, but is just “telling his friends” it is because of a muffin…. but might truly be about him taking 50 of them home the week before – before they were offered to passengers or something like that.

  6. cde says:

    @dirty foreigner: Ha, I noticed that too.

  7. Wormfather says:

    @coan_net: Then wouldnt it be in BA’s best interest to divulge that information, I mean, serously, nothings worse than me thinking he’s being suspended for discarded muffin stealing.

    Tell me he’s taking luggage and I’ll say kudos, I swear.

  8. dirty foreigner says:

    @coan_net: I don’t know, when I worked as a dishwasher in Switzerland they were incredibly anal about having you pay (discounted) for un-used pastries they were going to throw in the trash. Granted, it’s Switzerland, so that’s to be expected.

  9. cde says:

    Maybe they’re using muffin as an euphemism for “Who needs money when you have..”

  10. cde says:

    @dirty foreigner: But this one is a used muffin. And the Swiss are nothing but uptight accountants.

  11. DallasDMD says:

    haha, half baked

  12. dirty foreigner says:

    @cde: As a Swiss person… I agree entirely.

  13. Jean Naimard says:

    This is not really surprising; Anglo-saxons are notorious for being extremely constipated about property… (It’s normal: they have nothing else, no life, no culture).

    After all, the britshit used to hang children for stealing bread. I mean, property rights are far more important than human life.

  14. ancientsociety says:

    @Pope John Peeps II: I had to wipe coffee off my screen. Thanks for the laugh!

  15. cashmerewhore says:

    @Jean Naimard:

    I’m stealing “britshit”. I hope to work it into conversation today.

  16. Beerad says:

    Who knows? I’m curious about how this was “reported” — did upset passengers actually complain the attendant snacked on a trash muffin? If he was turned in by his coworkers, his colleagues obviously aren’t all thrilled with him. You would think BA would have divulged the “real” reason if it wasn’t this incident.

  17. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Beerad: My question as well. Who ratted him out? And who would even know that eating a muffin that the passenger sent back would get him in trouble? And is it considered stealing from a passenger, or stealing from the airline? So many questions.

  18. Beerad says:

    @Jean Naimard: Wow, sounds like someone’s still fighting the American Revolution… I dunno, I’ve had far superior service on BA flights (even domestically within the UK) than on U.S. flights, and would you rather have cultural snits about property ownership or money (e.g., “death tax for refunded tickets”) and puritanical notions of propriety (e.g., “you’ll need to cover your wicked evil body to fly with us, you libertine!”) Which country was it that you’re claiming is messed up?

  19. reviarg says:

    When I worked at a supermarket one person was fired because he ate the deli food that was to be thrown out. The manager was pissed and attempted to press charges against him on top of the firing. Luckily the police had some common sense and told the manager that he wasn’t stealing if the food was destined for the dumpster.

  20. Amelie says:

    @DrGirlfriend: That’s my question too. I can only assume a disgruntled passenger or an airways executive (who happened to be flying on that plane) are the source of the allegation.

  21. bbbici says:

    I worked at a restaurant that baked artisan bread every day. We were encouraged to take it home at the end of the day. The chef was happy to see his food be enjoyed, the staff were happy, and less food was wasted. I hate illogical and totally unreasonable policies.

  22. backbroken says:

    Was it in the cylindar? Adjacent to trash IS trash.

  23. num1skeptic says:

    eating a muffin heading for the trash? eewww! i wonder he at least brushed is teeth afterwards. you know with that british toothpaste that has the pure cane sugar in it from snl. lol.

  24. swalve says:

    @bbbici: It’s not illogical. If the employees are free to take the “leftovers”, it creates incentive for the employees to manufacture extra leftovers.

  25. cde says:

    @swalve: Airplane stewardess do not make muffins. Only the flight manifest + say 5 muffins are brought on board.

  26. headon says:

    Ya ain’t seen nothin till your down on a muffin: Steven Tyler

  27. DrGirlfriend says:

    @num1skeptic: It was “headed for” the trash. So it wasn’t already in the bin, it was just going to be thrown out.

    Maybe he was set up. Maybe the “passenger” was an airline executive, just itching to catch a muffin thief.

  28. rbb says:

    Does this story really deserve to be posted here? C’mon, there are clearly two sides to the story and many key facts are missing or misrepresented by both sides.

    We really do not know with 100% certainty the reason why the steward was fired. So why bother posting it here unless your point was to get plenty of people posting their snarky comments.

  29. cde says:

    @rbb: Your snarky comment is not helping you to prove your point…

  30. kimsama says:

    I must add:

    My muffin top is all that
    Whole grain, low fat
    I know you want a piece of that
    But I just want to dance

  31. Candyman says:

    DAMMIT!!

    I just put a tray of cookies in the oven, and NOW I want a muffin!! >:-(

  32. Chase says:

    @bbbici: I absolutely agree. Why waste it when it can be consumed? Hell, I’m sure there are hobos that would have loved a ‘half-baked’ muffin.

  33. Bos'un's Mate says:

    @rbb: Since when was having all the facts necessary to forming an opinion? Blind bullshitting is the essence of today’s dialog.

    Note: Your [profile] states that you have no friends, so it must be true! ;)

  34. NoWin says:

    Being a New Englander, I am not a muffin-man; I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts.

    What does/did Hooters Airways offer in the line of on-board “crumpets”?

  35. UpsetPanda says:

    I think a lot of facts are missing…and eating something that has been previously snacked on by a total stranger is absolutely foul. just like there’s something to be said about finding something perfectly good and putting it to use, then there’s pack rat. There’s saving food that might otherwise go to waste, and then there’s a disregard for personal health. Sure, people look healthy, but who knows how many germs are lurking. Maybe previous muffin owner doesn’t wash his hands, or doesn’t brush his teeth.

  36. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Beerad:

    I think Jean Naimard would happily include the US in those evil “Anglo-Saxons” of which he speaks.

  37. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Know what the worst part is? The passenger probably ate the best part — the muffin top.

  38. VA_White says:

    This is common practice in airlines. A flight attendant was fired a few years ago for drinking a pint of milk on a flight. She did nothing else wrong; they fired her for theft and all she stole was the single pint of milk.

  39. FightOnTrojans says:

    @headon: I don’t think he’s talking about the same kind of muffin. *wink, wink*

  40. Mary says:

    I knew a manager once that said she’d had to fire somebody over eating a 33 cent piece of candy. She wasn’t joking.

    I was told I wasn’t allowed to eat any of the food we wasted out at the end of the day in the cafe where I worked. My manager gave me the okay to “try” some of it so I could say if I did or didn’t like the food when a customer asked about it. But beyond that one moment, if they caught us eating the food on the security tapes, they were well within our rights to fire us and we knew it.

    As for it creating more “waste” at the end of the day, I don’t believe it would. I can see how people would think that would happen, but honestly there’s enough food getting thrown out all the time, I don’t think people would need to create more.

  41. Electroqueen says:

    Let me get this straight. A FA got fired for eating a muffin that was going to be discarded anyway? If anything British Airways should be reprimanded for wasting food.

  42. Parting says:

    That’s crazy. Whatever left over and not re-usable, should be either giver to employees or charities.
    Let’s waste less.

    Companies throw so much away that they create a new phenomenon : [www.cbsnews.com]

    On the other hand, local news aired a story couple of month ago about a guy fired for taking 3 expired chocolates out of the garbage, where his boss threw them.

  43. Parting says:

    @Jean Naimard: Thanks for your meaningless racism. Nothing like discrimination… Are you a ”citizen of Quebec” as per Pauline Maurois terms?

  44. bunnymen says:

    This post made me really hungry. Thanks a lot, Consumerist.

  45. TheSeeker says:

    I didn’t read all the comments here, so forgive me if this has been already mentioned.
    Maybe the airline is charging the attendant with theft and suspension/firing, because the leftover muffin was to be reissued to the next flight/passenger. The say it was going to be trashed, but maybe the clean-up crew is instructed to put uneaten meals in a different bin to be reissued.

    Our picture shows an unwrapped muffin, somehow I don’t think unwrapped muffins are handed out. Everything is sealed up. If this muffin was still sealed…

    Airlines are having a hard time…they need to cut costs and save where they can.

    Think of that the next time you eat airline food.

  46. UpsetPanda says:

    @TheSeeker: But it doesn’t say whether the muffin was half eaten or not eaten at all. And, there’s no indication that the muffin in the photo is the muffin that was on the BA flight. I mean, it was eaten.

    And, if it was wrapped up, then as soon as it was opened, that could constitute as unable to be reissued because there’s no protective plastic.

  47. Amelie says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint said“But it doesn’t say whether the muffin was half eaten or not eaten at all.”

    Because the paper doesn’t need to. It’s assumed it was an unused muffin. Had the stewardess munched on a previously eaten muffin, that would have been a story in itself.

  48. forgottenpassword says:

    I never understood the idiotic rules some places have about not allowing employees to take home food that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.

    Back in the 90s the walmart I once worked at had such a rule! I knew a guy who was fired for taking a hershey’s kiss from a package that had busted open during shipping.

    My mother worked at a fancy, expensive retirement home that had such rules. The employee was allowed to eat anything that was destined for the dumpster, but was never allowed to take anything home. They would routinely throw out steaks etc. etc..

    Asinine!

  49. TheSeeker says:

    @forgottenpassword:

    Not really that asinine.

    What’s to prevent employees from “accidentally” dropping bags of this and crates of that with the excuse “oh we’ll have to throw that away (hee hee)”

    Not many employees would do this but you know some would. “oh the steaks fell on the floor…damn..oh well.. BBQ at my house”

    Used to have a family member who worked at Home Depot back in the early 90’s. They were not allowed to buy mark down/return items for just such reasons.

  50. Parting says:

    @TheSeeker: In case of food, like steak, these are simply leftovers. For several reasons, food is thrown away. Most of the time because it’s close to expiration date.

    While Home Depot rule is common sense, where food concerned it’s much more ambiguous.

  51. forgottenpassword says:

    @TheSeeker:

    Well, the steaks were extras/leftovers made for the residents. Already cooked & noone to feed them to (except employees, but they couldnt take them home). So…. in the trash they went!

    As for the walmart thing, yeah, i guess an employee COULD do that. But explain why I (and another stockman) were made to open each package of unsellable leftover valentine chocolates & dump each one into the dumpster? There was enough of the stuff to load a full pallet 5 feet high! It wasnt expired or anything. I reiterate… asinine!

  52. chazz says:

    I don’t understand how a story like this descends into a British, Swedish bash fest. If we wee responsible for all the goofy things our fellow country-people did who could hold their head up? I know it really doesn’t matter but each little injection of poison adds up, eh?

  53. chazz says:

    OH dear we wee, there goes any credibility. Thanks Google spell checker :)

  54. chazz says:

    Now it will probably appear twice….

    Oh Dear, we wee, there goes any credibility. Thanks Google Spell checker.

  55. edrebber says:

    Studies have shown that when employees are allowed to eat the uneaten food, then the amount of uneaten food increases dramatically. Most restaurants forbid practice to reduce costs.

  56. Freegan, baby, freegan.

  57. bbbici says:

    @swalve:

    Uh, no. At a restaurant, there has to be enough of a certain ingredient, or in this case bread, to handle daily fluctuations in customer numbers. Bread cannot be made to order, and it is difficult to modify recipe size from day to day.

    Also, if you have ever worked in a restaurant you would know that front of house and back of house staff are not friends or in cahoots. Cooks are unlikely to do anything that benefits servers.

    I worked at a muffin shop when i was a teenager, and we would throw out dozens of muffins per day. You cannot have near empty racks for the last couple hours of the day, it looks unattractive. I used to pack up as many muffins as i could and i delivered them to friends and family.

  58. KJones says:

    I had the misfortune of working for Pizza Slu^H^H^H Hut for about four months. Maybe their policy has changed since then (mid-1980s), but they let employees make a small or personal pizza from excess shells at the end of the night. They allowed employees to take saleable food (toppings) for free.

    The idea that Brutish Airways (not an error) would these days get into a tizzy over someone saving a muffin from the trash bin is ludicrous. If that employee receives anything but an apology and a commendation for saving waste, then their management is a joke.

  59. KJones says:

    @cashmerewhore:
    If you find “britshit” impressive, then you must not have much experience meeting the English.

    My parents were from England, and even my family calls the British by the common nickname, “Shit Eaters”. Anyone who has seen British queasy-ne knows what I’m talking about (eg. tripe and onions, head cheese, blood pudding, steak and kidney pie, bully beef, etc.).

  60. ninjatales says:

    Seems like they really want to get him fired. Rather unfair I’d say.