A few days ago, a flight attendant of Shenzhen Airlines sent me an internal notice, which looked like this:

Tips for working on blanket grooming All flight attendants:

Since only Shenzhen Station can guarantee the replacement of blankets in depth, branches and external stations cannot guarantee this work, please ask each cabin crew to fold the blankets and stack them in separate cabins after the cleaning work is completed when performing branch or outstation flights, so that subsequent flights can be carried out.

Attached: “Information on the Status of Folding Blanket Service at Each Terminal”, which has been uploaded to the iPad mobile cabin database. If the cleaning team does not cooperate with the cleaning team at the outer station, please ask the purser to give feedback through the CSM system in time.

The notice will be implemented from now on, and it is forbidden to put blankets directly into garbage bags (after sailing)!

Thank you! Good luck with your flight!

I didn’t change a single punctuation.

Simply put:

The company does not currently have the ability to guarantee new blankets on each flight, so flight attendants need to fold the used blankets themselves or urge the cleaning staff to fold the used blankets for passengers on the next flight after landing on each flight.

Is Shenzhen Airlines the only company doing this?

No, as far as I know, at present, such as China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Capital Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Hunan Airlines, Chengdu Airlines, Western Airlines, Kunming Airlines, Donghai Airlines, colorful Guizhou Airlines and other airlines on domestic flights, most of them can only ensure that the blankets in the first section of the morning are newly packaged, and the blankets in subsequent flight segments are basically recycled.

Moreover, due to cost control or some problems with outsourcing agreements, not every airport cleaning gives blankets, the flight crew can only fold their own at each passing station, if the overnight point of this flight does not have a base, the blankets on the plane will continue to be used on the next day’s flight.

Many flight attendants told me that passengers don’t seem to mind, a blanket is used many times on the feet of the first passenger, on the body of the second passenger, and on the head of the third passenger.

Another point to note is that the first class business class of most airlines can basically guarantee each new segment, but the economy class will basically be recycled.

It has to be said that in the current epidemic situation, the risk is too great.

Since the epidemic in Nanjing was exposed, it has spread to 15 cities in 7 provinces, and no one could have imagined that the impact of the defense of Nanjing Lukou Airport would be so great. The number of local cases in Nanjing is still increasing, and we dare not imagine whether there will be more infected people in other cities in the future.

Academician Zhong Nanshan clearly expressed his concern and pointed out that the previous concept of close connection is outdated, and the current close connection, as long as it is in the same space, the same unit and the same building, in the first 4 days of the onset, with the patient, can be counted as a close connection.

So is our blanket not only a concept of close connection, but also plays the role of “transmission”?

Flight attendants have not been complaining about blankets for a long time, and before the pandemic, we were almost at the point of being terrified when we heard passengers ask for blankets. As a traveler, I think it is important for everyone to understand the following questions:

Why is it so cold on the plane?

For safety, environmental protection and economic reasons, most airline aircraft in the world are connected to ground power during the ground crossing without starting the APU (aircraft auxiliary power unit, which independently provides electricity and compressed air to the aircraft to ensure lighting and air conditioning in the aircraft), so “ground air conditioning vehicles” (or other equipment) have become a time-saving, environmentally friendly and safe product.

But this has a disadvantage, that is, the unit cannot adjust the temperature of the air-conditioned car. In my flight career, there have been many times when passengers have boarded the plane and asked me why it is so cold, and I explained that now the plane is connected to the ground air conditioning, and we can’t adjust the temperature, just wait for the plane to roll out and taxi.

But in fact, when the plane taxied or even took off, the cabin may still be relatively cold, which is because the air conditioning on the plane is not as good as at home to control the temperature, often appear the temperature of the front, middle and back three cabins is not constant, especially at night or on a long-distance flight, the air conditioner is turned on for a long time, the cabin temperature will become relatively low.

At the same time, few passengers can develop a habit of going out with a light jacket, so the few blankets on the plane are used as a straw for some cold-afraid passengers.

The number of blankets on planes is underequipped, this is the norm

There are two main reasons, one is the cost, and the other is storage space.

For airlines, this cost is really not a small amount. Production, cleaning, packaging, transportation, recycling, storage, breakage, a small blanket, for airlines there is also a complete set of assembly lines.

How small can the number be? In previous years, when the market was down, only one out of every fifteen people could hope to get a blanket.

So how do we, as flight attendants, distribute these blankets?

In our training, in the education of flight attendants, including the inner rules to follow as a flight attendant, we are told that blankets should be given priority to the elderly, weak, sick, disabled and pregnant passengers.

However, the reality is simply not realized, and most flights are equipped with blankets that cannot even meet the company’s own requirements to ensure the needs of high-end passengers, let alone people who need special assistance. For frequent passengers, they understand the pattern and know that the blanket will soon glow, so the first thing they do after sitting on the plane is to ask the flight attendant for the blanket, among which there are especially many young and middle-aged male passengers.

Not to mention that the passengers are robbing, our flight attendants themselves are also grabbing, everyone does not care about welcoming customers, nor does they care about monitoring the emergency exit, and they are looking for blankets, especially the “blankets that have been promised to passengers”.

Sometimes I know that there are only 20 blankets in the entire economy class, but I have already promised to go out a dozen by myself, knowing that I can’t fulfill my promise, and I am even more flustered.

Why are we so afraid? I am afraid that passengers will complain because of this. Why are you afraid of complaints? This is the problem of attitude and approach when dealing with passenger complaints, which not only refers to one airline, but basically covers all airlines of our civil aviation in China.

What are the principles on which most airlines handle complaints? Exceptionally simple:

Whoever is right and who is wrong is the fault of the flight attendant.

What does a complaint mean for a flight attendant? Deduction of points, deduction of money, review, endless meetings and studies, suspension of promotion, suspension of flight or even expulsion in serious cases, etc., this is not imagination, but the personal experience of me and countless flight attendants over the years, I will not talk about it today.

In addition, the problem of storage space is easy to understand, blankets are more equipped, will occupy too many luggage racks, will lead to passengers’ already tight luggage space further reduced, about 40 blankets to fill a set of luggage racks, I remember ten years ago to fly international flights A320 aircraft a Singapore short-haul round trip to the origin with 300 blankets, the luggage rack alone to occupy seven or eight groups, passengers on large bags and small bags to find a place to stuff luggage, often express dissatisfaction.

Are blankets clean on airplanes?

To be honest, it’s really not clean, even before the epidemic it was not as clean as you thought. As written above,

For most airlines, they really don’t have the ability to have blanket storage at all the airports they fly in the country

Well, a plane flies from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the blanket of the plane in the morning will most likely follow the plane for a day, which means that only the passengers on the earliest flight can use relatively clean blankets, and all subsequent passengers can only use the ones used by others.

Do you know how others use it? I’ve seen it on my feet, on my waist or under my buttocks, and even changing children’s diapers. Even so, blankets are still popular among travelers and demand outstrips supply.

Many passengers blame the lack of blanket equipment for airline inaction, but if you are the decision-maker on this matter, what would you do in the face of such complex realities and human nature in a limited cost budget?

Of course, as an airline, you should also reflect on yourself. Is the cabin temperature effective and controllable? Is there enough blankets? Most importantly, why are your flight attendants so scared of blankets? What went wrong?

Few airline executives realize just how much of an impact blankets have on flight attendant jobs

If you do a survey among Chinese flight attendants and ask them what they want to change the most, I guess the top three would be:

Raise wages, no meetings during breaks, and add blankets.

To put it irresponsibly, I would rather not have a blanket on the plane when I am a flight attendant, and for us service providers when communicating with passengers,

“There is no blanket on the flight” and “The blanket on the flight has glowed” bring passengers two completely different feelings, so please savor it.

Of course, out of humanistic considerations, you can also equip some special needs blankets, but you must clearly print a few big words on it: only for the elderly, weak, sick and pregnant passengers.

There is still too much to say about the topic of blankets, and it is estimated that the above content is still difficult to be recognized by passengers, and even feel ridiculous, in fact, don’t talk about you, we ourselves feel ridiculous. It’s just a blanket, it’s really not.

I regret that too, really.

Under the current new situation of epidemic prevention and control, which company is the most attentive to the equipment of on-board supplies such as blankets, pillows, headphones and other items?

I saw these details from the regulations of China Eastern Airlines (excerpt):

1. Economy class on domestic general routes

Each flight segment is equipped with 10 strips

Blankets (added in segments) are used for the elderly, the weak, the sick, the disabled, pregnant and needy passengers.

During the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, each flight segment must be individually pre-packaged

; When the level of epidemic prevention and control is upgraded, the latest epidemic prevention requirements shall prevail.

2. If some stations do not have relevant support capacity or insufficient support capacity, they can be temporarily adjusted to equipped

Disposable blankets

3. (Headphones) must be supplied as individually pre-packaged form on demand; Unpacked or used headphones

No duplication of information

or for use by passengers; When the level of epidemic prevention and control is upgraded, the latest epidemic prevention requirements shall prevail.

This is the maximum that an airline can achieve with almost no cost, but even so, our passengers are still not satisfied. Many frequent passengers of China Eastern Airlines have told me: You China Eastern Airlines cannot use the epidemic as an excuse for everything.

But I know that this is not an excuse, every word in the regulations is already the result of the friends of the relevant departments of China Eastern Airlines racking their brains and working hard to obtain it, and they have been doing their best.

In contrast, other companies meet every day to implement the regulations one by one, paying great attention to words, but in reality they have no intention at all, and I know that even if, in case, there is a passenger who unfortunately causes cross-infection with the virus due to the use of other people’s used blankets, there is almost no basis.

However, as an airline, as the window unit that should be strictly guarded at present, in the face of the virus, we should make 100% efforts to think about what passengers think and solve passengers’ difficulties.

Airlines have gradually resumed the supply of on-board blankets and provided non-individually packaged catering services, which is based on the premise that the domestic epidemic situation has fully improved and basically cleared, and the epidemic at Nanjing Airport has sounded the alarm for us, the Delta virus is flying farther and farther along one route, if we do not adjust our countermeasures in time, the circular blankets sent out one by one, the juice drinks poured out by cups, the cleaning tools that are not completely disinfected, etc., may become

Expand cross-infection


Really, I thought that in such a trivial matter as the provision of blankets and other aircraft supplies, all our airlines would make rational decisions without thinking at all, but who would have thought that the so-called strict prevention and control are mostly just loud slogans.

In the final analysis, there are still more small economic accounts.

A sigh.