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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 July, 2004, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Spies to check Aeroflot's service
Aeroflot Ilyushin aircraft
Aeroflot is investigating the attacks
Following an attack by Aeroflot crew on a passenger who complained they were drunk, the airline has introduced a covert quality control system.

Auditors posing as passengers are now travelling on international flights, as the airline investigates the incident which took place this week.

They are checking on the quality of service and evaluating the crew's work.

Aeroflot's level of service has been under scrutiny since it agreed to join the SkyTeam airline alliance next year.

The airline which has a reputation for service with a scowl will be subject to regular checks as a member of the alliance.

Lunches in laps

Artyom Chernopup was attacked by two crew members after complaining the men were drunk and not doing their job.

Spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg said the entire crew of the flight - from Moscow to the Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk - had been suspended while the incident was investigated.

A Nizhnevartovsk airport representative told Izvestiya newspaper that a medical examination after the flight showed the cabin attendants were heavily intoxicated.

Another passenger told a forum on the avia.ru civil aviation website that the stewards distributed in-flight meals only when the plane started its descent, and managed to spill large quantities of food on the floor.

"At this point I noticed something was wrong," the passenger said. "Only about half the meals ended up on the tables or in the laps of passengers, the rest ended up on the floor.

"We left the plane with lunch-boxes crunching beneath our feet."

Correspondents say intoxicated passengers are common on Russian flights, but this incident was unprecedented.

No more service with a scowl
29 Apr 03  |  Europe
Aeroflot turns on the charm
20 Dec 02  |  Business
Aeroflot seeks to spread its wings
03 Apr 02  |  Business
Aeroflot passenger numbers rise
22 Jan 02  |  Business

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