Being Human Part 1: PDB (Pre-Departure Beverage)

In this multi-part series, we’ll explore how the stress of flying and airline cost cutting has made most passengers forget, especially frequent flyers, that we’re all Human.

In Part 1, we’ll explore the PDB or Pre-Departure Beverage which may be marketed on some US airlines as part of the first class experience. Most frequent flyers have come to expect this on first class flights, and when the PDB does not arrive, will not hesitate to make it known.

Miles Warrior reached out to several FA’s (flight attendants) on major US airlines to learn more about the PDB process and reasons that some flights may not get them. The goal is to educate passengers and improve the relationship between FA’s and passengers. After all, we’re all Human.

All FA’s which provided feedback stated that PDB’s are a priority for them, but sometimes it is not possible to serve them. The most common reason PDB’s are not served is delayed catering. While there is usually left over catering from the previous flight, there may not be enough drink options or the ice has melted. If the catering does arrive late, the FA needs extra time to crack the ice and run drinks which may delay departure. Delayed catering reduces the prep time on the ground and reduces time available to serve PDB’s.

Depending on the boarding process, some FA’s will try to hold boarding at the door to run drinks. However, if a delay occurs, the gate agents may pin the blame on the FA. Most importantly, FA’s are being cognizant of connecting passengers as serving PDB’s may delay boarding and the ability to depart on time. This is on top of other responsibilities such as collecting coats and taking meal orders.

There are other reasons that FA’s may skip PDB’s, including when directed by the flight deck. For example, if there is inclement weather and the flight has a certain time slot for departure. Sometimes FA’s have no control over the situation, but are doing their best to make sure the flight gets out on time and want to make the first class experience as comfortable as possible.

Stay tuned for more in this multi-part series on Being Human.

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