This week, British Airways has been accused of some rather dreadful treatment of an elderly passenger flying with the carrier from Los Angeles to London. The lady is said to have been forced to sit in her damp, soiled clothes for 13 hours after BA flight attendants refused to let her use the lavatory.
The news rather overshadowed the announcement by British Airways that all domestic services would now feature Business Class seating under the Club Europe brand. Elsewhere, Ryanair has drawn up plans to launch a separate charter airline for the Polish leisure market and Cathay Pacific has confirmed its Boeing 777’s will be going 10 across in economy.
Oh and in case you missed it, United Airlines got into a bit of a sticky situation over Leggings-Gate. A full summary is just below…
Elderly British Airways Passenger Forced to Sit in Soiled Clothes for 13 Hours
03rd April 2017 – Courtesy Heatstreet
An 87-year old lady was forced to endure a 13-hour flight from Los Angeles to London in her urine soiled clothes after a flight attendant blocked her from using the restroom. The incident happened last December but has only just been made public after the lady’s family accused the airline, British Airways, of failing to apologise.
The passenger claims that the member of Cabin Crew prevented her from using the toilet in line with protocol after the flight was delayed on the tarmac. Despite pleading with flight attendants, the crew allegedly made no attempt to help the woman.
In a statement, a British Airways spokesperson said: “Our highly trained cabin crew always work to make our customers as comfortable as possible, but Civil Aviation Authority safety rules stipulate everyone must remain seated with their seatbelts on after the aircraft has started moving. The safety and security of our customers is always our top priority.”
United Airlines Vs. Leggings – The Story that Wouldn’t Die
27th March 2017 – Courtesy One Mile at a Time
Last week a ground agent for United Airlines denied boarding to two young, female passengers because they were wearing tight leggings. The story drew widespread criticism of the airline but United claimed the agent had done nothing wrong. They argued that the passengers were travelling on concessionary travel tickets and as such should have adhered to well-publicised dress codes.
Yet critics have accused United of “sexualising” teenage girls and placing “an undue pressure on female passengers.” Since the story broke United has clarified that paying customers are absolutely allowed to wear leggings. But when it comes to non-revenue passengers the airline is sticking to its guns.
British Airways to Include ‘Business Class’ on Domestic Flights
03rd April 2017 – Courtesy The Telegraph
British Airways is making some changes to its domestic service although the headline carried by The Telegraph newspaper could be a little misleading: “How BA makes more money by flying with empty seats.” So what’s happening? In the past, British Airways had one standardised type of seating across its domestic fleet. Passengers could pay for a Business Class ticket but this wouldn’t mean a better seat.
But now BA is going to bring domestic flights in line with its Club Europe offering – the business class product for BA European flights. On aircraft like the Airbus A319 and A320 where there are three seats on either side of the aisle, the middle seat will now be ‘blocked out’. It’s hardly the biggest deal changer – seat pitch and seat width will remain the same but Business passengers will get a little more elbow room.
Commenting on the changes a spokesperson for British Airways said: “We’re delighted to be launching our short-haul business class cabin, Club Europe, on our UK domestic flights,”
“The introduction of the cabin enables us to offer to UK domestic customers the use of our spacious lounges, with complimentary catering, priority boarding and disembarkation, more generous baggage allowances, extra Avios and frequent flyer points plus excellent free onboard food and drink.”
Ryanair is Creating a Low-Cost Polish Charter Airline
31st March 2017 – Courtesy FlightGlobal
Ryanair is in the process of setting up a low-cost charter airline designed specifically for the Polish leisure market. The new airline which will be called Ryanair Sun is to be based in Warsaw and is set to begin operations next summer.
The fledgeling airline will start off with five Boeing 737-800 jets – The staple aircraft in Ryanair’s fleet. Ryanair Sun has already started to recruit senior managers and other personnel to set up the operation. In a statement, Ryanair has said their new charter airline will “deliver best-in-class charter services, at the lowest cost to Polish tour operators, and offer great value for customers flying to Poland’s favourite holiday destinations”.
Cathay Pacific is Going 10 Across on its 777 Fleet
01st April 2017 – Courtesy The Points Guy
Cathay Pacific will be joining a growing list of airlines that squeeze 10 seats across on its Boeing 777 aircraft. Cathay has been mulling the move for at least a year and has now confirmed the changes for its economy cabin.
Economy Class seats will shrink from a rather roomy 18.5 inches wide to just 17.2 inches. However, seat pitch will remain unchanged at 32 inches. The airline is set to reconfigure 65 aircraft in total with the new cabin.
Cathay will be trying to sweeten the deal with an improved in-flight entertainment system that features a larger screen and no more IFE box sat underneath the seat, blocking leg room. Other enhancements will include Wi-Fi installed across the fleet and more personal storage.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.