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News Roundup – 12th July 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 12th July 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

News Roundup – 11th July 2017. A Summary of Airline News from the Past Week

Spanish airline, Iberia has been fined €25,000 for making new female cabin crew take pregnancy tests.  The airline argued it was looking after the well-being of new recruits but authorities on the Balearic island of Mallorca disagreed and called the practice a “very grave infraction” of employment law.

Meanwhile, flights attendants on a Delta Air Lines flight were forced to smash a bottle of wine over the head of a passenger last week.  The suspect is accused of attempting to open an exit door midflight and then attacking flight attendants and other passengers.

Elsewhere, an American Airlines flight was delayed because the aircraft smelled of urine (bizarre), British Airways has further inflamed tensions with its own cabin crew (ugly) and a new, cheaper third runway has been proposed for Heathrow Airport (never going to happen).

A full summary continues below.

Iberia fined €25,000 for making aspiring female cabin crew take pregnancy tests

10th July 2017 – Courtesy The Telegraph

Here’s a recruitment practice that definitely shouldn’t be happening at any European airline and authorities on the Spanish island of Mallorca agree, punishing flag carrier, Iberia with a €25,000 fine for making aspiring female cabin crew undergo pregnancy tests.

The airline claimed it wasn’t discriminating against women and argued the tests were for “the well-being of the baby and future mother.”  But Iago Negueruela, work and trade secretary on the island called the practice a “very grave infraction.”  He continued: “Any practice of this type must be excluded from the job market.”

The use of pregnancy tests was first discovered in 2016 but airline managers initially attempted to justify the practice to officials, claiming the tests were a part of the recruitment process across Spain.  The airline has now agreed to stop conducting pregnancy tests on female crew and instead, it says it will “trust” new recruits.


Man goes berserk on Delta Air Lines flight – Cabin crew smash wine bottle over his head

09th July 2017 – Courtesy Sky News

Joseph Hudek of Tampa, Florida appeared in a Seattle courtroom earlier this week, accused of interfering with the flight crew on a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing.  Hudek, who was sat in the First Class cabin of the aircraft (apparently on a staff discount ticket) allegedly attempted to open an exit door midflight.

The incident happened about an hour into the flight when the 23-year-old suddenly lunged at the exit door having just exited a lavatory.  Two flight attendants attempted to restrain Hudek but were pushed off him as he went berserk.

One flight attendant was struck in the face and its alleged Hudek hit another passenger around the side of the head with a bottle of wine.  A flight attendant responded by striking Hudek over the head with two more bottles of wine – breaking at least one of them.

It took a number of flight attendants and passengers to help restrain Hudek as the flight was diverted back to Seattle and met by FBI agents.


American Airlines Delayed a Flight Because the Aircraft Smelt of Urine

10th July 2017 – Courtesy Mashable

Flights can be delayed for lots of different reasons – but here’s a new one.  Last Sunday, an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington DC was delayed for nearly 5 hours because the aircraft smelt of urine.

After two and a half hours, American resorted to taking the offending aircraft out of service and sourcing a new plane to complete the journey.  A spokesperson for the airline explained: “Flight 2645 from LAX to Dulles on July 9, was delayed due to a cabin cleanliness issue.”

The statement continued:  “We brought in a new aircraft and the flight departed approximately 4.5 hours late. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”  As yet, the cause of the smell is still unknown.


Divide and conquer- British Airways to pay non-striking crew bonuses

08th July 2017 – Courtesy The Independent

Just when you couldn’t imagine the long-running dispute between British Airways and their own cabin crew getting any uglier, this happens.  In a move that will surely inflame tensions between the two sides, British Airways has decided to pay a special bonus to non-striking cabin crew.

In an email from Karen Slinger, the airline’s head of inflight customer experience, cabin crew were told: “As a thank you for your support to Ian [Romanis, Mixed Fleet Manager] and me – and for your commitment to our customers – we will make a further £250 one-off payment in August to all Mixed Fleet crew members who attend work throughout both strike periods in July.”

In addition, BA will also pay non-striking crew a few other special payments as well:

  • £30 – per flight on services that have less crew than normal because of the strike.
  • £100 – per trip for non-striking crew who don’t want to drive to work during the strike.
  • £35 – for toiletries on trips of four days or more should non-striking crew not want to check in luggage for the trip.


Proposals for cheaper third runway at Heathrow could get the go-ahead

09th July 2017 – Courtesy British Broadcasting Corporation

Surinder Arora, a wealthy businessman with significant investments in hotels and other property around Heathrow Airport has proposed a cheaper alternative to the West London airport’s long-delayed third runway.

The current expansion plans would cost around £17.5 billion but Arora believes his plans would cost approximately £5 billion less.  He proposes changing the design of terminal buildings and reducing the footprint of the expansion to help drive down costs.

The businessman explained: “We want passengers to be at the heart of our plans and the current monopoly at Heathrow, which over-charges airlines and in turn raises fares for passengers, is not the right model for the future.

“Heathrow needs competition and innovation which puts passengers and airlines at the heart of the expansion project.”

The airport has said it will accept feedback on its own plans during a public consultation due to be held later this year.

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