British Airways has had more than its fair share of public relations disasters over the last year. Of course, there was a massive ‘IT Meltdown‘ in May which stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers around the world. That was on top of a series of other computer glitches that have plagued the carrier recently.
Then there are the grumblings about BA’s constant cost-cutting measures – culminating in the axing of complimentary food and drink for Economy Class passengers on short-haul flights in January. Instead, passengers are forced to buy sandwiches, snacks and all drinks from an onboard range provided by Middle-Class British retailer, Marks & Spencer.
And let’s not even start talking about jet engine fires or allegations of assault on passengers by members of the airline’s cabin crew. But the latest allegations could be even more damaging for the already lacklustre British Airways brand.
It comes in the form of what looks like a leaked Snapchat video that appeared on YouTube last night. The video depicts what appears to be a young female member of British Airways cabin crew wearing the full BA uniform.
We have no way of verifying whether the video is genuine or not but as a prank it would have to be a highly sophisticated one. The female appears to be talking to friends about an upcoming trip to Nigeria in the expletive-laden clip which lasts less than 40 seconds.
The video starts off innocently enough, with the member of cabin crew unhappy that she has to go to work on a Friday night. It soon goes downhill with sexual references made about the passengers onboard. It finishes with the flight attendant attempting to mimic how she perceives passengers will act on her upcoming flight.
We won’t write about the exact details but if you want to hear them for yourselves then you can watch the full video below:
It’s important to note that the video seems to be a private Snapchat which was not meant to be shared with a wider audience – although why someone decided to leak the video is unknown. It’s also difficult to know whether the flight attendant is being deliberately racist in her attitude or is simply naive as to how her behaviour might be construed by others.
Racist tirade or just bad judgement?
On the face of it, the video seems like an innocent but terrible lack of judgement which could have major repercussions for British Airways. The airline is currently one of only a handful of international airlines who currently fly to Nigeria.
Many airlines have pulled out of the country over the difficulty in repatriating money from ticket sales back to their home country. However, Emirates has recently bucked the trend with plans to restart operations to Abuja in the next few months.
British Airways isn’t the only airline with rogue staff of late. Pilots at German charter airline, Condor have been warned by bosses following some fairly seedy allegations.
German airline, Condor accuses pilots of sexual misbehaviour
“There are obviously some Condor pilots who are secretly taking photos and video footage of female colleagues showing them in sexual acts,” read a letter sent by the airline to its flight crew.
The incidents are alleged to have taken place on the carrier’s aircraft with the recorded videos then passed between pilots. Condor said no actual evidence had yet been recovered but warned its staff they could face jail if the allegations were proved.
In reply to a request for comment, a spokesperson for British Airways explained: “We expect the utmost professionalism from our staff when they are representing British Airways. We are investigating this video.”
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.