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Passengers On 11-Hour British Airways Flight From South Africa Go Without Breakfast Because The Crew Bunks Were Broken

Passengers On 11-Hour British Airways Flight From South Africa Go Without Breakfast Because The Crew Bunks Were Broken

a large airplane on the runway

Passengers onboard an 11-hour British Airways flight from Johannesburg to London Heathrow were forced to go without breakfast because the cabin crew hadn’t had enough sleep during the overnight flight from South Africa.

The reason, a British Airways spokesperson confirms, was because the cabin crew bunk compartment was out of service and couldn’t be used.

British Airways flight BA56 departed Johannesburg at around 7:30 pm on Wednesday, and passengers would normally expect a full four-course dinner service before being woken around an hour and a half before arrival by the smell of a cooked breakfast being served.

On the morning of July 20, however, most passengers on the British Airways-operated Airbus A380 superjumbo had to forgo a sky-high Full English breakfast because the cabin crew bunks were out of order.

On many long-haul flights, cabin crew are legally required to have in-flight rest in order to extend the so-called ‘Flight Duty Period’ and ensure they are not fatigued during critical phases of flight.

In most cases, cabin crew and pilots take their in-flight rest in a special crew rest compartment which is kitted out with private cubicles and bunk beds. Although rare, occasionally, these facilities can’t be used due to a technical defect and crew have to take their rest in a normal Business Class seat.

When normal Business Class seats are used for in-flight rest, crew must have a longer break period – even if that means the breakfast service has to be curtailed.

In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways told us: “We’re very sorry that some of our customers didn’t receive a full breakfast service on this flight.”

“Legally, cabin crew require a minimum rest period during the flight, and unfortunately, this was hampered due to their rest area being taken out of use after departure.”

“We were able to offer an amended breakfast to customers in Club World and First, with a beverage service offered in our World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins.”

British Airways did not say whether passengers should expect to receive compensation for the lack of breakfast.

Although frustrating, it’s good to know that British Airways ensured that the crew received the correct amount of rest to ensure they were alert throughout the flight. According to flight tracking website Flight Radar 24, the nine-year-old aircraft (G-XLEH) has remained on the ground since landing from Johannesburg on Thursday morning.

View Comments (5)
  • What a stupid story…11 hour flight is a normal flight…this crew should be penalized..I assume they got rest seats..?? Poor little babies couldn’t handle a 11 hour flight without a little bye bye time… them all

  • It is more likely that the crew did not have access to 6 BF seats, for 2 shifts for their minimum crew rest, but instead were given perhaps 4 BF seats or less, requiring 3 breaks or perhaps 4 breaks,, which meant multiplying the minimum by 3 or 4 instead of 2 rest periods to accommodate the entire crew. This meant the sacrifice of breakfast as it would carryover unto the before landing time allotted. Much better to have a rested crew for an unexpected inflight medical or emergency landing issue that breakfast. Not having a crew rest accommodations, that were adequate could have resulted in a cancelled flight from the get-go. I vote for forgoing breakfast. It is usually a muffin & coffee…no big deal

  • Lazy, good for nothing shirkers. They’re just skivvies serving tea, but in the sky! How much rest do they need? I know when I’m flying I prefer to walk about as too much sitting drives me mad…

  • I see this as less about the crew not wanting to perform a service, and more as a strategic point made by crew who is sick and tired of their company releasing equipment with broken components that just never get fixed. I’ll bet a pound that that aircraft has been flying with that broken equipment for more than just a few flights.

  • Didn’t even offer a drinks service, they made sure they were invisible to the passengers in the morning. I was on the flight.

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