British Airways passengers complain about packed flights in Europe and passengers without masks as more airline restart flights after lockdown
- Passenger complained that BA are ‘squeezing’ passengers onto busy flights
- Passengers pictured seated next to each other, in defiance of social distancing
- BA responded by saying it is ‘personal choice’ whether passengers wear masks
British Airways passengers have complained about packed flights in Europe and passengers without masks as other airlines make plans to restart flights this summer.
BA have defended themselves by saying it is ‘personal preference’ whether passengers on board their flights wear facial masks or not and that they are devising new safety procedures for a post coronavirus world.
The airline industry as a whole is struggling to survive as coronavirus devastates traveler numbers – British Airways has already announced plans to lay off 12,000 staff.
Operators are struggling to devise ways to ensure social distancing on flights while carrying enough passengers to ensure the survival of their business. BA says its transatlantic flights are quiet enough to ensure social distancing
But that has not stopped passengers taking to social media to complain about packed BA flights on the continent with passengers seated directly next to each other and without face masks.
Passengers were also pictured without wearing face masks.
Twitter user Jonathan Gitlin posted images of a packed BA flight from Amsterdam with passengers seated directly next to each other.
Passengers were also pictured without wearing face masks
‘Via a friend, it seems @British_Airways is squeezing passengers in just like the US airlines. Not everyone is wearing a mask, either,’ Twitter user Jonathan Gitlin wrote.
British Airways then responded to the tweet by saying: ‘Hi Jonathan, I know this is worrying for everyone, but I’m afraid its personal preference whether our passengers want to wear a mask or not on board?
‘If I can help with anything else, please feel free to come back to us.’
Another Twitter user from Copenhagen replied that it was a similar story in Europe, as he tweeted an image of a full flight, although this time every passenger was wearing a face mask
Another Twitter user from Copenhagen replied that it was a similar story in Europe, as he tweeted an image of a full flight, although this time every passenger was wearing a face mask.
‘Yeah they’re all doing it. Here in Europe too, though it seems wearing a mask is mandatory now. It wasn’t a few weeks ago,’ he wrote.
BA’s coronavirus safety measures
British Airways has said it is looking into updating its safety and social distancing measures for when flights resume in July.
It is not yet clear what this will look like, but the airline has stopped short of enforcing face masks or gloves.
‘We will adapt our operating procedures to ensure our customers and our people are properly protected in this new environment,’ International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh said.
Walsh has also said he won’t stop passengers from booking middle-row seats to allow for social distancing.
‘I don’t see a situation where we will be leaving a middle seat empty. I see a normal return to service where all seats are for sale,’ he said.
BA sources told The Sun that a flight from Amsterdam to Heathrow yesterday was at around 70 per cent capacity.
‘BA seems to have taken a decision not to bother even trying to social distance passengers. Crew are not wearing masks or gloves on-board,’ a source told the publication.
British Airways has been running a limited service during the pandemic, serving those who have an essential need to travel, but has stated that it would resume the majority of its flights at a limited capacity from July. BA has stopped short of saying it would make safety precautions such as face masks mandatory for passengers.
Meanwhile EasyJet is to restart international and domestic flights on some of its routes from Monday 15 June 2020, after grounding its fleet from March 30. The airline has pledged to enforce new safety measures, such as compulsory face masks
Budget airline Jet2 confirmed that flights from the UK to destinations across Europe and beyond will resume from the start of July.
Whizz Air has already started a ‘phase return’ of commercial fights in Europe, with 10 per cent of its fleet. ‘Maybe at the end of May or sometime in June we’ll be at 30 per cent,’ said its CEO Jozsef Varadi.