British Airways Testing Not Cleaning Planes Between European Flights

At American Airlines cleaners frequently board an aircraft and start cleaning before passengers are off the plane. That’s not a great experience, but the airline frequently tries to turn planes around with unrealistic schedules. At least they’re getting cleaned.

British Airways in contrast has trialed ways to reduce cleaning to see if passengers complain. Now they’re taking a new approach — testing the elimination of cleaning altogether on some European flights returning to London. That saves money and saves time, though obviously it sacrifices passenger experience.

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz has said that BA would always be a premium carrier, but you know when a CEO has to say that it isn’t one any longer.

Paddle Your Own Kanoo reports that a memo from the cabin crew union at British Airways outlines a test not to clean planes between intra-European flights.

It has been brought to our attention that British Airways have begun a trial whereby there will be no cleaning completed in the cabin during turnarounds..The company has confirmed that this trial is being carried out in response to improving turnaround performance for customers and will focus particularly on reducing delays during times of disruption

The week-long trial will focus on some short haul routes. Flight attendants are being asked to collect as much trash as they can prior to arrival, something they already more or less do, while the uniion is telling them not to do any cleaning “under any circumstances” once the flight lands, emphasizing “it is absolutely imperative that crew DO NOT do any cleaning of seat pockets, crossing seatbelts etc”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Curious if FAs on BA are not paid until the cabin door is closed and secured; yet, expected to offer pre-flight drinks in first class? Also, isn’t BA plagued with bed bugs and fleas?

    Frankly, if BA’s FAs have a viable union, they should not perform housekeeping duties and compromise their contract by diluting its intent.

  2. Thanks for the great idea, Willie ‘Keeping it Classy’ Walsh! I am going to begin my own
    no-toilet-paper-between-dumps test. Will definitely let you know how that works out.

  3. Who would have thought, the worlds worse Business Class, European Business class, could get worse. Leaving the cabins and lavs full of trash. What a joke!

  4. BA is just keeping up with its home market. As Brexit renders Britain a third-world country, BA needs to ensure it’s a third-world airline. Jacob Rees-Mogg, chief Brexit tw*t, will never have to experience it, as he flies private, particularly when visiting his bankers, as he has moved all of his money offshore..

    Who would would have thought that Iberia would become the prestige brand for IAG?

  5. Wasn’t BA the airline with bed bugs infested planes?

    Anyway the unions are a disaster of course. Crew in AirAsia cleans the planes without any issue. Never understood why people want to be unionized. What a disgrace.

  6. USA airlines have been doing this for decades. Ground cleaners only clean certain flights. Flight attendants clean between many flights. Is this not commonly known?

  7. I’m pretty sure some passenger must have sarcastically said “Well that flight wasn’t very nice. What are they gonna cut next? Cleaning the plane?”. British Airways must have seen it and thought “What a great idea! We ought to try that!”

    Man, this airline is just getting worse.

  8. This is how it works on most Asian LCC without issues: passengers are reminded not to put trash into seat pockets, FA collect all trash before landing. Some LCC actually ask passengers to cross seat belts, otherwise the FA do it. FAs also clean the lavs during the flights, so the plane is in decent shape after a few short flights.
    I think, that’s acceptable on an LCC. I’d expect more from a premium carrier. Not sure BA knows what it wants to be…
    And, of course unionized US/EU would abhor those additional tasks…

  9. Aircraft restrooms are used by any passenger during a flight, some of them are children, elders or pregnant women

    Inside a medium-haul plane, there are two lavatories for an average of 150 economy class passengers

    Following a hygienic and a safe procedure, aircraft lavatories should be perfectly cleaned and sanitized at every stopover

  10. The problem now is that BA is not a cheap airline so far as ticket prices go, just so far as service goes. I need to get from London to Manchester later this month. As I will at a meeting close to Heathrow all morning and over lunchtime, I thought the obvious way is to fly late afternoon. A flight late afternoon runs to about $490, Economy of course. And for that I don’t even get a clean seat or bathroom. Great idea Willie! Great way to engender loyalty.

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