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Aer Lingus Criticized Over Crowded Cabin Conditions

Aer Lingus Criticized Over Crowded Cabin Conditions
Jackie Reddy

Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus has confirmed that safety is its “top priority” after a passenger publicly shared photos of cramped cabin conditions on a flight from Belfast to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR), reports the BBC. The pictures were taken on the London-bound service on Monday by passenger Sean Mallon, who told the outlet’s Evening Extra program that there had been “no social distancing whatsoever” during the journey.

No Additional Safety Measures To Protect Passengers

Mallon said that travelers on the flight were not informed by the crew of any additional measures that had been taken by the airline to ensure passengers’ safety. He also said that no passengers were offered any hand sanitizer and said that the boarding process had not been augmented in any way to accommodate social distancing measures.

Passengers were, however, told to wash their hands upon landing in London.

Speaking of his experience on the flight, Mallon said, “I would say there was about 95% of the seats taken on the flight. The queues were down the steps and out on to the tarmac as they were before all this happened.”

But Aer Lingus Says Safety Is A Priority

Responding to the incident in a statement, Aer Lingus said, “In light of the unexpectedly high loads on the Belfast – London Heathrow service this morning and the level of demand for the route, Aer Lingus is reviewing its processes and procedures applicable to the operation of this service.”

“The safety and security of Aer Lingus’ customers and crew is our top priority and any process changes that are identified as being required will be implemented as a matter of urgency,” it added.

Reduced Services In A Time Of Crisis

As the BBC notes, the airline has suspended all services to London, with the exception of two London-bound services operating out of City of Derry (LDY) and George Best Belfast City (BHD) airports. Alternatively, carrier Logan Air operates between LDY and London Stansted Airport (STN).

As with many airlines and carriers, Aer Lingus is also operating a much reduced international service due to the coronavirus pandemic. On its website, it advises, “We are temporarily reducing our schedule between North America and Ireland. Guests booked to travel on one of the impacted services will be contacted directly. We will continue to operate a reduced number of flights to / from Dublin and New York (JFK), Boston and Chicago.”

For inbound passengers, it adds, “If you have a booking with Aer Lingus and intend to return to Ireland in the coming weeks, we recommend that you plan your return trip as soon as possible.”

View Comments (3)


  1. ferg01

    May 7, 2020 at 4:27 am

    The reaction and criticism from the passengers who chose freely to travel is very perplexing. I doubt very much that everyone on board had not other option but to travel. They are blaming the airline for something they themselves could have avoided. EI are offering alternatives to those who don’t want to travel yet these travellers didn’t avail of those options. It’s the EI staff I feel very sorry for – the passengers should feel ashamed rather than angry.

  2. mvoight

    May 7, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    So, how happy would they be if airlines raised fares 1/3 and left the middle seats opened?

  3. redrob

    May 8, 2020 at 5:25 am

    Had Aer Lingus promised this passenger extra space? I think not. In short – if you don’t want to risk your space being invaded, stay at home. The issues of travelling in a metal tube have been well discussed in the media of late, so this passenger’s supposed outrage sounds more like attention seeking.
    Me, me, me….

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