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British Airways

British Airways Accused of Wet Leasing Bait and Switch

British Airways Accused of Wet Leasing Bait and Switch
Jennifer Billock

Wet leasing, the practice of switching planes to a smaller carrier for certain flights, is becoming more and more common in the air travel industry – and business and first class passengers may face consequences they aren’t expecting when they arrive to find a different plane.

Claire Wrathall, a writer for The Telegraph, recently opted to take a British Airways flight business class – also known as Club Europe – to Sicily. But although she paid for the higher tier of service, Wrathall felt as though she was the victim of a sort of bait-and-switch, thanks to an air travel industry tactic called wet leasing. British Airways has recently adopted this tactic, which means bringing in planes and crews from other airlines to operate some flights due to a lack of enough aircraft to man every flight itself.

Wrathall still got her business class seat, but the experience was subpar. The stand-in plane and crew were from Titan Airways, a local charter airline to the Gatwick airport Wrathall flew out of. The plane itself was the same British Airways would have used, an A320, but the interior was lacking.

“Titan’s shabby fit-out feels much cheaper and more cramped, and seats do not recline,” she wrote for The Telegraph. “Sit in row one, and the precarious tray table that clips into one seat arm isn’t big enough to support a standard-sized laptop. On the port side, there’s no screen between you and the door, so you face the crew’s jump seats directly.”

She also noted that the bathrooms weren’t separated by cabin and the amenities were of lower quality than British Airways would have provided.

Future passengers at Gatwick may face this same bait-and-switch, as British Airways recently acquired a large amount of slots at the airport and doesn’t have sufficient aircraft.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. edgewood49

    July 16, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    So Jennifer your posts are comprised of taking an article and making it your post. So tell me where the “Bait and Switch” is thats a pretty serious charge in a public forum. If memory is correct BA has been doing this for sometime now witness the RR engine issue.

    Hope you allow this to be posted as you haven’t in the past.

  2. Kevlarji

    July 18, 2018 at 12:50 am

    I flew Titan previously as we chartered an A320 for a corporate event – and as a BA GGL member who regularly flies BA Club Europe. I honestly, prefered the seating (albeit, I usually aim not to sit in Row 1, and have not done so on Titan), service was far superior than BA’s, as was the quality of the food delivered (though choice was limited). I do, however, agree with the interior being extremely dated.

  3. amt

    July 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I assumed this would be a case of substitution of a long haul lie flat club world seat with a short haul club Europe seat. In which case Claire might have a point…

    But a swap of one subpar CE seat for another. Not much to complain about. I though BA was getting rid of all reclining seats anyway.

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