Expecting a flight on British Airways? Be prepared—you may end up flying with a different carrier.
When Monarch stopped flying in October, British Airways’ parent company snatched up the airline’s slots at the airport in Sussex—paying more than $67 million for the coveted spots. As a result, BA is expected to increase operations by 28 percent more flights, or else they lose the slots. But BA doesn’t have the aircraft or staff to increase by that amount, so instead they’ll be “wet leasing,” the industry term for bringing in crews and planes from other carriers.
That means that thousands of BA passengers will be in for a surprise after purchasing their British Airways tickets: they’ll be flying with a completely different airline.
“Some routes will be operated by BA planes, other services will be operated by BA CityFlyer aircraft and other wet lease carriers on our behalf,” a British Airways spokesperson told The Independent. “Customers will be notified ahead of their flight which of these carriers will operate their flight.”
Titan Airways will be one of those airlines; the company helped out BA a few times in the past, most notably during the cabin crew dispute last year. And although wet leasing is a relatively common practice in the airline industry, it still may not go over well with customers.
“Passengers are already angry about ‘Buy on Board’ [paying for food and drink in economy], and it’ll be even worse when they find they’re flying on an airline they don’t know,” an anonymous BA cabin crew member told The Independent.