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BA crew (including Captain) not enforcing face mask rules

BA crew (including Captain) not enforcing face mask rules

Old Jan 5, 21, 2:06 am
  #1  
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Arrow BA crew (including Captain) not enforcing face mask rules

Couple of weeks ago I flew to CAI, 4h30m flight - not one of my best flights.

Last man onboard - as usual - however upon boarding I found out a lady was sitting in my seat (1A) without wearing any face mask.

She was reluctant and disappointed to go back to her seat, 2D, next to her friend in 2F (without a facemask either) when the CSM asked her to move to her assigned seat. Her brother was sitting in 1C, with a facemask covering his chin only. All three of them in their early 30s.

I then sat down in 1A and started wiping the armrests as somebody else sat in my seat before, without wearing a face mask. Doors were still open as there were a couple of passengers missing so I went to the galley and politely asked the CSM to kindly ask 1C, 2D and 2F to wear their facemasks. So he did however facemasks stayed on their mouth and nose for less than 1 minute only. We were still on the ground, doors still open. I went back to the galley and informed the CSM that they removed their masks again. At that point the CSM said he couldn't do anything (although the party did not have any exemption from wearing a mask, he said). Fine, I asked to speak to the Captain who promptly came out of the flight deck and spoke to me in the galley. He said he could not enforce the mask rule onboard either. This for me is hard to believe as (a) masks are mandatory on public transport in the UK and (b) the Captain is in charge of the flight, by law.

I went back to my seat and the lady in 2F started shouting at me in English and Arabic saying her friend in 2D is a "Royal" (FYI from the Middle East) and can sue me (?!?!), not sure for what reason. I just replied "wear your f***ing mask" (excuse my French). I was angry as I do not tolerate people who intentionally do not sit in their assigned seat and do not take COVID seriously. Then in fact the lady in 2D threatened to sue me upon landing. None of them were Prems, nor Golds (when I spoke to the CSM he had his iPad open and passengers sorted by CIV).

End of the story, I went back to my seat and wore a second facemask on top of my first one. For the entire duration of the flight the trio did not wear any facemask.

I really had to get to CAI that evening, otherwise I would have offloaded myself from that flight. I politely asked the CSM to provide me with both his and the Captain's details and so he did.
I am planning to send feedback to BA.

What would you have done in a similar situation?
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:12 am
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Wow - you don't half have some good stories from your travels with BA! A quick search of your posts brings back all sorts of escapades.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:18 am
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That's a bit of an awkward one, although I would have been rather miffed at the selfishness of the group in refusing to wear a mask when everyone else was complying.

Unless it was a genuine mistake, to me, sitting in 1A when not assigned and being reluctant to move showed what kind of person she was - probably a selfish, potential abuser of her privileged position, taking it for granted that everyone else has to put up with whatever she does, which is something I find very hard to tolerate (I am a firm believer in privileges being accompanied by extra duties and obligations to do my best to do the right thing), so I would probably have liked to quietly address the matter in some ways, without making crew members' life harder (they are in a difficult position).

There is a limit to what crew members can do once they take off (a bit difficult to chuck them off), so I probably would have ended up shutting up and putting up, but probably quietly documented the whole thing, talked to the crew, recognised their difficult position, and with their cooperation wrote a complaint about passenger behaviour to BA, even though I would also assume that nothing would be done about it, and it amounts to nothing more than venting on my side.

I would not want the crew members to get into trouble with the company in any way, hence any complaint I submit will only be with crew members' cooperation, and if they had any concerns that they'd end up with issues, I'd even refrain from filing a complaint entirely, because I totally understand they've been put in a really difficult position and I have no intention of risking them being blamed. It would be the passengers I'm annoyed with, not the crew, and I don't want any comeback for the crew. However, if the airline would back them (crew) up, and my complaint triggers more support for the crew in enforcing mask wearing, then I'd be happy.

(My annoyance will not have been out of fear of catching Covid, but rather, that they were abusing their privileged position, basically.
Now, if I owned the airline and I were the captain, my response would have been entirely different! I'd have asked them twice, warned them once, and if no compliance, would have landed somewhere really obscure and chucked them off with pleasure, and sod the consequence.)
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Last edited by LTN Phobia; Jan 5, 21 at 3:23 am
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:19 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Wow - you don't half have some good stories from your travels with BA! A quick search of your posts brings back all sorts of escapades.
You are right but that's because I usually only report on here what I think is bad behavior - and pre-COVID I was on quite a few flights every month.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:20 am
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Sending out the batsignal for the C-W-S de-escalation protocol to be enacted
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Wow - you don't half have some good stories from your travels with BA! A quick search of your posts brings back all sorts of escapades.
you don't know how often he's flying. 5 bad stories in 2000 flights is a darn good percentage.

for the topic: complain about it. BA has an email address for that. I would not make a fuzz about it whilst onboard out of two reasons. (1) Usually ppl don't rethink their actions cause you tell them they might be wrong. (2) it may cause further problems.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:24 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
to me, sitting in 1A when not assigned and being reluctant to move showed what kind of person she was - probably a selfish, potential abuser of her privileged position, taking it for granted that everyone else has to put up with whatever she does, which is something I find very hard to tolerate (I am a firm believer in privileges being accompanied by extra duties and obligations to do my best to do the right thing), so I would probably have liked to quietly address the matter in some ways, without making crew members' life harder (they are in a difficult position).
That's exactly the right point - which then added to the facemask topic, triggered the entire mess
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:30 am
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Originally Posted by Nephoi View Post
you don't know how often he's flying. 5 bad stories in 2000 flights is a darn good percentage
You are absolutely right - considering I was on 10-15 sectors per month pre-COVID I think I have been quite pleased with my overall BA experience so far
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:33 am
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
(if I owned the airline and I were the captain, my response would have been entirely different! I'd have asked them twice, warned them once, and if no compliance, would have landed somewhere really obscure and chucked them off with pleasure, and sod the consequence.)
Certainly there is a gap in the market for this type of airline. I look forward to taking to the inaugural flight for LTNP Airways from their home base in Luton.

To the OP it is difficult. The longer this goes on the more unreasonably angry I get to non-mask wearers in public. I think you are entirely correct to feel aggrieved however little can/will be done. Personal accountability seems to be a thing of the past. The response from BA will be interesting if you can report back?
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by MickV View Post
Certainly there is a gap in the market for this type of airline. I look forward to taking to the inaugural flight for LTNP Airways from their home base in Luton.
Absolutely, categorically no chance of a LTN base - unless it will be in the private jet area!
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:48 am
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Originally Posted by ScruttonStreet View Post
Sending out the batsignal for the C-W-S de-escalation protocol to be enacted
Yes, I did think "oh no, just what we need today".

In terms of de-escalation, I did really like the post that young KARFA put out in a slightly different context. While it's good to encourage people to do the right thing, and sometimes people genuinely have forgotten to get the mask in place, nevertheless this is ultimately about personal responsibility. You can allow yourself to get tied in knots about this but frankly it's bad for your soul. The best you can do is to lead by good example, safe in the sure and certain knowledge that you are on side of the angels.

That said, I would have just offloaded myself. If you do that then the captain would have some explaining to do. There are very, very few things in life that can't wait 24 hours.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 2:58 am
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Reading other airline sites/threads, it would appear that most of the USA airlines are far stricter, and often/always offload folk who will not wear their mask properly.
I think that CWS is right. If the staff will not enforce the rule, then self-off loading is required.
I would report this to BA and think about calling the media.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes, I did think "oh no, just what we need today".

In terms of de-escalation, I did really like the post that young KARFA put out in a slightly different context. While it's good to encourage people to do the right thing, and sometimes people genuinely have forgotten to get the mask in place, nevertheless this is ultimately about personal responsibility. You can allow yourself to get tied in knots about this but frankly it's bad for your soul. The best you can do is to lead by good example, safe in the sure and certain knowledge that you are on side of the angels.

That said, I would have just offloaded myself. If you do that then the captain would have some explaining to do. There are very, very few things in life that can't wait 24 hours.
Thanks corporate-wage-slave - Glad to hear that you would have offloaded yourself too. I would have done it 100% (including my checked luggage) however I really needed to get to CAI that evening and catch a connection on a separate PNR the following morning. Plus my PCR to enter Egypt would have expired the following day.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 3:02 am
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Having asked the OH, BA crews have limited powers on mask wearing: they can ask the offender twice, then the CSM has the faculty of giving some sort of final warning and then the non-masker might get banning. But knowing as I do that even people who assaulted crews didn't get banned... it's a loooooooooong shot. And, of course, somebody could say "I'm exempt" and BA crews can do nothing but comply. They don't even need to provide proof.
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Old Jan 5, 21, 3:05 am
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What's the latest point you can request an off load ? Presumably only to the point the jet bridge moves away ?
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