No Effective Mask Compliance onboard

Old Mar 8, 21, 11:00 am
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No Effective Mask Compliance onboard

Flew LHR-MEX yesterday in the back - only about 60% sold. A 30ish man 3 rows in front was wandering around maskless (under his chin) and refused to wear it properly, claiming he was medically exempt. A similarly aged man in the row in front refused even to put one on (let alone wear it), again claiming he was exempt. Both claimed that nobody at check in, or at LHR, or at the gate had said anything to them.

The FA said that BA's rule was that, if you were exempt, you cleared it at check in or at the gate and the crew were informed. Both claimed that they weren't told about this and that it was impossible for them to fly with a mask. After much to-ing and fro-ing, (and presumably consultations with the Captain), the FA said it would be ok as long as they promised to wear one when they stood up. So we pushed back. The people in the same rows as them all demanded to be moved but the FA didn't want to do that until we were airborne.

Needless to say, neither wore a mask when they got up to go to the toilets, and spent a fair amount of time chatting with each other by shouting up the aisle, and were occasionally joined by another mask-less man seated somewhere else. It was an excellent ruse for all three to get a row to themselves.

And, of course, when arriving in Mexico City, they all put masks on to go through Immigration.

I do know that there are all sorts of debates about whether masks are good or not, and whether being asked to wear one is an infringement of liberty, but:
- it was clear that all three were in it together and hiding that fact
- I might buy that one of them couldn't wear a mask, but not all three
- They were clearly completely selfish and careless about anyone around them.
- BA were complicit in this: if BA has a rule, they should enforce it.
- BA should know perfectly well that people who are that selfish and show two fingers at any rules are exactly the profile of people who disrupt flights and force emergency stops. Why take off with them on board?

I shall, of course, complain to BA. I felt unsafe throughout the flight, as did most of those around. I don't want to fly again with an airline which doesn't care about the safety of the majority of its passengers.

Otherwise it was a great flight (with the added excitement of a go-around on approach) but who cares about about that when they cannot get the fundamentals right?
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Mar 8, 21, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Flew LHR-MEX yesterday in the back - only about 60% sold. A 30ish man 3 rows in front was wandering around maskless (under his chin) and refused to wear it properly, claiming he was medically exempt. A similarly aged man in the row in front refused even to put one on (let alone wear it), again claiming he was exempt. Both claimed that nobody at check in, or at LHR, or at the gate had said anything to them.

The FA said that BA's rule was that, if you were exempt, you cleared it at check in or at the gate and the crew were informed. Both claimed that they weren't told about this and that it was impossible for them to fly with a mask. After much to-ing and fro-ing, (and presumably consultations with the Captain), the FA said it would be ok as long as they promised to wear one when they stood up. So we pushed back. The people in the same rows as them all demanded to be moved but the FA didn't want to do that until we were airborne.

Needless to say, neither wore a mask when they got up to go to the toilets, and spent a fair amount of time chatting with each other by shouting up the aisle, and were occasionally joined by another mask-less man seated somewhere else. It was an excellent ruse for all three to get a row to themselves.

And, of course, when arriving in Mexico City, they all put masks on to go through Immigration.

I do know that there are all sorts of debates about whether masks are good or not, and whether being asked to wear one is an infringement of liberty, but:
- it was clear that all three were in it together and hiding that fact
- I might buy that one of them couldn't wear a mask, but not all three
- They were clearly completely selfish and careless about anyone around them.
- BA were complicit in this: if BA has a rule, they should enforce it.
- BA should know perfectly well that people who are that selfish and show two fingers at any rules are exactly the profile of people who disrupt flights and force emergency stops. Why take off with them on board?

I shall, of course, complain to BA. I felt unsafe throughout the flight, as did most of those around. I don't want to fly again with an airline which doesn't care about the safety of the majority of its passengers.

Otherwise it was a great flight (with the added excitement of a go-around on approach) but who cares about about that when they cannot get the fundamentals right?
Why I won't fly until a month after I'm fully vaccinated. Then I don't give a damn about the overly politicized fools and lying cowards afraid to wear a mask. And milquetoast flight crews. I won't get sick no matter what they do. For me, it'll be just like flying in 2019.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 11:59 am
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BA has no powers on masks. much in the same as the shops round the corner, TfL, trains... you can claim exemption and that’s it. No need to prove it. Plenty of examples in other threads..

HMG should change the rules but I guess they prefer to go “Papieren bitte” with new forms...
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:00 pm
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Flying during a pandemic will of course have these issues. Plenty of other pinch points during the journey where social distancing goes out the window also. If anyone is too concerned about their welfare, don’t fly during this time. You always have to factor in others behaviour. I wouldn’t bother complaining to BA
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:01 pm
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I would definitely send a complaint to BA if I was in your situation. Not so much the lack of complaince, but the issues with this not being cleared pre-boarding and still being allowed to fly.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Why I won't fly until a month after I'm fully vaccinated. Then I don't give a damn about the overly politicized fools and lying cowards afraid to wear a mask. And milquetoast flight crews. I won't get sick no matter what they do. For me, it'll be just like flying in 2019.
I'm in a country (i.e. not the UK or Israel) with a slow vaccine rollout. Luckily, N95/FFP2/KN95 masks are really cheap and easy to get now especially if bought direct from Asia, so I'll simply wear one of those when flying. Whenever that happens!
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by adrianlondon View Post
I'm in a country (i.e. not the UK or Israel) with a slow vaccine rollout. Luckily, N95/FFP2/KN95 masks are really cheap and easy to get now especially if bought direct from Asia, so I'll simply wear one of those when flying. Whenever that happens!
I know those kinds of countries reasonably well too and I always wonder if they (FFP2 or similar) might give you a false sense of security? Iím also now exclusively wearing those when travelling and Iím asking myself if they would really make much of a difference in the scenario described.

Anyway, I understand the OPs frustration but would think that with the current loads, those situations can be defused easily and quietly.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:20 pm
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Senda complaint to BA and provide as accurate a description of the relevant cabin crew as possible.

There is not much to be done in the air, but BA is a private company, free to make its own rules, and free to prohibit passengers not willing to obey them.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:21 pm
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Do we really need another mask analysis thread?
Have there not been enough already?

While I sympathise with the OP, government guidelines in the UK relating to mask wearing in public are not entrenched in law. Therefore until such a time BA decides to take things up a notch, you can expect plenty more of the same.

If mask etiquette is so important then the solutions are either not to travel, travel another airline where mask wearing in enforceable by law or fly private. Realistically these are the options available right now.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by marconess View Post
I would definitely send a complaint to BA if I was in your situation. Not so much the lack of complaince, but the issues with this not being cleared pre-boarding and still being allowed to fly.
I canít see any BA policy about getting preclearance at check in or boarding if you are exempt. Again the government rules say you should wear a mask unless you are exempt. There are no obligations or requirements to prove such exemption.

The crew cannot and shouldnít make conditional rules on mask wearing if you are exempt. You are exempt at all times not only when you are sitting down.

This is just one of the hurdles you must overcome for essential travel and you must accept such risk if there really is no other option for travel remembering of course the space and privacy offered in premium cabins over economy if necessary.

I am exempt. I wear a sunflower lanyard but nobody mentioned anything at check in or boarding and neither did I. I wore my mask in the airport, going through security, when not eating or drinking in the lounge and whilst boarding.

On board I wore the mask most of the time when not eating or drinking but wearing it for prolonged periods was starting to cause distress/discomfort. The crew didnít say anything. On arrival at my destination (Gibraltar) I didnít wear a mask and was challenged by nearly every person. I didnít mind this and pointed out I was exempt. One asked if I had any medical proof. Fortunately I did have a consultant letter in my bag from an earlier outpatient appointment which I had no qualms in showing.

I am fully aware of those trying to game the system and have seen their boasts on social media including copying in HAL and BA.

Sadly the current guidelines donít give either any recourse to action for such people. Iíd hope but wouldnít expect BA to realise that these passengers are not the type they want onboard and prevent future travel.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 1:47 pm
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As someone said in another thread, you have to basically accept that during your flight you're going to have at least 3-5 people you see that aren't wearing a mask or are wearing it as a chinstrap. I've had a great flight where everyone masked up and another not so great one.

Of course, airlines SHOULD ban these people permanently, but in practice, that generally hasn't been the case. In the United States, this is against federal law, so it's worth it to report it with flight number and crew names. The offenders should also be fined and detained on landing. There should be no such thing as a "medical exemption" for a mask. Science has proven repeatedly that it doesn't do any harm. This way there is also no gray area.

All that said about my personal opinions, as many others have said, the reality is that you're going to have idiots on your flight that can't or won't wear a mask, so if you don't want that, don't fly until you're vaccinated.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by gdam22 View Post
As someone said in another thread, you have to basically accept that during your flight you're going to have at least 3-5 people you see that aren't wearing a mask or are wearing it as a chinstrap. I've had a great flight where everyone masked up and another not so great one.

Of course, airlines SHOULD ban these people permanently, but in practice, that generally hasn't been the case. In the United States, this is against federal law, so it's worth it to report it with flight number and crew names. The offenders should also be fined and detained on landing. There should be no such thing as a "medical exemption" for a mask. Science has proven repeatedly that it doesn't do any harm. This way there is also no gray area.

All that said about my personal opinions, as many others have said, the reality is that you're going to have idiots on your flight that can't or won't wear a mask, so if you don't want that, don't fly until you're vaccinated.
All US carriers had mask policies well prior to the recent CDC Order. A significant number of people were banned from future travel on individual carriers and that act alone had a significant impact on the violators once it became apparent that future travel would be attected.

The CDC Order in the US provides an additional hammer, but has not largely changed matters.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by EDDLEGLL View Post
I know those kinds of countries reasonably well too and I always wonder if they (FFP2 or similar) might give you a false sense of security?.
Maybe, but it works for me and I'll be happy to fly with one What stops me now isn't whether other people are wearing masks, it's the cost and hassle of all the tests and quarantines/isolations. Of course, this is all done deliberately to deter people from flying. And it's working on me, the crafty buggers.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 2:12 pm
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BA should just warn the passenger once.

If they don't comply, ban them for life, and publicize it.

That might prevent others from misbehaving.
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Old Mar 8, 21, 2:33 pm
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The crew are at most risk from these selfish idiots, travelling regularly.

The airline should enforce the wearing to protect their staff. You canít wear a mask, donít fly or make alternative arrangements to reach your destination
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