BA's approach towards anti-maskers

Old May 2, 21, 3:20 pm
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BA's approach towards anti-maskers

On my GLA-LHR flight today, the couple sitting behind me had a very liberal interpretation of "a short period of actively consuming food". They kept chatting without wearing the masks long after everyone had finished the meal break. The cabin crew reminded them twice and they simply said they were still eating - by which I suppose they meant taking occasional sip of water - and the crew didn't really bother to do more.

The passenger next to them got very upset and started arguing with them, who eventually was offered to move to a different seat. The first crew was even apologetic to the offending couple and said "we don't know what she (the fellow passenger) has been through today". A second crew came by later, reasoning with them a little bit but still very mild. The woman just kept saying "you don't know what she said to us", "I'm healthy" and "don't I have to right to eat" blablabla. They eventually put on the masks but never stopped complaining.

I feel that the crew should have made an effort to enforce the rule and step in earlier rather than let the matter escalate. Has BA banned anyone for not wearing a mask?
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Old May 2, 21, 3:23 pm
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This probably goes to show how institutionalised we have all become.
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Old May 2, 21, 3:26 pm
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It's a sensitive issue and I doubt this forum will be hugely better off having another debate on the issue. Few threads survive very long in this space. But it is the case that BA have told some passengers, after trravelling, and who appear to have ignored crew members in this area, that BA would rather they find another airline for their future travels. These bans tend to last a year or two.
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Old May 2, 21, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
It's a sensitive issue and I doubt this forum will be hugely better off having another debate on the issue. Few threads survive very long in this space. But it is the case that BA have told some passengers, after trravelling, and who appear to have ignored crew members in this area, that BA would rather they find another airline for their future travels. These bans tend to last a year or two.
This is somewhat reassuring to know. I do wonder if on the whole this stance was made more public by BA people would be more confident to fly them (vs competitors, assuming essential journeys) or feel more constrained in their liberty's. Of course I'm sure BA have already done the analytics on this and know it's best to keep quiet
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Old May 2, 21, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by TheJayHatch View Post
This probably goes to show how institutionalised we have all become.
Ironically, one could simply buy a "face mask exempt" lanyard online and not wear a mask on the plane and get away with it. Of course, if you do this without being exempt you deserve at minimum a very, very long ban.
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Old May 2, 21, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Ironically, one could simply buy a "face mask exempt" lanyard online and not wear a mask on the plane and get away with it. Of course, if you do this without being exempt you deserve at minimum a very, very long ban.
To be honest you donít even need to buy one you can self declare your exemption. Thanks to the poor rules the government laid out here these situations crop up from time to time. Anybody too entitled to wear a face covering

I donít agree with other passengers interfering about non mask wearers I do however find the crews attitude about speaking to the people in question about the moved passenger to be unprofessional and unacceptable.
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Old May 2, 21, 4:30 pm
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If people are so troubled about who is and isn't wearing a mask, I query whether they should be travelling. After all, there's always a risk of being sat next to someone exempt, or someone who decides to make a larger order from the in-flight menu. There's an inconsistency on BA's part, too, given that (for instance) full CE service is offered on flights like LHR-JER and LHR-MAN -- if you partake in that service you're unlikely to be wearing a mask for anything beyond take-off, since you'll often have a plastic glass for landing. If airlines believed so strongly in masks they could easily offer no service on flights of under 2 hours or so.

I wonder when we'll be able to move beyond the pandemic theatre stage of things. It's rather odd that given cases are so low and will presumably be lower still by mid-June, the Government is now rowing back on lifting all restrictions and planning to stick with masks. I can't think of anything worse than sitting in a cinema or theatre for hours wearing one.
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Old May 2, 21, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Never Stansted View Post
If people are so troubled about who is and isn't wearing a mask, I query whether they should be travelling. [....] I can't think of anything worse than sitting in a cinema or theatre for hours wearing one.
If you are so troubled by having to wear a mask for a couple of hours during a flight, I query whether you should be traveling. I work (voluntarily) at a mass vaccination center and wear a mask for up to 12 hours a day while I am there with very brief breaks to sip water or eat a quick snack. I can think of many things that are worse.
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Old May 2, 21, 5:28 pm
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On my flight to EDI last Wednesday, it did cross my mind why the crisp / water offering is in place. Everyone accepted and everyone removed their mask for a while. It’s surely best not to offer anything on these short hops. Most people wouldn’t have had anything had you been required to pay
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Old May 2, 21, 6:04 pm
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Partner is a BA CM and came back from a domestic outstation the other week. Asked a passenger in Club traveling with her partner weather she had a mask (had a one in hand ready to give them). "I'm exempt!" was the response. Checked the PIL where other exempt passengers were recorded but info about this passenger. Queried with the dispatcher whether they check further if a passenger isn't wearing a mask... "no we don't do anything" was the response. BA policy in line with UK government guidelines is precisely that. A guideline. Yes it's incredibly frustrating for everyone. Crew don't have black and white hard and fast rules and procedures relating to mask wearing from the airline. All they can do is encourage people to wear them. You've then got other passengers looking on who are compliant but whose expectation is it's the crews job to police mask wearing. Must be quite a pressure at times - something I personally would have no patience for..... probably the reason I wouldn't be a very good cabin crew member! Later in the flight the Club woman's partner had removed his own mask. He was asked to put his back on for the reason he wasn't exempt. Begrudgingly he did so.

Anecdotal feedback from another crew member on board the flight when discussing the situation in the galley who'd recently returned from an Indian city where over half the passengers were either oblivious ot ignorant to the request to wear a mask or weren't wearing theirs properly. Crew can only do so much to encourage passengers, make announcements, ask people, gesture to pull the mask over nose and mouth but ultimately they can't enforce anything. There's no consequence at BA unless the Captain makes a direct instruction to an individual.

I think KLM is the only airline in Europe who has a zero tolerance procedure. Exemptions for mask wearing need a medical note recorded against the PNR in advance of travel. For everyone else with no mask then you won't be flying. I'm guessing this has more to do with Dutch social distancing policy and laws but at least you know where you stand.

Last edited by 1Aturnleft; May 2, 21 at 6:14 pm
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Old May 2, 21, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Ironically, one could simply buy a "face mask exempt" lanyard online and not wear a mask on the plane and get away with it. Of course, if you do this without being exempt you deserve at minimum a very, very long ban.
You can buy the sunflower lanyards in Tesco or Asda for a couple of quid and you don't need to prove anything to buy one. I guess it comes down to the tenacity and gaul of the wearer if there's no underlying reason to wear one.
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Old May 2, 21, 6:34 pm
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"Don't I have the right to eat"


Lol, 1:15 flight, let's call it 2:00 tip to tail? Ridiculous.

I was really HOPING these were just inconsiderate people, but they sound totally ignorant after reading the whole thing. I've seen lots of people take their mask off to chat or use their phone. It's like "hey...you know people can still hear you through the mask right, it's not a sound barrier" and they often kinda clue in. But these folks genuinely seem awful.
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Old May 2, 21, 7:23 pm
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I recall a cabin crew announcement shortly after take off on a flight from LHR to OSL:

"Any passenger found smoking will be asked to leave the flight immediately"

Not practical, but it got the message across.

A requirement to declare face mask exemption, with supporting documentation, prior to check-in seems quite reasonable. And if anyone claims that they are still drinking, provide them with a straw. Although there is precedent in song for that leading to the acquisition of a mother-in-law (but possibly only if the drink is cider).
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Old May 2, 21, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by RGS5526 View Post
I recall a cabin crew announcement shortly after take off on a flight from LHR to OSL:

"Any passenger found smoking will be asked to leave the flight immediately"
Iím all for non smoking flights, but a summary execution for smoking sounds rather harsh.
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Old May 2, 21, 10:22 pm
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... meanwhile, out in SEA, we left the hotel at 08:30, got back about 20:00 having worn a mask (several actually) continuously except for a matter of minutes for lunch (well away from others). Virtually everyone else was wearing masks too (the only ones who weren't wearing them seemed to be the virgrants). Wearing a mask for a couple of hours is nothing.
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