British Airways airliner
British Airways cabin crewed reportedly tried to scoop fish out of a hotel pond Reuters

A British Airways pilot and member of cabin crew reportedly tried to scoop expensive koi carp fish from the pond of a five-star hotel while partying during a layover between flights to and from Johannesburg.

The incident is claimed to have occurred at the Palazzo Montecasino in Johannesburg, a well-known spot for BA crew to drink and party during 24-hour layovers between shifts. Another incident saw a female member of cabin crew run naked around a hotel lobby for a dare.

The news comes as BA bosses reprimand staff for "unacceptable" behaviour during layovers in cities like Las Vegas, Bangkok and Singapore, as well as Johannesburg, all known among BA staff as party hotspots.

The airline said there had been no complaints about staff behaviour from the South Africa hotel in recent years.

One pilot told the Sunday Times how these incidents involve BA's mixed fleet crews, set up in 2010 and often made up of younger, lower-paid staff. The unnamed pilot said the crew are young and "enthusiastic but also when they get 'down-route' they want to go out and party big time. It's more Towie [The Only Way is Essex] than the old British Airways way."

A BA source told the newspaper: "They are packing a lot in during their 24 hours down there. Sleep, drinking, safaris. And they they are getting on the plane absolutely knackered."

Additionally, another BA pilot said how there is a "major problem" with drunken behaviour among staff staying over in Las Vegas, where they party for "seven or eight hours" after arriving in the evening.

British Airways said in a statement: "We are in regular contact with all our crew hotels, and have not received any complaints about behaviour for any of these destinations recently. We take the very rare reports of inappropriate behaviour extremely seriously and always investigate."

The airline also said how staff are banned from drinking alcohol within eight hours of a flight they are working on, and can only drink in "moderation" within 24 hours of their shift.

Ian Romanis, head of the airline's mixed fleet, said in a memo sent to staff: "These colleagues placed their own jobs at risk, jeopardised the relationship with some of our hotel partners and potentially tarnished the reputation of British Airways cabin crew. Additionally, these examples impacted our ability to deliver the service our customers expect on the return flights to London."