Not all British Airways customers are guaranteed a clean seat on-board their aircraft. A new policy ensures that certain VIP passengers enjoy the benefit of getting a clean seat for their flight. Random checks carried out by British Airways to ensure aircraft cleanliness means that the chances of regular passengers encountering an unclean seat are very high.
To reduce wait time and flight delays, British Airways cut down the cleaning time. The airline conducts random checks of aircraft to see if the aircraft is clean or not. The cabin crew on-board the flight is expected to coax passengers to hand over their in-flight trash before the flight lands.
Even though passengers may be handing over empty packets to the cabin crew, food particles collect in the seats. The seats are then occupied by passengers who assume that the airline has taken the step of cleaning their seats.
In February 2019 the airline ran a test to see if cutting down cleaning time reduced wait time. The Telegraph had reported that a cleaning crew did clear and rearrange the cabin but it was unclear if they had cleaned the seats.
According to The Sun, the airline informed its staff on an online forum about the new seat cleaning policy. As per the new rules, all seats to be occupied by Premier and Gold Guests are to be cleaned prior to their flights. Passengers who are Premier or Gold Guests can rest assured to get a clean seat irrespective of seating class.
First-class passengers and luxury Club Suite passengers ro not get the service that the passengers on the Premier and Gold Guest List are entitled to. Passengers who are on the VIP list are usually frequent fliers or those who book flights for big companies. These fliers are considered to be more important than other passengers.
Cabin Crew complained about the new policy stating that it is important to keep the entire flight hygienic instead of just ensuring fresh seats for certain passengers. The airline claimed that the checking process in place ensured that all customers got unsoiled seats.