British Airways cuts turnaround times by skimping on cleaning

7th of February 2019
British Airways cuts turnaround times by skimping on cleaning

British Airways has been testing a new way of reducing turnaround times - by avoiding carrying out a full aircraft clean between flights.

The system was trialled over a period of four days on flights from London Heathrow to Dublin. While any rubbish found in seat pockets and in overhead lockers was removed as usual by cabin staff, no extra cleaning tasks were carried out either in the cabins or in the lavatories.

The cabin was then given a quality check by a senior manager before passengers were allowed to board, with a cleaning crew standing by in case the aircraft was deemed not up to standard.

The trial formed part of an effort by British Airways to look at ways of miniimising turnaround times in cases where airlines face severe disruptions, such as during extreme weather conditions. It is believed that cutting down turnaround times could allow aircraft to make up for lost time and avoid delays in arrival at the destination.

BA claims to have received no customer complaints concerning cleanliness following the trial, but union officials are concerned that the move could lead to BA managers expecting cabin crew to clean the aircraft in place of cleaners in future. There are also fears that security could be compromised if cleaners are not required to perform a thorough cabin check.

The airline has stressed that it has no current plans to roll out the trial across its fleet, and was simply using the Dublin route to gather data on the impact that avoiding a full clean during times of disruption might have on turnaround times.



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