Supply chain problems hit British Airways as cabin crew rationed orange juice, pillows and more

Brits are increasingly getting used to supply chain issues – empty supermarket shelves, gas stations running out of gasoline and fears that Christmas will have to be canceled due to a shortage of delivery drivers and workers in key sectors. It was only a matter of time before the country’s national airline was hit.

The airline’s cabin crew have been told to start rationing a growing list of everyday essentials as supply chains boom and BA’s usual stockists of basic items like juice. orange, linen and bedding fail to meet airline orders.

And the epitome of First World troubles have started to be inflicted on frequent travelers as passengers report a champagne shortage on board certain short-haul flights. British Airways has been forced to purchase large quantities of Rose champagne as the supply of its usual sparkling dwindles.

With broader supply chain issues not in sight, however, rationing will continue for some time to come.

On long-haul flights, cabin crew have been instructed to offer water only outside of core operating hours, although flight attendants respond to passenger requests for other beverages as well. that they are in stock.

Children’s activity packs are also only offered on request, as BA tries to keep its stock running low, while unused bedding and pillows should be quickly hidden rather than offered to customers who might want a pillow or blanket. extra in reserve.

Other items may be exchanged for an alternative or run out completely in the short term.

“You can help manage expectations by explaining any product changes during your first introductions; and by proactively proposing alternatives ”, indicates an intern to the cabin crew.

“The little things you do on your next flight will make a big difference on your future flights. As a team we can always provide top notch service and I know you will do your best with the resources available – so thank you in advance.

“We hope to get back to normal loading as soon as possible,” the memo continued.

Supply problems could worsen before they improve, however. British Airways plans to increase its services in the coming weeks after the UK government reduced the number of countries on its pandemic red list.

By December, BA will serve Cape Town twice a day, while flights to Mexico City and Cancun will resume in a few weeks. The airline is also planning to massively increase its services to the United States as soon as the Biden administration lifts the travel ban in early November.

“We finally have the impression of seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel. Britain will benefit from this significant reduction in Red List countries, and now is the time to turn our attention to eradicating testing for fully vaccinated travelers to ensure we don’t lose our place on the scene. global, ”BA CEO Sean Doyle commented on Thursday. .

“We are ready and looking forward to operating our first flights and welcoming our customers again,” Doyle continued.

But just as pandemic restrictions are lifted, British Airways faces another challenge: the supply chain crisis that is marring the UK’s emergence from the worst days of the pandemic.

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Mateusz Maszczynski

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the Middle East’s largest airline and flew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always listening to the field, Matt’s industry news, analysis and coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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