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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Are BA cabin crew on A350s not permitting use of the front loo as a norm?

  • 5 posts

    We’ve recently returned from a round trip to SAN and in both cases, the Club crew put the red sign up for the front loo about 10 mins after the seat belt signs went off. This continued for virtually the whole flight, both on day and night flights. When queried, the cabin director said that owing to the layout, they cannot serve drinks and meals with use of that loo, and also that it was a security risk for the flight deck. We argued this point, saying that the two back loos mostly had a queue or people waiting for an opportunity from their seats and leaping up. Three loos for this size of cabin is already a low ratio to pax, but to take away the front one too, at all times, seems over the top. We do appreciate that the A350 is a bad design for cabin crew and pax for all the reasons discussed on HFP articles and elsewhere, and the squash for the crew at meal times in the galley and when carrying meals down the narrow aisles is very evident. It is also evident that the cabin crew hates working this aircraft, and with good reason. However, to keep the occupied sign on when they are not serving creates a bad feeling, and other pax were unhappy too. My husband put his head through the curtain to find the galley deserted apart from the cabin manager who was having her meal, and asked if it was OK to come through now, and said he got the death stare. He went through anyway, but the crew clearly don’t encourage this. Before landing there was a permanent queue of two or three at both back loos. Being at the front of the cabin meant I never got near the front of the queue, and after having stood there for about 15 mins, I went to the cabin manager who was in the middle of the cabin and said that as I could see that service was well finished, and they were loading carts, I would be using the front loo although the red sign was still on. She replied that it was not possible, to which I replied that I have a medical condition and could not wait any longer, and went to use it. I was not in anyone’s way, on exiting the loo, I happily waited for a cart to be loaded by the curtain, and then returned to my seat. We have tried to get through to query these onboard “rules” with no success. A previous email query on another matter went unanswered except for an acknowledgement reference number. Does anyone else have experience of this?

    Andrew. 494 posts

    When I need to go, I need to go.

    So if I were in your position, I would have marched through the back and used one of the six loos in economy in protest.

    Nigel Keya 80 posts

    When I need to go, I need to go.

    So if I were in your position, I would have marched through the back and used one of the six loos in economy in protest.


    It certainly has never remotely bothered me to go through the curtain and use Club loo whenever I’ve been flying Economy but sitting near the front. Never got upbraided by the crew and couldn’t be bothered to see if people flying Club even noticed/ were giving me the icy look. 5 posts

    To explain, we are elderly and have some mobility problems. We booked the front seats in order to have reasonably quick and easy access to a loo. Perhaps this is not the right forum for information to help us decide how to address the problem.

    NorthernLass 8,063 posts

    This is a woeful approach by the crew, frankly. Part of their job is to be aware of any issues which might affect passengers and access to loos (especially on a long haul flight) is a pretty basic need.
    There was an outcry in the media recently when a disabled lady had to be dragged along the aisle (on a different airline) by her partner to use the loo because a special narrow chair hadn’t been loaded and the crew refused to help her, so you might want to contact the media if you think it might make BA sit up and take a bit more notice. I imagine there are also organisations and charities which focus on age/disability which would be able to advise you how to take this further. If an aircraft has functioning toilets then they should be available for passengers; if they cause problems for the crew then this should be taken up with management, they shouldn’t be making arbitrary decisions which affect passengers.

    Froggee 957 posts

    Hi Celia – you’ll have received a collective shrug of the shoulders as most people on here have a low opinion of BA and this is par for the course. The issue with the crew closing the front toilet on the A350 has been commented on a number of times including in Rob’s article on BA’s admission that their implementation of the A350 is an abject failure (link below).

    In terms of addressing the problem, you should of course write to BA who will reply with a cookie-cutter response and probably give you 5,000 Avios or similar. You could attempt to escalate it is the national press but I don’t imagine you would wish for the stress. Perhaps a letter addressed to Sean Doyle, CEO might be best as it should then be addressed by his office.

    If you were to have to fly with BA again I would either choose seats closer to the rear or speak to the member of cabin crew in charge of the business cabin explaining your mobility issues at the start of the flight. You could also get in touch with BA via Manage My Booking or telephone 48 hours before your flight to explain your needs and I’d be astounded if you did not then have full use of the forward toilet.

    Because the galley is borderline inoperable with passengers coming and going, some crews appear to have decided to manage expectations by permanently shutting the forward toilet. Quite simply your needs are greater than that of the crew. The 40 year olds with strong legs and bladders can queue up back but you should not have to.

    John 1,025 posts
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