BA upgrades corpse
First class seat for dead passenger
A first class British Airways passenger got short shrift from cabin crew after expressing his displeasure at waking up to find them manoeuvering a corpse into the seat next to him, the Daily Mirror reports.
The elderly woman had apparently died shortly after take-off, and was quickly upgraded from economy to first class
Building firm boss Paul Trinder, who'd stumped £3,000+ for the Boeing 747 flight from Delhi to London, recounted: "I woke up to see the crew manoeuvering what looked like a sack of potatoes into the seat. But slowly through the darkness I realised it was a body. The corpse was strapped into the seat but because of turbulence it kept slipping down on to the floor. It was horrific. The body had to be wedged in place with lots of pillows.
"Then the relatives were allowed to sit in First Class and spent the next five hours wailing and weeping. When I complained, I was told to 'get over it'. I was also told BA's corpse policy would remain 'unless I've got any better ideas'. In future, if I have a choice of airlines on a particular route I'll choose anyone but BA."
BA told the Daily Mirror: "We apologise, but our crew were working in difficult circumstances and chose the option they thought would cause least disruption." ®
Six of one, a half dozen of the other...
BA should first and foremost have sought to move the body away from other passengers. This may have meant clearing a row or two at the back of a cabin, using a crew rest area, or possibly even a lavatory if no other space was available. In such a situation, they should sympathetically explain to relatives that there is little other choice.
Of course, if a particular cabin (be it First, Club or whatever) is relatively empty, it is reasonable to use that space; and indeed, reasonable to invite a relative to travel with the body if they so desire (although personally, I imagine I'd prefer not). HOWEVER, out of mere courtesy, one would expect the crew to first explain the situation to any nearby passengers and offer them the opportunity to move seats (by downgrading if necessary, in which case a refund of the fare difference should of course also be available).
BA crew ought to always bear in mind that their First product is promoted as one of the most relaxing and comfortable forms of travel in the world and indeed, is sold at a premium to match. Any action likely to adversely affect such passengers' experience should be a last resort, even when faced with such an extreme and distressing event as a death. As such, their (reported) reaction to Mr Trinder's complaint was unacceptable.
On the flip side, his behaviour was grossly insensitive. I'm sure that, had he asked for a quiet word with the CSD and volunteered to move (if nothing else, to provide the grieving relatives with some privacy), he would have been given a very comfortable seat in Club and a free flight for the future.
Overall, arrogant passengers are to be expected; inconsiderate cabin crew, especially in the First cabin, are not. BA should do better.
Weekend at Bernies
No, no, no! BA handled it all wrong. Haven't they seen "Weekend at Bernies"? It's about a dead guy - his friends try and make out that he is still alive. They should have just pretended she was drunk and kept plying her with pretend G&Ts. Really people !
Maybe it;s just me
I'd not be bothered by it at all.