British Airways share their new protective and safety measures
Flights are undeniably pretty uncomfortable and travellers often go to great lengths to get cosy. For some, this includes cuddling up with a blanket but for others, it might involve slipping off shoes. However, an ex British Airways cabin crew member has warned this could be a big risk indeed.
Hayley Bowles explained exclusively to Express.co.uk that it’s important to keep footwear on particularly for take-off and landing.
This is case anything goes wrong and you need to evacuate the plane.
“If you’re evacuating an aircraft you need your shoes on and you need to be able to run,” cautioned Bowles.
In September 2015, a BA plane caught fire while preparing for take-off on the runway at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, USA.
Passengers had to evacuate and those without shoes were at a disadvantage.
“Because it was so hot in Las Vegas, they all burned the soles of their feet as they ran across the tarmac,” recalled Bowles.
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Following this incident, she made a point of ensuring fliers kept their footwear on.
“That became a big thing to me because I’ve seen it firsthand,” the former flight attendant said.
“I always used to say people, ‘would you mind putting your shoes on for takeoff,’ they didn’t need to know why but I knew why.”
It’s not just for safety purposes plane passengers should keep their shoes on for, though.
Other flight attendants have warned that walking barefoot around the cabin can be pretty disgusting.
One cabin crew, who claimed to have worked on long haul for six years, cautioned passengers about loo spills on US content-sharing site Reddit.
“Please do not ever walk into a toilet with bare feet,” they posted on a thread. “I promise you, nine times out of 10, that is not water on the floor.
They added: “The toilets are often absolutely disgusting and get deep cleaned only at the end of a route.
For us, this could be from one side of the world to the other… imagine how lovely they are at the end of a 12-hour flight with 200 people using them.”
Of course, getting passengers to behave in a certain way can be tricky on a flight.
According to Bowles, anxiety is high on an aircraft, making for a “very strange environment.”
“Ultimately, my job is to speak to the families,” she explained.
“And my years of talking on board I think has really put me in good stead because of my ability to build up a rapport with somebody really quickly, and to read a person and to know what that person needs.”
Working with British Airways has heightened her standards, Bowles said, adding: “I think, possibly a lot higher than they need to be going out into a different company I’ve found, so that’s been quite interesting, because my standards are so high in terms of first impressions, building rapport and customer service.”
The care home residents and families “deserve the best service possible,” the ex cabin crew said.
“I’m bringing a little bit of that customer service side of it,” explained Bowles.
“I still have the care there which is something I naturally had on board as well but my standards for the service that I give to those residents and their families… to me, those expectations should be high. I feel that I’m bringing that in as well which is quite nice.”
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