What Daily Mail passengers worry about on a BA flight

On 20 December a British Airways Airbus A321 flight from Heathrow to Glasgow suffered a serious cabin air contamination event.

The pilots felt dizzy and, worried about losing consciousness, donned their oxygen masks, declared an emergency and rapidly returned to LHR where they were met by full emergency services and paramedics.
The landing was fine. The passengers were told the return to Heathrow was precautionary because of “a technical problem” and promptly put on new flights to Glasgow.
If the passengers subsequently suffered ill effects from the same toxic fumes that were making the pilots feel dizzy, they would not have known that, after such an event, it is wise to see a doctor and have a blood test taken to determine whether organophosphate neurotoxins are present.
Meanwhile, Daily Mail readers who read this story on line know precisely what it was about that flight that bothered them. You can read it in their comments.
It was the fact that the pilots were women.
Here is a selection:
“Women drivers getting all dizzy, lets hope the airline in question learns its lesson, probably better sticking to serving the drinks in future girls.”
“Maybe someone slipped a Mills and Boon into their checklist.”
“With the best will in the world many of us already find flying an ordeal and the thought of the plane in the hands of 2 women in the cockpit more unnerving than usual. On one flight I was on it was announced after take off that the co-pilot was a woman. I remember feeling some trepidation at the time but comforted by the fact that at least the pilot was male. This was a gut reaction and I am sure that many women have felt the same. Of course, I will be accused of sexism but I rank my safety and well being and that includes the perception of being safe and well as more important than political correctness.”
BA says it checked the A321, declared NFF (no fault found), and it was back in service the next day.
So it’s all fine, then. BA just has to use male pilots, and the problem is solved as far as DM readers are concerned.


4 Responses to What Daily Mail passengers worry about on a BA flight

  1. John 10 January, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    The Daily Mail, enough said.

  2. Alex Foster 10 January, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    A great article highlighting that some people chat utter rubbish. If you have nothing constructive to say and all that…

    I felt the need to comment on a DM article regarding the safety of the A380. Not because of the article (which in itself was trying to incite fear) but because it had turned into a slanging match about Airbus vs Boeing in the comments section. I must also add mainly fuelled by those who are pro Boeing.

    I realise I’ve gone slightly off topic so I’ll end with two things;

    1. I love aviation, not individual manufacturers. I don’t care what these idiots say but sometimes they push me too far!

    2.The only problem I have with female pilots is that of jealousy! They have the job I always dreamt of having but never will due to my eyesight.


  3. Hala 10 January, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I am glad you highlighted these opinions. I think it’s sad that they continue to exist though, although maybe I am a little naive in this respect. I fly around Europe regularly for work and have found myself in this type of mid-air scenario once.

    It was a year ago and myself and some work colleagues were flying from Schipol to Linkoping. Halfway there, the air bags came down and the pilot, a male, told us what the problem was and what was going to happen. We arrived back at Schipol a short while later in one piece. Half an hour later, the airline put us on another plane back to Linkoping and this time around we had a female pilot who was equally as professional as the male pilot. She also reassured us and got us to our destination in one piece. At no time did I worry about the gender of the pilots involved and whether the female pilot was as good as male pilots. The only reason I remember these details is because I was worried and looking around and taking note of what was happening.

    My experience did not have a negative effect on my willingness to fly again (altho I do have a slight fear of flying anyway). I don’t really care who flies the plane when I travel. As long as they are competent and professional and get me to my destination I am happy.

  4. Darthrax 16 March, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    @Alex Foster

    “…I must also add mainly fuelled by those who are pro Boeing.”

    Goodness, if this isn’t the kettle calling the pot black! Your comment about perceived bias in the tiresome Airbus vs. Boeing debate only serves to highlight the existence of your own in this matter. Then again, what can one expect when FlightGlobal.com readership tends to be skewed towards the European side of the Pond to begin with…