BA’s ashtray embarrassment - Heathrow,Flights Airport News

Airport news for Heathrow,Flights on 01/06/2009.

Arrange your travel plans by choosing from car hire, hotels, flights, airport parking and travel insurance using our form.

Passengers on a recent British Airways Boeing 747 flight from Heathrow to Mexico City were forced to wait an extra 25 minutes as the plane delayed taking off from the airport.

As they waited, many passengers might have speculated about the reason for the delay. Could it be that the plane needed extra fuel? Perhaps the meals weren’t ready yet or there were still a couple of passengers who needed to board the plane.

However, few people who have guessed at the real reason; crew were searching for a replacement ashtray after discovering that one was missing from a lavatory door! Even though smoking is banned on all British Airway flights, the ashtray still had to be replaced.

"It is a legal requirement, under air navigation orders, to have ashtrays because while smoking is not permitted on flights, if someone were to light a cigarette on board there must be somewhere to safely extinguish it," a spokesman for the airline said to the press recently. "We apologise to customers for the inconvenience but their safety is always our overriding priority."

But a representative from the Civil Aviation Authority disputes this claim, saying that there is no mention of ashtrays in the air navigation instructions. "There's only a small sections about smoking and one of the rules is that it's banned.”

More Airport News