Gridlock in the aisles

26/09/2017 1 By Shelly

On my recent flight to Marrakech there seemed to be more than the usual aisle dancing going on; a tussle between passengers desperate for the loo and flight attendants serving meals and drinks.Whilst this is a normal occurrence on flights, it was exacerbated on mine because there was an error with the card machine being used to process payments for food. Therefore, instead of passengers just swiping their cards, each had to fill out a debit/credit card payment slip by hand (name, card number, date etc). The food on offer was M&S sandwiches and snacks. Nothing hot. Yes, I was sitting in Economy and yes, you had to pay for food onboard. I’m not sure how long BA have been doing this budget-flight type of service, which also included (to my surprise) paying for your checked-in bags (I think it’s only for short haul flights), but I am glad I realised this before boarding, and had time to purchase something to eat before getting on the plane. Anyway, I digress, there is only one aisle on an A320 plane, so when there is food trolley at one end, a drinks trolley at the other end moving at no pace, coupled with frustrated passengers wishing to stretch their legs or use the bathroom, it makes for very tense atmosphere. I witnessed a few restrained eye rolls and muttering under breath from the flight attendants as passengers with young kids demanded immediate access to the bathroom. Every time they allowed passengers to pass, the food service was delayed another 10 minutes. To make matters worse, passengers who were seated were becoming agitated with the commotion and irritable as they were now hungry and it was apparent that delivery of their food would not be imminent. It occurred to me that a simple solution would have been to allow passengers to use the bathroom at the front of the plane (the first class area) but this was not allowed until we were within about 45 minutes of landing.

Suffice to say that there was no time for the Duty Free trolley, so that Revlon lipstick pack I had my eye on could not be purchased (see my review of Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Cube here). The upside of the flight was that it was reasonably short from London (3 hours) therefore once we had landed, and got a whiff of the heat, it seemed all was forgotten. Smiles and excitement returned to all faces. The aisle was now the pathway to an adventure holiday, with all people moving in the same direction.