Flight Mask Mandate Extended And Service On British Airways Deteriorates!

US Flight Mask Mandate Extension!

In the US, travelers will need to mask up on planes, trains, and buses through at least May 3. The federal transportation mask mandate announced in January 2021 and due to expire on Monday, will be extended by 15 days because of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S. In order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, the CDC Order will remain in place at this time,” reads a statement from CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey.  

Source: USA Today

Service on British Airways deteriorates!

British Airways deliberately stopped loading luggage on flights on Thursday evening and some planes went uncleaned as the carrier tried to keep up with a surge in demand while battling a staffing crisis that has already resulted in several operational meltdowns at the London-based airline over the last few months.

The airline told baggage handlers to stop loading luggage on short-haul flights in order to prioritize long-haul services on one of the biggest travel days so far this year.  

One of the problems that BA has faced in the last few weeks is not having enough staff available to unload bags from planes that have arrived at its main hub at Heathrow Airport.  With bags just sitting in the belly hold of planes, British Airways has then been forced to cancel or delay flights until the baggage has been unloaded from the aircraft.

As complaints started to pour in from disgruntled customers on Twitter, the airline responded by asking passengers to report missing bags and wait for them to be sent separately in the coming days.  Some passengers caught up in previous rounds of disruption, however, say they are still waiting for their luggage several weeks later.

British Airways says it is facing a staffing crunch because the aviation industry is facing delays in security vetting which is preventing newly hired employees from starting work.  Industry insiders have blamed vetting delays on the government but Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has refused to take the blame, saying airlines were given plenty of notice to prepare for the end of travel restrictions.

Source: Paddle Your Own Kanoo

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