Letter: BA: competition policy, sympathetic staff, smoke

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The Independent Online
Sir: Following your report, 'Passive smoking 'is killing one person every day' ' (15 January), I wish the Government would encourage airlines to ban smoking on long-haul flights.

I recently flew from New York to London (via British Airways) and, due to no fault of mine, was not assigned (as I requested) a non-smoking seat. As the plane was overbooked (hardly my fault), I and my companion were given seats in the smoking section. It was that or miss our flight.

The flight was extremely unpleasant - like being in a flying ashtray - since people who do smoke these days are virtual chain-smokers. I asked the chief purser his views and he said the staff themselves loathe the smoke- filled atmosphere, but their protests to management were


Can't something be done now to remedy this situation? I think the airlines would find a ban would prove very popular.

Yours etc,


London, WC1

15 January