Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Airline passengers want everything, don't they?

They want cheap. They want comfortable. They want friendly service. 

Why, they even want not to find some discarded chewing gum in the seatback pocket.

And then they have the gall to demand the plane arrives on time.

It's ridiculous, isn't it?

So British Airways decided something has to give.

It decided on cleanliness. 

Paddle Your Own Kanoo received word from the Flight Attendants' union Unite that the airline was testing not cleaning planes when they're in between trips.

Flight Attendants were told to pick up as much garbage as possible during a flight and then hope that the cabin is reasonably presentable for the next customers.

Under no circumstances, said the union, were Flight Attendants supposed to address any cleaning when the plane was parked at the gate.

The purpose, of course, is to improve turnaround times.

Some airlines are currently obsessed about on-time departure. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, for example, sees it as by far the most important thing

Why not, then, put all of the airline's focus on that and dispense with some of the niceties? 

Or even some of the basics. British Airways positioned the experiment as an attempt to help its Flight Attendants. BA offered this statement:  

We know our cabin crew work extremely hard looking after our customers and understand their rest period between flights is very important.

Oh, it's all about being nicer to the Flight Attendants? Perhaps not quite.

The airline added:

We consulted with our crews during this short trial to advise them not to carry out additional tasks during their downtime between flights. We understand our customers value arriving at their destinations on time, that's why we completed a short trial on one route.

Of course, one can understand an airline wanting to leave on time. One also can't overlook the potential cost-savings.

It's a little more difficult to appreciate British Airways' enthusiasm for cursory cleaning, however, as it's been occasionally linked to dirty planes already. And not in a good way.

I contacted British Airways to ask whether this trial will be held again and will update, should I receive a reply.

There was, though, a strange twist. 

Simple Flying says that the four-day trial was conducted on the short route between London and Dublin. 

British Airways apparently insisted that no passengers had complained.

So this trial is being extended, surely? Think of the huge potential benefits. And if no passengers complained, well, that's wonderful.

Ah, here's the thing. The airline says it's not repeating it. Which seems a touch illogical.

Of course, all it would take for the idea to not be appreciated is for passengers to get on a truly dirty plane, with appreciable debris all around.

And then to discover the plane's delayed.

Published on: Feb 9, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.