British Airways has clarified its social media policy for employees and from what I can gather, the clarification is totally reasonable and necessary (and represents nothing new or particularly strict). Crews who film and promote themselves on company time are still on notice that such conduct is not permitted.
British Airways Reminds Employees Of Its Reasonable Social Media Policy…
The reality of our social media world is that many people post updates and snaps from their life…throughout the day and whether at work or play. There’s a fine line between harmless self-promotion and compromising your duty in order to get that perfect snap or video.
One of the great advantages to working for an airline or knowing someone who does is the ability to travel the world on a standby basis at discounted rates or as part of your job. In this TikTok world, that also includes posting pictures and video from the journey.
British Airways’ social media policy prohibits employees from taking or posting photos while “professionally engaged” in their jobs. This is not new policy; it simply was not previously enforced.
Explaining the change, British Airways said:
“We’ve given our people clarity about what’s appropriate and when. For example, when our colleagues are flying an aircraft, they’re responsible for the safety of everyone onboard. It’s not unreasonable to ask them to wait until their break to take photos…Nothing has changed in terms of the actual social media guidelines, we have just provided additional clarity about what is and isn’t acceptable. The guidelines ask colleagues not to post to social media when professionally engaged in their job (e.g. serving customers onboard, flying the aircraft).”
This is 100% reasonable.
Again, British Airways did not introduce a new social media policy. Nor did it add new restrictions.
- pictures with passengers visible
- details of downroute hotels
- pictures with staff ID cards visible
This does come at a loss for popular social media mavens like Captain Dave, who has built up a huge following by showcasing his cockpit duties.
Well, Dave, thank you for your messages and photo’s over the years, and thank you for your support. PhilGW
— British Airways (@British_Airways) February 1, 2023
But staff can still take pictures on planes, in uniform, and with limited exception (like Captain Dave) continue to post on social media. Just not while on-duty (which does not even prohibit taking pictures during duty breaks).
The fact is, I have full faith in Captain Dave to walk (fly the plane) and chew gum (film with narration) at the same time. That does not make the social media policy unreasonable, though. Perhaps he and others key influencers will be able to negotiate exceptions directly with British Airways (we see direct partnerships between employees and United, for example, like pilot Swayne Martin).
While British Airways has not explained why it chose to clarify its policy or tighten enforcement of it, it comes in an age in which flight attendants are increasingly pushing the line of decency on TikTok and other social media outlets (sorry, no links).
A reminder to be professional and respect duty time is inherently reasonable. Perhaps British Airways should further clarify what is reasonable, but if employees just used common sense I suspect the clarification would not have been reasonable in the first place.
BA’s “new” social media is policy is not new at all. Instead, the airline simply reminded employees that pictures and video should not be taken while performing duties.
Flight attendants can still promote thier OnlyFans accounts, but must do so on their own time…and cannot show their badges or other passengers in their photos. I don’t understand the outrage we are hearing from so many BA employees today.