The human body needs water to sustain itself. Our brain is 70% water, lungs 90% water and our body is 60% water overall. It is the fuel that propels us forward. So is charging separately for water on an airplane like charging separately for a safety belt or oxygen mask?
Another British Airways story, courtesy of the Daily Mail.
A group of schoolchildren claim they were denied free tap water while on a three-hour flight from Naples to London Gatwick.
Around 60 pupils from a school in Hampshire, many of whom were not carrying food or water, were returning from a geography field trip on February 23. They were told they could only pay for water by bank card, as BA banned cash payments earlier this year.
But many of them only had cash and were told that cabin crew could not supply free tap water from the galley.
British Airways disputes the incident, stating that it does offer free tap water.
But not all airlines do. On SAS, coffee and tea is free, but not water. On Eurowings, which I just flew to Mykonos earlier this week, water is also not free. In the USA, Spirit Airlines will deny you free water.
But should it be? Not just for children or the aged, but for everyone?
Although I usually tend to be opinionated, I am undecided on this issue.
Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza explains why his airline does not offer free water–
Do we not pour you a glass of water for free because we’re mean? No. It’s very expensive to bring water onboard the airplane. The bottle of water isn’t expensive to buy, but its several hundred dollars to cater that cart to the airplane. The reality is that if we gave water away for free on the airplane we’d have to raise every ticket by $0.25 fare cents.
I see logic in that reasoning, especially because most airports sell water bottles and offer drinking fountains. Unlike withholding a safety belt or oxygen mask, which guards against immediate danger, going a couple hours without water is rarely harmful.
But I also appreciate the argument from the other side, which asserts that withholding something essential as water is indeed tantamount to a safety risk. Indeed, airlines are provisioned with potable water tanks — why not make that available? No cart required!
Airlines should not be required to provided bottled water, but withholding tap water is a much more controversial issue.
What do you think? Should access to water be treated like access to life-saving amenities?