British Airways – Please Don’t Pump Fragrance into Your Planes!

Fragrance Free Please
Fragrance Free Please

British Airways are considering pumping fragrance into the cabins on their planes to replicate the experience customers have when walking into expensive department stores. I sneeze and then get a headache when I walk through the perfume section of expensive department stores and I don’t want to spend 10 hours on a flight having that same experience. British Airways already use scents in their Executive Lounge in Heathrow and want to put this fragrance on the planes as part of their “Make Flying Special” marketing campaign.

Instead why don’t we “Make Flying Special” with better air circulation and air filters? There is no need to add potentially harmful chemicals to the air we breathe when flying.

Fragrances are a long way from natural flower essences. They are created in a lab and use a variety of chemicals to project the scent and make it last. Manufactures do not have to list the chemicals used and very little testing has been done to determine their affects on people. I have listed articles below with more information about fragrances.

Many people are affected by these chemical fragrances. Symptoms range from the ones that I get (sneezing, headache, metalic taste in my mouth) to asthma attacks or feeling very ill or losing the ability to think clearly (brain fog). A recent study indicates that many Americans are sensitive to fragrances: “… 30.5% of the general population reported scented products on others irritating, 19% reported adverse health effects from air fresheners, and 10.9% reported irritation by scented laundry products vented outside”. (Study by Caress SM, Steinemann AC, link is below.)

Everyone who knows Steve and I know how we struggle with this. We keep our home fragrance-free. We ask anyone visiting to not wear perfume or scented hair products. When possible we travel with our own sheets and pillow cases to avoid breathing in that “fresh, clean smell” – which is just a bunch of chemicals mixed with laundry soap.

When flying I pay extra on British Airways to book seats ahead of time so that we are sitting in a row of two – so we won’t have someone possibly wearing perfume sitting beside us. I guess I can save that money now because the cabin will be wearing perfume!

I fly British Airways several times a year, between the US and England and within Europe. I am pleading with you British Airways – don’t do this – for the health of the airline staff and passengers. We do not need fragrances on airplanes and many of us don’t want it.

How to Tell British Airways That You Don’t Want This

Please help me talk British Airways out of doing this!

Articles About British Airways Introducing Scents

Articles About Fragrances

  • Why Go Fragrance Free? , Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign – Pamphlet about the health affects of the chemicals used to create fragrances and why we are better off avoiding them.
  • Hazards are hiding in fragranced consumer products by Dr. Anne Steinemann, February 10 2011 – Article about the toxic chemicals in fragrances.
  • Prevalence of fragrance sensitivity in the American population, Caress SM, Steinemann AC., March 2009 – Research that found than many Americans are sensitive to the chemicals in fragrances. “… 30.5% of the general population reported scented products on others irritating, 19% reported adverse health effects from air fresheners, and 10.9% reported irritation by scented laundry products vented outside.”

Websites About Fragrances and Indoor Air Quality

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

2 thoughts on “British Airways – Please Don’t Pump Fragrance into Your Planes!”

  1. I have heard from someone else who contacted British Airways about this that BA has decided to NOT use fragrance on the planes!! Very good news indeed – because I really like flying on BA and have used them for many years.

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