April 2014, Issue: 4 Volume: 32

Aviation

IPads to offer enhanced flying experience onboard British Airways
British Airways rolls out iPads
TTN Yearbook 201224

British Airways get state-of-the-art technology is set to enhance customer service levels for British Airways’ travellers as the airlines plans to introduce iPads to senior cabin crew worldwide on all routes including the Middle East. The move comes after a highly successful trial, involving 100 senior crew members, who are responsible for delivering service to customers onboard the airline’s 226 aircraft.

Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience said: “The possibilities for future development of the iPad are endless, and this is only the beginning. Once the roll-out has been completed, our crew worldwide, including the Middle East, will be able to offer a premium and more thoughtful onboard service to customers in every cabin.”

Specially developed software and apps enable cabin crew to tap into data giving them customer preferences and their previous travel arrangements, allowing them to offer a uniquely personalised service.

The three-month-long trial has been judged such a fly away success that British Airways has given the go-ahead for the specially equipped iPad2 to be issued to 2,000 senior cabin crew across the entire British Airways long and shorthaul fleet.

Paolo DeRenzis, British Airways regional commercial manager, Middle East said: “The Middle East is a fast-growing market for new technology. Undoubtedly, travellers from this region will be thrilled by the fact that our extremely efficient crew will now be better equipped with an iPad and the corresponding applications that can make their journey more enjoyable and convenient. The iPads provide real-time insight into our customers’ preferences across a whole range of areas, from special meal requests to onward travel plans enabling us to deliver a truly bespoke service.”

The iPad discreetly replaces long cumbersome scrolls of paper, which are normally handed to cabin crew, listing up to 337 customers, just before the doors close and the aircraft departs.

Instead, the iPad, equipped with British Airways-developed apps, is simply refreshed just before departure using 3G technology, to provide cabin crew with an up-to-the-minute passenger and preference list. This means any customer service issues which arise in the air, can immediately be followed up by ground-based colleagues as soon as the aircraft lands and the iPad reconnects to the network.

The iPad also shows cabin crew where each customer is seated, who they are travelling with, their Executive Club status and any special meal requests. In addition, it also gives them a vast library of information at their fingertips including timetables, safety manuals and customer service updates.

Destination guides to are also being loaded on to the iPads so cabin crew can provide customers with the latest information about key cities served by British Airways.

Van der Post also explained how over the next five years British Airways will be investing more than £5 billion ($7.7billion) in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.