Posted on: 09 November 2011 by Mark Howells
British Airways (BA) claims that passengers will benefit from a new level of customer service following the successful 3-month trial of iPads issued to 100 of the airline’s senior crew members.
BA has now given the go-ahead for the specially equipped iPad 2 to be issued to 2,000 senior cabin crew across the entire carrier’s long and shorthaul fleet. Specially developed software and apps enable cabin crew to tap into data giving them passenger preferences and their previous travel arrangements, allowing them to offer a personalised service.
“The possibilities for future development of the iPad are endless, and this is only the beginning,” declared Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience. “Once the roll-out has been completed, our crew worldwide will be able to offer a premium and more thoughtful onboard service to customers in every cabin.”
“The benefit of the iPads has been felt right from the beginning, with fantastic feedback from both customers and cabin crew alike,” commented Bill Francis, British Airways’ head of inflight customer experience. “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 passengers, 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 passenger 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 are also being loaded on to the iPads so cabin crew can provide passengers with the latest information about key cities served by BA.Using OnAir connectivity, iPads used by passengers onboard the business class-only service between London City Airport and New York’s JFK, will gain access to live updates throughout the flight.