British Airways announced yesterday that customers worldwide will benefit from a new level of customer service thanks to specially equipped iPad 2s being issued to 2,000 senior cabin crew from next week. This comes after a three-month trial involving 100 senior crew members responsible for delivering service to customers onboard the airline’s 226 aircraft. Cabin crew can tap into data giving them customer preferences and their previous travel arrangements.
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 will be able to offer a premium and more thoughtful onboard service to customers in every cabin.”
Bill Francis, Head of Inflight Customer Experience, added: “The benefit of the iPads has been felt right from the beginning, with fantastic feedback from customers and cabin crew alike. 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 that any customer service issues that 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.
iPads used by pursers onboard the British Airways business class-only service between London City Airport and New York JFK can also get live updates throughout the flight, thanks to the services’ unique OnAir capability, which allows Internet access across the Atlantic.
Over the next five years British Airways will be investing more than £5 billion in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.