Category Archives: British Airways

British Airways expands “First Contact Resolution” program worldwide

British Airways has made this announcement:

  • British Airways is extending its First Contact Resolution program to colleagues around the world following a successful roll out at Heathrow
  • First Contact Resolution enables staff to assist and resolve any customer issue at the airport rather than refer travelers to Customer Relations teams, saving customers’ time and worry
  • The initiative demonstrates the airline’s continued commitment to provide unique British Airways’ customer service

Following the successful launch of British Airways’ First Contact Resolution Program at Heathrow last year, the airline is now rolling the program out across every airport it operates to.  First Contact Resolution empowers airport hosts to use their expertise, initiative and judgment to solve customer queries on the spot, without waiting for management approval. This allows them to provide instant solutions and peace of mind for customers and send fewer issues to Customer Relations colleagues.

All staff worldwide are now being further empowered to use their skills and initiative to do the right thing for any customer at that moment. The worldwide roll out is a direct result of the successful start of the programme at Heathrow – earlier this year British Airways won the title of Best Airline Staff in Europe at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards.

The roll out of First Contact Resolution is a part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment in customer experience over five years. This includes taking delivery of 73 new aircraft including A350 and 787s, refurbishing long-haul aircraft with new cabins, introducing new, redesigned lounges, new dining across all cabins, new bedding and amenity kits for First, Club World and World Traveller Plus, best quality onboard WiFi for every aircraft and access to power at every aircraft seat. The airline recently introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct-aisle access on its A350 aircraft, which is being rolled out across the British Airways’ long-haul fleet.

Photo: British Airways.

British Airways aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

 

British Airways teams up with Aston Martin for a limited-edition car

British Airways has made this announcement:

In the airline’s centenary year and on the anniversary of Concorde’s final flight, British Airways is proud to announce a partnership with Aston Martin, with a limited-edition sports car that honors the supersonic aircraft.

The luxury British car manufacturer has created the DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition. Launching in October 2020 each vehicle will feature titanium from compressor blades that were used across British Airways’ supersonic fleet.

Each model will have a unique CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) approved registration number and British Airways’ iconic Chatham Flag tailfin has been incorporated into the striking design. The exterior features a bespoke painted livery in the airline’s red, white and blue colors, and a black tinted carbon fibre roof emblazoned with Concorde’s streamlined silhouette.

The paddle shifters will be made from the original Concorde metal and a Mach Meter graphic will be embroidered on the driver’s sun side visor; some of the many carefully judged design features that have been incorporated to celebrate the remarkable achievements of this aircraft.

Strictly limited to just 10 examples and priced at £321,350, all will be available to purchase exclusively from Aston Martin Bristol. On November 26, 2003, Alpha Foxtrot, the last ever Concorde to be built, touched down for the final time at RAF Filton, which is just three miles from where the cars will be sold and home to one of the 10 Concordes that were made in Britain.

Parts of the proceeds from the sale of each individual car will be donated to the Air League Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches under privileged children how to fly and work in engineering. In June 2020, British Airways and Aston Martin Bristol, in partnership with the Air League Trust, will run a week-long scholarship programme for young people at Cranfield University – funded by proceeds from the cars. This builds on British Airways’ BA 2119: Future of Fuels initiative, which the airline partnered with Cranfield University on earlier this year.

The bespoke inspection plaque will be signed by Alex Cruz and Aston Martin Lagonda’s CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, before the limited-edition cars are handed over to their buyers next year.

Video:

British Airways’ first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner route to be to Atlanta

British Airways has made this announcement:

British Airways has today announced that it will take delivery of its first brand new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner in January 2020, with its first route being Atlanta in February next year.

This state-of-the-art, 787-10 aircraft has a carbon fibre fuselage which allows the pressure to be maintained at a lower level in the cabin. The internal cabin altitude is the equivalent of 6,000ft, offering a better level of humidity, reducing the drying effect of the cabin air, so customers arrive feeling more refreshed. The aircraft is also more fuel efficient and quieter than its predecessors.

The four-class aircraft will feature an exclusive eight seat First cabin, with the airline’s newest First seat which is currently also available on its 787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft comes fitted with British Airways’ recently unveiled business class seat Club Suite, in a 48-seat forward-facing Club World cabin. The World Traveller Plus cabin will offer 35 seats and the World Traveller cabin, 165.

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: “The delivery of our first 787-10 aircraft marks another significant milestone in our £6.5bn customer investment plan. The aircraft delivers a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the aircraft it replaces, another step towards our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  It will also offer greater comfort for our customers, as it features our latest generation seats in all cabins.”

Initially created specifically for the Boeing 787-9, the airline’s latest generation First suites have been meticulously designed based on our customers’ feedback, the cabin puts comfort at the heart of the experience and makes the very best use of the more intimate space. The suite includes a fixed 23-inch high definition inflight entertainment screen that can be controlled with handset, that is integrated into the seat from which customers can change channels or watch the moving map.

The airline’s sophisticated Club Suite offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40 per cent more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, WiFi, enviable 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and PC / USB power; every aspect of British Airways’ Club Suite has been designed for today’s customer.

British Airways will take delivery of 12 787-10 Dreamliner’s, with six arriving in 2020.

All photos by British Airways.

British Airways becomes the first airline to use AI and video technology to improve punctuality

Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways

British Airways has made this announcement:

  • Customers flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 can expect a faster getaway as British Airways employs latest artificial intelligence and wearable tech for staff preparing aircraft to depart
  • Intelligent software captures every moment from when aircraft arrive at the airport until they depart to help spot areas to improve punctuality
  • British Airways remains at the forefront of airport innovation, with biometric technology and autonomous, driverless vehicles also being trialled by the airline

In the latest phase of its £6.5 billion investment for customers, British Airways has introduced advanced neural networks, known as artificial intelligence, to its airside operation at Heathrow Terminal 5 to help its people ensure every flight departs safely and on time.

Currently, when customers disembark an aircraft, British Airways’ ground staff manually check and record the details of eighteen different activities that need to be completed before the plane can depart for its next flight – including thorough cleaning of the aircraft interiors, unloading and reloading of catering, luggage and cargo and refuelling. An issue affecting just one of these tasks has the potential to disrupt the entire process and delay the flight’s departure.

Now, using a network of cameras set up around the aircraft stand by technology start-up Assaia, an alumni of British Airways’ parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 start-up accelerator programme, artificial intelligence is employed to compare live footage of the complex turnaround process with the proposed schedule. If the technology detects any issues that could put the aircraft at risk of a delay, an alert is sent to the manager in charge of the turn within seconds via a smart watch, informing them of the issue and empowering them to take action to get the flight back on track.

In this first stage of the trial, British Airways and Assaia have installed four cameras on three stands at Heathrow Terminal 5 and as well as reducing delays, the airline is also able to collect data on every aircraft turn to help make its entire operation more efficient.

British Airways’ Director of Airports, Raghbir S. Pattar, said: “British Airways operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow; we run a highly complex operation so efficient turnarounds are critical to ensure all 145,000 customers travelling through our home hub every day enjoy a punctual departure.

“Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving area of technology and I’m thrilled that we’re the first airline in the world to harness it to further improve our customers’ journeys through the airport. We are the most punctual of the major short-haul airlines flying out of London and our commitment to introducing the latest technology to complement our outstanding customer service is how we will maintain our position at the top. We’re excited to introduce even more smart, tech-based solutions in 2020.”

“Our entire team is really excited to be working with British Airways – an airline that is prioritising innovation and sees the value of AI-powered solutions” said Max Diez, CEO, Assaia International. “We’re eager to work with the airline to maximise the potential that the technology has to improve operations.”

 

British Airways upgrades its Johannesburg first class lounge

British Airways has unveiled its latest lounge refurbishment in Johannesburg as part of its £6.5 billion investment for customers.

The lounge, based in O.R. Tambo International Airport, has undergone significant refurbishment with the new and improved space being converted into one large lounge with a dedicated boutique dining area for First customers. Guests will enjoy a warm welcome and a place to relax or work prior to their departure from Johannesburg to London Heathrow.

The carefully curated lounge follows a new design concept for the airline, which debuted in 2018, and features the very best of British and South African design, delivering a luxurious and contemporary look and feel.

The 880 square metre lounge can host up to 247 customers and offers a modern lobby bar area for socialising, a brasserie dining area and office space with ample work stations with power outlets. A peaceful, separate seating area with a mix of elegant armchairs and banquette seating is available for those who wish to recharge ahead of their journey with complementary magazines and newspapers.

Zoned areas in the lounge will enable guests to choose what area they would like to relax in depending on their mood, with a music system and bespoke playlist. Lighting has been carefully planned by zone and dimmable to reflect the time of day.

The new lobby bar, illuminated by brand new feature lighting, is stocked with a tempting display of spirits, beers and soft drinks together with a selection of fine wines. New kitchen facilities offer an enhanced dining menu of hot and cold options including Cape Malay curry, fresh seasonal salads, mezze, local charcuterie and Indezi river cheeses. First Boutique Dining offers a pre-flight a-la-carte menu carefully curated by the in-house chef, complemented by an extensive wine list.

Every detail has been carefully designed and we’ve created a space to meet our customers’ needs – whether they want to relax with a hot meal, work in peace or enjoy a drink at the lobby bar, the lounge will get their travels off to the best start.”

British Airways has this year completed the renovation of its First and Club lounges in New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements to the customer experience at check-in, which are currently underway. A brand-new, contemporary lounge has also been unveiled in San Francisco, spread across 665 square metres with fantastic views of the runway. Further investment is planned with a new British Airways lounge in Geneva, which is also set to open in 2019.

The refurbished Johannesburg lounge comes as the airline is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.  This year the airline has also introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access.

British Airways is testing driverless bag vehicles at London Heathrow

British Airways has made this announcement:

As part of its ongoing £6.5bn investment for customers, British Airways is trialling autonomous, emissions-free baggage vehicles at its home at Heathrow Airport, to help the airline further improve punctuality and depart every flight on time.

British Airways currently operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow, transporting around 75,000 bags back and forth between its baggage halls and aircraft.

Now, in what is believed to be a world first, the airline, in conjunction with Heathrow Airport and autonomous vehicle specialist, Aurrigo, is trialling driverless baggage vehicles, which are known as dollies.

Carrying up to 40 bags in one journey, the driverless dollies use the latest navigating technology to memorise the airfield to determine the shortest route to transport luggage. Unlike the current vehicles, the new autonomous dollies will depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, speeding up the aircraft loading process. In addition to improving operational efficiency, the trial also forms part of the airline’s wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free airside operation.

British Airways’ Director of Airports, Raghbir Pattar, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve efficiency and modernise our operation to ensure that we are delivering bags to and from our aircraft on time and without delay.”

If successful, the dollies could transport customers’ baggage to and from the aircraft by 2021.

British Airways already operates emissions-free remote-controlled Mototok vehicles at Heathrow to pushback all of its short-haul flights and is trialling the devices for long-haul flights. These vehicles are powered by Heathrow’s 100% renewable electricity supply saving 7,400 tonnes of C02 every year compared to traditional baggage tugs. The airline also operates environmentally-friendly electric taxis to transport premium transiting customers between their arriving and departing flights.

British Airways reveals refreshed lounge at Milan Linate Airport

British Airways has made this announcement:

As Linate Airport in Milan re-opens, British Airways has unveiled its new, refreshed lounge look.

The Linate lounge, which is open to eligible customers travelling from today, includes a new look reception where customers will receive a warm welcome.

A brighter environment, new seating and powered hub tables in the new office layout provide the perfect working conditions, while those who want to make the most of their downtime can enjoy enhanced dining options including the introduction of hot dishes in the refurbished dining area.

Brand new British-made Boss armchairs, specifically designed for British Airways, are complemented by relaxing, decorative lighting by UK based Tyson lighting. Adapting the lounge design to the location, high quality Italian finishes are used, including terrazzo stone flooring and Carrara marble.

British Airways has this year completed the renovation of its First and Club lounges in New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements to the customer experience at check-in, which are currently underway. A brand-new, contemporary lounge has also been unveiled in San Francisco, spread across 665 square metres with fantastic views of the runway. Further investment is planned with new British Airways lounges in South Africa and Geneva, which are set to open in 2019.

The refreshed Linate lounge comes as the airline is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.  This year the airline has also introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access.