British Airways has had more than its fair share of criticism in the last couple of years. The airline has recently had to row back on its seemingly never-ending cost-cutting drives, announcing a £4.5 billion investment plan to finally make the customer experience that little bit better.
At one point, many observers wondered how far the airline would go – With the decision to cut complimentary food and drinks for Economy passengers on short-haul flights one of its most controversial moves to date. But that was just one of many “enhancements” Britsh Airways has made in the past couple of years that drove passengers wild.
But perhaps it was the massive IT meltdown in May 2017 which really hurt BA’s reputation more than anything. More than 75,000 passengers were left stranded when an engineer accidentally damaged computer servers which took down the airline’s reservations system and other critical services worldwide.
While BA said the engineer’s actions were unauthorised and had nothing to do with cost-cutting, its response was definitely lacking. Passengers complained of a dearth of information coming from BA’s customer service staff. It took days to rebook many of those passengers stranded and even loner to repatriate their luggage.
To add insult to injury, British Airways initially published confusing and inaccurate information about its legal compensation obligations. Claims took weeks to process and many were turned down incorrectly. Managers eventually admitted they were wrong and promised they would learn lessons from the incident.
So it’s probably no surprise that British Airways is looking to “transform” the way it delivers customer care. And now we know the airline is searching for an “exceptional” customer care manager who will be responsible for the departments £30 million annual budget.
British Airways says it is in the process of “transforming our customer care capability.” The new person will have their work cut out for them. BA wants to deliver a comprehensive change programme in order to “establish seamless and effortless service for customers.” That should be music to the ears of anyone who has been stuck on hold waiting for a BA agent to answer their call!
The focus it appears is to bring BA’s creaking customer care IT platforms bang up to date.
In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways said:
“As a premium airline, we’re always looking at new ways to look after our customers and offer them the best possible and highest quality levels of service.”
“Over the next five years, we are investing £4.5 billion for our customers, installing the best quality WiFi on our aircraft, taking delivery of 72 new aircraft, fitting out 128 of our long-haul aircraft with new interiors and providing every customer with power at their seat.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.