Tablet used in aviation sector

Ipad, BA, British Airways, customer service, africa, ipad 2, cabin crew

British Airways (BA) cabin crew are using the latest Apple iPad 2 model to bring a new dimension to customer service in the air


The iPad is currently being trialed with 100 cabin crew, some on African routes, with the aim to roll it out to all senior crew members across the airline in the coming months.

The iPads enable cabin crew to have prior awareness of customer preferences and a greater understanding of each customer’s previous travel arrangements, allowing them to offer a truly bespoke, personalised service and does away with the reams of paper print-outs that stewards and stewardesses usually have to deal with.


Customer needs

The lightweight iPad lets crews quickly identify where each customer is seated, who they are traveling with, their Executive Club status and any special meal requests. It gives cabin crew a whole library of information at their fingertips including timetables, safety manuals and customer service updates. It also means any issues can be logged with ground-based colleagues around the network prior to departure so solutions can be delivered while the flight is airborne.

When all the passengers have boarded and just before the doors are shut, cabin crew are currently handed a long scroll of paper, listing up to 337 customers. With the new iPads cabin crew will simply refresh their screen when the doors have closed through wireless 3G networks and they will have a complete list of passengers on board.


Future developments

It is believed that BA is the first carrier to provide tablets to cabin crews. Bill Francis, BAs’ head of inflight customer experience, says: “The iPad is already allowing us to offer a more personalised onboard service, but the possibilities for future development are endless. We’re receiving great feedback from cabin crew and customers already. It allows the crew to offer the thoughtful service they want to deliver and customers are treated as valued guests.”

Interestingly, BA’s chief executive Keith Williams, had held a variety of senior management roles before he joined BA in 1998, served as treasurer for Apple Computers (Europe), based in Paris, between 1991 and 1996.

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