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BA cabin crew trial iPads to improve customer service

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22nd Aug 2011
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Cabin crew at British Airways are to trial the use of Apple iPads in the air as the UK's flag carrier airline looks to the technology to try and improve customer service.

The iPads will allow 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, the airline says. The iPad lets crew quickly identify where each customer is seated, who they are travelling 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. The tablets will replace the current system whereby cabin crew are handed a 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. Bill Francis, British Airways’ head of inflight customer experience, said: “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.” 

The iPad is currently being trialled with 100 cabin crew with the aim to roll it out to all senior crew members across the airline in the coming months.

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