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British Airways Flight Attendants Using iPads to Improve Customer Service

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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. (www.macrumors.com) More...

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danishnelson
Danish Nelson 0
I was on British Airways only about a month ago and I did not see any IPad's. If anyone can, please tell me when the started the program.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
I believe if you read the article again you will see this JUST started at BA and was instituted because of Delta's initiative.
tlillis4
Mr. Nelson - Big deal, I was on a British Airways flight last year and I did not see any customer service.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
A great move forward. Now for the U.S. carriers cabin crew. Manual and cabin service in one small bundle!
rick737
richard weiss 0
Instead of an Ipad, the FA's should try an ocassional smile
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Oooh, here's one misoginystic character. Give all of us something to smile AT. Although I give 100% in trying to make my pax welcome, at the end of the day, my job is to save your ass, not kiss it.
blend69
Jon Harwood 0
All those old BA crinklies in first won't manage iPads
Hope their screen defaults to a smiley face... you know just to remind them to do it from time to time......
rick737
richard weiss 0
It's not my job to save yours either, but I will still smile at you. Let me guess, you work for United?
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Keep guessing. Saving ours means you're saving yours. Guess who is usually the first off the A/C? Sully was an exception. And he started at my former carrier.
blend69
Jon Harwood 0
No I am not in the airline business, but I travel a huge amount with both BA and (much more preferred) Emirates... I just love the A380 up front :) Problem is BA staff have been around a bit too long and it just does nothing for their image... it's the strength of their pension scheme over passenger service.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
I would say it has more to do with Emirates and their employee policies which would be illegal here in the U.S. or in GB.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 0
Since I'm "flying the flag" next week with BA, I'll let you all know how it goes, iPads and cabin service!

Don't forget, BA are an established, international airline and they are SUPPOSED to provide service as well as safety. That is precisely what sets airlines apart! They all tout safety and saving asses because they are MANDATED to do so and it's common sense anyway. The service provided (or lack thereof) is what gets you your customers and retains them and essentially pays your salaries and bennies. Some folks forget that little premise and perhaps, shouldn't be in the job if they don't like it or cannot hack it.

If you treat your employees with respect and have good morale, that will reflect on the customers and the airline's bottom line. If you don't, then, well, we all know how that part goes.............

On the other hand, I do appreciate that cabin crew have to handle a lot of situations with pax that goes way beyond the call. Nevertheless, politeness and a smile goes a long way. Sully is spot on and that's why he's retired. Also, why I'm out of the game too!

And that is why people have CHOICES on who to fly.....or not, as the case may be.

Standby for the report....I may be surprised.

An airline veteran (flight crew & pax service) and seasoned global traveller.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Whenever my FA's would whine and complain about the customers, I would listen intently and sympathically. If it when on too long, I would say "yah, this flight attendant job would really be great if it weren't for all those customers." Something to think about Tracy.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Yes, and I guess your job would be great if it weren't for your co-workers, many of whom have been in the profession for 30 years and more. If you're a pilot, it's like living in a glass house. I've heard your gossip as well. You also have that door between you and the passengers. In the last 10 years it has become our obligation to protect that door against breach, with our lives. Something to think about, Richard.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Tracy, If you don't like the job, quit it or quit the complaining. You make yourself sound trivial and small.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
"Trivial and small?" Hmm.. just gave me a great mental image. :-) Back at ya, Richard.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Just break out the toys, Tracy. You don't need a man.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Wow, I've been really outclassed! Richard, you're a master of showing your most eloquent, thoughtful, and articulate side.
rick737
richard weiss 0
There you go with the flattery again. It will get you nowhere.
vkgarry
Garry Parker 0
Back to your corners, kids.

As a service industry employee, I strive to give my guests the best service possible. I also have the luxury of showing the occasional jerk the door. And, as tempting as it is, I understand that F/A's don't have that option.

If iPads help flight crews with their efficiency, more power to them. IMO, I'd rather have a middle-aged F/A who knows what they're doing to a flying model from a Middle Eastern or Asian carrier. My safety takes priority WAY over what's on the menu. But as long as the flying public demands lower and lower airfares, they'll get what they pay for.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Well said, Garry.
rick737
richard weiss 0
Garry, No one is arguing that crew experience isn't important. I too have had the pleasure of showing the door to a few jack a$$ passengers. I placed the safety of my crews at the top of the priority list, because they are the ones who will save everyones butt. I just doesn't hurt for FA's to under to remember they can make or break a customers trip. The "I'm here to save your ass, not kiss it" attitude goes a long way in destroying customer loyality. 30 Ipads per airplane will not replace the human touch to service.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Well, we have seen the conversation veer from the initial post informing us of the new tool to hopefully facilitate customer service; much like the iPads that flight deck crews on a couple of airlines are now testing, to the personalities of the cabin crew. I advocate finding out about the technology and discovering its potential. I agree with you. Let's stick to the topic. There is plenty of finger pointing to go around, off-topic.
I'm very interested to see how the iPads perform as a time saving and accuracy system. There is still be a device used to enter sales of liquor, duty-free, meals, movies, seat upgrades, etc. and reconcile the sales of these add-ons. I look forward to a time when the two technologies can be integrated. At this rate, it could happen soon!
Minto31
Ian Murray 0
Why use i-pads, when I took a blue and white aeroplane from the Netherlands to the U.K. the Purser used a piece of paper with all the pax names on it, he knew my status as a passenger and had time to talk. I have also travelled and the Cabin crew had their manifest and made announcements, to ask were passengers were seated, as these passengers had requested special meals. By using these 'toys' instead of paper, are we saving the trees whilst adding our big carbon footprint to the sky ? Just my Euros worth
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
I wish it were that simple any more. Along with the passenger's information and requests, there is inventory and sales tracking, along with financial reconciliation, coupled with the requirement to pair or send the flight info on to in-flight, catering, marketing, or whatever department wants the information.

We do have pax manifests, even on shorter trips and they can be valuable assistance, but limited as to information sharing. It used to work quite well in (the good old) days gone by, when we also had fewer seats and more time to chat with our guests.
Minto31
Ian Murray 0
Thanks Tracy, good honest answer
rick737
richard weiss 0
The human factor of customer service is still being ignored. All of the extra duties assigned to the FA's seems to have taken a priority position to making the customer happy. This is a mess. What's more important, satisfying the computer or satisfying the customer
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
You're absolutely right. What would you do about it?
rick737
richard weiss 0
First, I must say that FA attitude was on it's way down hill many years ago. It became the group think for them to become indifferent to customer concerns. As a result of customer complaints, management tried to fix the problem without addressing the root of the problem. Until the managers understand the culture of indifference is the problem, Ipads will just be a paper weight.

Think about a server in a restaurant that has been loaded up with computer duties. They are forced to spend too much time loading the data and not serving the needs to the customer. Give an FA an Ipad and the same syndrone will appear.

It's corporate culture that needs to be fixed, not adding another layer of stuff to do.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
@Richard, It's really unnecessary for you to begin the last response in said manner. It's clear we can't have a conversation without your pointing your finger at the flight attendants. It's also becoming apparent there's something personal at issue.

Dissatisfaction is rampant among the ranks of employees across the board. Since I first began my career as a flight attendant in 1968, leaving in 1979 and beginning again this year, there have been many changes in the aviation industry.

One of the changes apparent to me is the relocation closer to the floor of exit lights, and the strip of path illumination along the aisles, guiding passengers to the exits. Lives had been lost post-crash due to passenger's inability to locate the exits due to smoke in the cabin. Those two improvements are among several that flight attendants through their union officials and safety committees, fought to attain for years, against airline and ATA protests, to have FAA mandated. It has finally happened.

Since flight attendants are now also performing the duties of a host of ground workers, I am all for the in-cabin iPads, (like the iPads so desired by the fight deck crews) if they make our duties more efficient and accurate. This test period should help make that determination.
rick737
richard weiss 0
There's nothing personal or vindictive in my observation of FA performance. I don't care which airline the FA works for. It's the trend of bad attitude that I report. Don't take it personally Tracy, anymore than I took your attack on pilots in an earlier post personally. Simply said, it would be a good time for the crews to remember that the pax pay salaries, not the airline. Ipads will not change attitudes. People change attitudes.
scrippsgirl
Tracy Sear 0
Great subject for another thread. I'd like to hear more about the subject of this one. Does anyone have any first-hand experience they'd like to share, with the use of the iPad in business a portable business and/or inventory application? How does data back-up work for you? Is it kept on the server?

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