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British Airways Customer Service

November 14th, 2009

british-airways-flight-service.jpgAlthough derided by some members of the public as “Bloody Awful”, British Airways is nevertheless one of the primary methods of air travel to and from the UK. This article by Ritika Roy describes what he sees as some of the more favorable attributes of this particular company. If you have had any experience with British Airways customer service, you can register your opinions and suggestions in the comment section below.


British Airways is the largest international airline of the United Kingdom and currently services flights to more than 500 destinations all over the world. The airline is well known for their international recognitions, high standards, and especially the best customer services. In addition to offering flights, the airline maintains its status among the airline industry through a workforce that offers outstanding service levels and commitment to working in a professional manner.

Health of customers:

British Airways prides itself on paying more attention to the well-being and health of its customers than the average airline company. They offer advice to customers regarding health requirements before, during, and after their travel. When it comes to health issues, they request medical clearance certificates from the customers if the fitness to travel is in doubt. They have developed a guide to help travelers recover and manage from jetlag in collaboration with sleep experts. The staff also offers good sleep guidance while in travel and gives separate guidelines for the people coming under the following categories:

  1. Disability assistance for people with disability.
  2. Guidance for diabetics.
  3. Travelling while pregnant.
  4. Travelling with medical equipment or medicines.
  5. Flying after an operation or an illness.

Monitoring of Customer Satisfaction:

The people at British Airways monitor the satisfaction of the customers on all major routes across their network, subsidiaries, and franchises. Every year they take a survey on the topic of customer satisfaction, and based on the responses they have made improvements to their services in the following ways:

  1. Technical development has been made to provide customers with greater control and flexibility regarding check-in and ticket booking.
  2. Improvement has been made on service routines for long flight routes.
  3. Development has been made in the customized meal service options on key routes.
  4. Improvement has been made in the methods of handling the complaints received from customers such that these are handled as early as possible.
  5. Cost effective meal options have been developed.

Reasons for the success of British Airways:

The success of British Airways can be attributed to the best service they provide to their passengers with value added services like special lounges, extended leg room for travelers within their economy class cabins, and onboard catering service. In addition to the above mentioned services, several other conveniences are provided to the travelers for easy check-in including valet services, telephone check-ins, flight schedules, and information on important destinations. There is also an online portal containing several features that enable the passengers to check personal bookings.



6 Responses to “British Airways Customer Service”

  1. comment number 1 by: John Dainton

    I have now reached the end of my tether concerning the BA service provided to its “customers”, who are in fact passengers. This follows a decline in passenger service over three decades, which since the arrival of your present CEO, has now descended to the level where the company’s vision is totally schizophrenic and confused. As a shareholder, and as a former passenger, I would like to know why the view of the future of BA should be one of severe contraction in the face of international and national competition, when major competitors, such as Lufthansa, are presumably solvent, operating from at least two national hubs. Moreover they do so in an alliance which leaves them able to sell tickets for single hops from their hubs to many more destinations than BA.

    BA claims to be the UK flag carrier, yet it is unable to provide the quality or scope of service that such a label requires. The reason we are told is that it is into cost-cutting, which in fact has been the message since way before the recession arrived, indicating that the airline business model is to cut operations rather than invest. This according to your voluble CEO is because the airline business has become extremely competitive. His reaction (and I am a shareholder) is to take the view that the national flag carrier should have nothing to do with inter-UK flights (you pay FlyBE to take on routes, which you call selling them the routes), that the national carrier will operate a Manchester-LHR service with the sole intent of connecting passengers into its internationals services at its LHR hub, while it cuts back on international routes from LHR (having also eliminated them from Manchester direct), and that some of its initiatives in the last few years haven’t exactly been a great success. On top of its customer service is now non-existent (my daughter travelling with two children under the age of four received recently absolutely no assistance on a MAN-LHR flight connecting to a LHR-Delhi flight plus complication at LHR concerning having to leave airside in the much vaunted T5 - the staff at MAN and LHR even say that they are instructed not to assist, and that “she had a choice in choosing airline and should have known” - she has noted this and will not fly again with BA, thereby reducing further the chance that my, and many others’, shares will be of any value in the future).

    There is something fundamentally wrong with the way BA has developed under the present senior management team. As a shareholder I want good functionality so that I have a good and competitive airline, and I don’t want a short term vision based on no more than return to shareholders annually. It takes time to build up the reputation that will keep passengers wanting to fly on BA and therefore will optimise for my investment in the company, and it takes only a few years to lose that reputation for reasons of pure short-termism.

    I would suggest that someone on the BA board instruct someone else to take a good hard look at why BA is manifestly failing because of the present strategy of downsizing based on short termism. In doing so the board should know why under the present CEO BA is slipping so badly while the Star Alliance partners are doing less badly, perhaps even now well, in the same competitive global environment, following for example Lufthansa’s expansion with Swiss and its obviously far more imaginative approach to operation in the face of its international competitors. As we come out of the recession, I see that again the UK will not be in a position to compete with an up-front airline on the global stage, also having lost any passenger loyalty based on real travel experience. In short BA will have achieved its misplaced vision under its present management, namely the Aer Lingus of the second smallest, European, offshore island, worth relatively little to anyone who may be interested.

    I expect this grouse will fall on deaf ears, or ears which will not transmit its message to the Chair, or at least some of the membership, of the Board. This doesn’t surprise me because it is nowadays also impossible to penetrate the BA management to get explanations for the sometimes rude and unhelpful service that one experiences. The airline executive is thereby also shielding itself from its angry former clientelle, reinforcing its delusion that it is doing what is right, and thereby not having reason to report to the Board the real state of the future potential of BA, namely as the Aer Lingus of the UK.

    But it could also be that someone will contact me who also feels the same way, and that we could start a ball rolling for the better … ?

  2. comment number 2 by: Mr D.G. KENNEDY

    British Air customer relations and management have not been forth right in replying to a complaint that took place October 18th/09 and again November 18th/09 twice on the same day. It’s been a up hill battle with them since day one, NO ONE THERE WANTS TO TAKE RESPONSABLY in replying.
    This is in-excuessable and deploreable practise by them. They don’t care at all to their paying customers. Dissatisfied traveller with British Airlines

  3. comment number 3 by: Mr D.G. KENNEDY

    Alitalia is no better with it’s Customer Relation as they have also have not been forth right on replying to a complaint of November 6th and November 18th/09 THEY DON’T WANT TO RESPOND ALSO AFTER MANY ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT THEM. THIS IS IN-EXCUESSABLE AND DEPLOREABLE PRACTISE ON THEIR PART. Dissatisfied traveller with Alitalia.

  4. comment number 4 by: Wesley Jones

    I have been calling the prescribed number and emailing regarding my concern about the baggage that was damaged while flying British Air for the past month and a half. I made the report to BA when I obtained my baggage at JFK on Feb. 15, 2010. I have yet to be able to talk with a live person or have my email responded to. The baggage that was damaged beyond repair was a brand new Swiss Army large bag. Two of the wheels were completely broken off. The file reference number provided me by BA was JFKBA18584, it continues to come up as not registered in the system.

    I would rate your customer service as the worse I have ever encoutnered in the airline industry when considering responding to customer concerns. I would appreciate being able to talk with someone regarding the replacewment of my luggage. Please call the following number to contact me, 620 341 0283.

    Dr. Wes Jones

  5. comment number 5 by: Chandrakant Kamdar

    British Airways has no operational office in India despite of the fact that India is one of their important operating centres. For Executive club members to redeem the miles the customer has to travel on the most inconvenient flight that is pending two days just to travel by daytime flight only. British airways call it executive club member while treating them just opposite.

    I would call all such frequent flier program as eye wash and nothing but anti-customer oriented.

    The site does not have any email address where one can bring such matters to their authorities

  6. comment number 6 by: A. Chandrasekaran

    I have sent in a complaint of roof leaking above head (Have you heard of!!!)in world Traveller upgraded class of BA flight from London to Bangalore on Oct.2010. Since there was no reply when I contacted, I was told that they have not received my complaint at all. When sent the complaint again till to-date there is no reply.

    Recently my wife and myself had really bitter experience with BA flights from Phoenix, Arizona, USA to Bangalore, India via Heathrow, London.
    We both have been confirmed wheel chair assistance all the way ( I am a heart patient having had Bye pass surgery and my wife had Total Knee replacement of both legs). We never neither got the wheelchair assistance nor any other help, not even in collecting checked in baggage. The inflight service was also worst as one could imagine. I have sent again my complaint but I wonder whether they will acknowledge the receipt of my complain - Hard copies!

    SO ONE HAS TO BE REALLY WISE TO AVOID BA!!!!!!!!!!

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