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British Airways Boeing 787-9 Banking out of Heathrow. (Photo: James Dinsdale | AirlineGeeks)

British Airways Announces Sustainability Customer Service Initiatives

British Airways has announced a number of customer experience enhancements across its network both in the air and on the ground. Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said, “We’re committed to ensuring we deliver a premium proposition for our customers throughout their journey with us and when we do so, we need to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of it.”

The enhancements include the creation of plant-based menus to provide for a wider customer choice. Initially, these additions will be implemented at the airline’s lounges at London Heathrow before being introduced to lounges in the U.S. The airline will also be taking the initiative to remove all plastic water bottles from U.K. lounges in the next month and replace them with glass. A broader strategy of removing single-use plastics from all aspects of the airline’s operation is also underway.

Last September the airline introduced its sustainability program ‘BA Better World’ to accomplish net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to the airline ‘, this includes improving operational efficiency, investing in more efficient aircraft, funding carbon offset and removal projects to mitigate emissions on UK domestic flights and progressively introducing sustainable aviation fuels using waste feedstocks. In the medium to longer-term it is continuing to invest in the development and scale-up of sustainable aviation fuel and looking at how it can help accelerate the growth of new technologies such as zero-emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft and carbon capture technology.’

In further news, British Airways has signaled a number of customer service initiatives to address elements of dissatisfaction that have arisen in the last several years. City A.M. reported chief executive Sean Doyle spoke directly to customers by stating: “We know that for many months now, we’ve been asking you to be patient with us. Patient while we bring multiple aircraft back from airfields around the world. Patient while we rebuild our network, retrain and recruit people to serve you better, and patient while we deal with the thousands of customers that need our help.”

“To be frank, we’ve been moving from one set of restrictions to another and the amount of change we’ve been dealing with over the past couple of years from week to week has been relentless,” he said. This had unsurprisingly led to pressure on the airline’s communications channels and so an upgraded phone system is in the works.

In further positive developments changes made to British Airways’ short-haul onboard service offering during the pandemic will continue. In an email, to the airline’s frequent flyers Mr. Doyle said, “You’ve told us you appreciate the complimentary water and snacks we’ve been offering on short-haul flights in our Euro Traveller cabin, so we’ll be continuing with these too.”

Mr. Stevens stated, “We want to create an even better British Airways and know that we need to keep making changes to the customer experience with things like alternative menus, reducing plastics and introducing new technology to get us to where we want to be.”

Author

  • John has always had a passion for aviation and through a career with Air New Zealand has gained a strong understanding of aviation operations and the strategic nature of the industry. During his career with the airline, John held multiple leadership roles and was involved in projects such as the introduction of both the 777-200 and -300 type aircraft and the development of the IFE for the 777-300. He was also part of a small team who created and published the internal communications magazines for Air New Zealand’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff balancing a mix of corporate and social content. John is educated to postgraduate level achieving a masters degree with Distinction in Airline and Airport Management. John is currently the course director of an undergraduate commercial pilot training programme at a leading London university. In addition he is contracted as an external instructor for IATA (International Air Transport Association) and a member of the Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Tomorrow’ panel.

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