BA arms cabin crew with iPads to 'revolutionise' customer service

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Apple's highly popular iPad tablet is finding its way into the hands of British Airways' cabin crew, who are using the latest model to "revolutionise" the carrier's customer service by providing a personalised experience to passengers.

"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," said BA.

"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."

The carrier is currently trialling the devices with 100 cabin crew, with the aim to roll it out to all senior crew members across the airline in the coming months. However, it believes "the possibilities for future development are endless", said BA head of in-flight customer experience Bill Francis.

"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."

BA, meanwhile, is reported to be using the iPad as a portable in-flight entertainment system, distributing the devices to first class passengers on select Boeing 777 aircraft as part of a trial.