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British Airways University Project

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British Airways University Project

Old 5th Feb 2014, 19:14
  #1 (permalink)  
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Post British Airways University Project

Hey everyone, thank you for taking the time in reading my thread, much is appreciated. I am doing a Final year project at University. I am an Aircraft Engineering Student and my final year project is aimed at customer service.

I will write up a report that can help show, how can British Airways (BA) improve the customer service/experience of their passengers in both an in-flight and on ground perspective. I need to write 10,000 words (yup its a lot)!.

The project is aimed at Longhaul sectors and how other airlines (5 star airlines) maybe provide something better to their passengers than BA. I understand cost is a big factor but I dont want to base it solely on cost.

I would appreciate if you guys could help me in just ideas.

- What is passenger satisfaction?
- What is important for you as a passenger when travelling?
- Would you pay more for quality?
- Do different passengers have different expectations, i.e, business class passengers are after respect and on-time performance where an economy passsenger may not be fussed with time.


When talking about ground services, what things can I talk about. I have a lot already but I need to somehow compare them with other airlines. Some examples are lounges, baggage allowances etc.
yuyubm is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2014, 21:27
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Hi,

I'll give you my thoughts, and I assume that this will be related to aircraft engineering in some way? If so you could easily break it down into two sub-sections, aircraft engineering/maintenance (the heavy stuff that jepps things turning) and cabin engineering, ie the glossy product.

I'd also suggest that safety is a given today, and in terms of passenger preference, unless an airline has made numerous headlines or is blacklisted, safety doesn't feature very highly as it is assumed. Saying that, in the context of BA, the brand does carry a certain kudos wrt safety, particularly with their 'To fly, to serve' motto.

How do you degine a 5 star airline? Skytrax? In terms of engineering, the Middle East and Far East airlines tend to have newer aircraft and a flashier product. They also tend to serve a wider range of destinations. It's all about cost. Lower overheads in the ME, more favourable socio-political climate, a lack of shareholders to placate = a more efficient operating environment and hence lower costs.

- What is passenger satisfaction?
The most for the least. Whether that be best service, minimal connections, good flight times, best cabin, legroom, entertainment etc. Price is dominant. Generally.

- What is important for you as a passenger when travelling?
Me? Comfort & OTP.

- Would you pay more for quality?
No. I'd pay more for convenience. Minimal connections, flight times particular to my preferred time of departure or arrival. Going back to safety, I'd opt to avoid certain airlines, but I'm not sure that's representative of the hoi polloi.

- Do different passengers have different expectations, i.e, business class passengers are after respect and on-time performance where an economy passsenger may not be fussed with time.

When you start moving up the cabins, price plays less of a part. Product, flyer miles, timings & connections are more important. I would assume everybody wants to be treated with respect! Everybody expects the airlines to fly on or pretty damn close to schedule.

The above is a bit machine gun, but hope it helps. Not sure you can isolate longhaul wrt BA, as it, and the carriers I think you wish to compare it to, are all about network feed, and thus the experience extends beyond the cabin/shiny aircraft. I think you should focus your title a bit more, as it stands I don't think 10000 words would cover your subject. I think a lengthy analysis would probably conclude that for BA to do much more to improve would require a serious shift in the politics of the UK!

Some thoughts to consider:
Why did BA sponsor Qatar Airways into OneWorld?
Why will the decision on the expansion/replacement of LHR continue to drag?
Why is Dubai about to overtake Heathrow as the busiest international airport?
Why did Qantas pull out of their JSA with BA?
Why has IAG pulled the plug on GSS and outsourced to Qatar Airways?
Calmcavok is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2014, 09:42
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From my perspective, I will not travel BA J class longhaul while they continue to have backward and forward facing seats. I do not like that layout at all. In terms of "compare and contrast" I think EK, with whom I travel enough to hold a Silver Card, have done an ace job on the upper deck of the A380. I have not been on a BA A380 but I hear from others that have that their premium product on that aircraft is nothing special. I personally think that were it not for the massive pulling power of the BA Executive Club, their J loads would have suffered as I don't know anyone who likes the BA J class config.
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Old 18th Feb 2014, 17:36
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Thank you very much for the responses so far. I appreciate it very much.

After carrying out further research and seeing that the top-end scale of airlines (mainly Middle Eastern airlines), pump more money for their premium passengers by having suites on-board etc., what other way is there of enhancing customer experience and satisfaction without going extreme.

Would tackling basic common reported complaints be a good start, i.e. solving as many common problems to do with leg space. Would this slowly increase and boost BA's reputation.

Thank you very much @CALMCAVOK , you have amazing points.
yuyubm is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2014, 19:23
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For the economy passenger various things are important: -
  • On time arrival
  • Boarding time is early enough so that there is not a scrum to board and the captain does not have to nag us to sit down otherwise we will miss our slot
  • Enough cabin space so that your hand luggage is very close to you
  • Sufficient seat pitch so that a reclined seat in front, does not impede eating from the tray table;
  • Price
  • Good connections
  • Sensible lighting and window blind policy so that an eastbound take off at say 22:30 from LHR with the legally required dark interior, remains dark for at least say five hours and an early morning (say earlier than 06:30) west bound departure is similarly dark to give people a chance to sleep/catch up on some sleep.
Espada III is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2014, 20:50
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with the legally required dark interior
What regulations are you referring to, please ?
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Old 19th Feb 2014, 23:23
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Espada III has the list.
But ...
Nowadays, 90%+ is price. the recession has been here for six years and will (arguably) be here for another six. Price is all. They can boast about service levels all they like but if a family can save 50 a head on long haul (say) or even 10 on short - they will take it. (airport location notwithstanding)
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 01:14
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Sorry, I don't get it. Why would an aircraft engineering student be concerned with passenger wants and desires? Engineering would be a focus on design and maintenance of aircraft in order for pax to get their main desire - to get there in one piece.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 02:26
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What regulations are you referring to, please ?
I'm assuming this is part of the rules that blinds must be up and cabin lights dimmed for takeoff and landing when it's dark. At least that's how it's explained in the briefings I've heard when one of those flight phases in in darkness. No idea which rule it is, but I've heard it plenty of times.
llondel is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2014, 06:02
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Another angle that is being discussed in this forum is Inflight entertainment. It seems many carriers now are scrambling to get the best systems for their long haul customers. The last thing they want is their customers to be bored.

With the 787 now in full service some are working on 'cabin ambiance' ensuring that the 'mood' lighting is correct for the time of day. They want their customers to feel good at the end of the flight!

Why not try some of the airline review sites like flyertalk, trip advisor etc to see what customers are talking about.
crewmeal is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2014, 08:23
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For me on time performance is key. I want them to deliver me to the gate at the 'arrival' time, or earlier, come hell or high water. I don't mind if that means that they 'pad' their schedules.

When things do go pear-shaped, such as runway/airport closures or capacity reductions I want better information. Having me go to the airport after some people at BA already know the flight will be seriously delayed or cancelled is counter-productive. The infrastructure can't handle the mobs of people this causes, the staff can't deal with it, and much much much time is wasted by everyone (in particular me). I now avoid Heathrow, and BA, because this happens much to often there.

I once sat on a BA aircraft for over 4 hours when drizzle changed to freezing rain and every departing aircraft needed to be deiced. They did not have enough equipment to do this. While I remain happy that we eventually departed (two days before Christmas, we would not have got there any other way if the flight was cancelled) there has got to be a better way. As an aircraft engineer, there's a project for you.

BA's customer service recovery also is very poor, but that is not an engineering problem. Or is it ?
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 13:23
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ExXB
BA's customer service recovery also is very poor, but that is not an engineering problem. Or is it ?
Nope. Every single one of the points you list is a mgmt problem and that all of itself - is a problem.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 10:27
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Nowadays, 90%+ is price. the recession has been here for six years and will (arguably) be here for another six. Price is all. They can boast about service levels all they like but if a family can save 50 a head on long haul (say) or even 10 on short - they will take it. (airport location notwithstanding)
Absolutely. We are a family of five who travel several times a year on a medium haul trip (five hours). The timing of the flights, stop-over location and length (if not direct) are very important, but there is a price difference that will rule out one option over another, and that is probably 50 per person.
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