Monday, November 25, 2013

Some 96 British Airways employees serve every passenger flying from Baku to London

To coincide with its latest 'To Fly. To Serve' campaign, British Airways has calculated the essential people involved in the customer journey in order to fly from Baku to London. It includes 96 different roles, across 18 different departments, using over 11 external suppliers in the process. The figures rise to 107 roles for premium customers - which can include the additional benefits of fast track boarding, lounge access and personal meet and greets, the company said today.
And following the findings that it takes 96 people to get each customer in the air, British Airways is launching special fares to the UK, Europe, USA and Canada across all cabins, until 26 November for travel until 31 July 2014. Seats are available to London from EUR 476* in World Traveller, and EUR 1767* in Club World.
Paolo De Renzis, British Airways commercial director, Middle East and Central Asia, said: "Customer experience is at the centre of everything we do, although when you take a step back and calculate how many different people are involved in making a journey possible, the figure is quite astounding. Our research shows just how much work goes on behind the scenes in order for us to fly more than 100,000 passengers each day."
Abigail Comber, British Airways head of marketing, said: "The research gave us a real appreciation for every single person that makes flying a seamless process. From the tug driver to the ramp agent, from NATS air traffic control to our chefs - there's more people than you realise, that get you from A to Z."
Before flying there are 23 crucial roles behind the scenes working to ensure everything is in place for your flight. On the day you fly, there are 38 people that contribute directly to getting you in the air.
On board there's an average flight team of 16 people, including cabin crew, Captains and Senior First Officers, and upon landing there's 19 people that ensure your safe arrival.
On board a typical long-haul Boeing 747 flight, there will be 1,263 items of metal cutlery, 735 glasses, 233 toothpicks, 337 copies of High Life magazine, 2,000 ice cubes, 99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine, 58 toilet rolls, 337 donation envelopes to 'Flying Start' charity, and 40 skyflyer packs for children.
A full timetable of British Airways' flights to London and beyond is available online at - where customers can book, pay and check-in online for their flights.
*Terms and conditions apply. Visit for full offer details.
About British Airways:
• British Airways has a worldwide route network that covers more than 175 destinations in 75 countries.
• The airline is one of the world's largest international airlines carrying approximately 36 million passengers around the world every year.
• The airline offers a choice of four cabins on the majority of its long-haul services.
• The airline is investing in new aircraft, new cabins, new technology and new routes.
• British Airways operates the majority of flights from Terminal 5, its home at London Heathrow. This terminal is capable of handling 30 million customers a year and is the size of 50 football pitches.
• British Airways is two years into a more than £5bn investment in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

British Airways Billboard Ads Interact With Planes

One of the big selling points of digital billboards is interactivity -- and the definition grew wider this week thanks to British Airways, which unveiled new outdoor ads that interact with planes overhead.

The BA campaign, running on Clear Channel’s new “Storm” digital out-of-home network in London, uses surveillance technology and flight schedules to determine when there is a BA plane overhead. When a plane is detected, it triggers an image of a child pointing up at the aircraft, along with a message containing the flight number and departure city -- e.g., “Look, it’s flight BA430 Amsterdam.”

That’s followed or accompanied (in installations with more than one sign) by a second message, e.g. “Amsterdam, one of 34 city break destinations.” Other complementary messages highlight things like low fares or the current temperature at the destination.

The ads are running on Storm displays in Piccadilly, in Central London, and the West London neighborhood of Chiswick, whose positions allow juxtaposition with BA planes landing at London’s busy Heathrow Airport. The campaign was created by Ogilvy’s 12th Floor agency.

Richard Tams, the head of BA sales for the UK and Ireland, stated: “We've all had conversations with friends and family wondering where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination, and this clever technology taps in to that and reminds people how accessible the world can be.”

The Storm network, unveiled by Clear Channel UK in October, consists of high-profile digital billboards along motorways around London; among other features, they allow “bespoke” ad placements, with creative formats and schedules ranging from a single, two-hour display during a Friday rush hour to a year-long takeover. The billboards are complemented with customizable lighting and digital nameplates for advertising clients.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Amazon has a Kindle sale to hail new in-flight device rules

Consumers are not the only ones happy about the FAA’s recent decision to let passengers use electronic devices during nearly all phases of the flights. Amazon is marking the occasion with a one-day marketing ploy to offer consumers a discount on various e-reader devices.

In a Monday morning release, Amazon said “thank you” and offered a 15 percent discount on various versions of the Kindle Fire, as well as knocking $10 off its $69 basic Kindle.

“We’ve been fighting for our customers on this issue for years, and we are thrilled by the FAA’s recent decision,” said an Amazon executive in a statement.

The decision, announced on Friday, means an end to seemingly arbitrary rules that required passengers to power down their devices during take-off and landing, despite any evidence that devices like Kindles or iPads have any effect on planes’ navigations systems.

As my colleague Kevin Tofel explains, the new rules mean passengers can pretty much use their devices as they like (except for voice calls), but that the new policies will go into effect on an airline-by-airline basis.


Friday, November 1, 2013

FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.
Due to differences among fleets and operations, the implementation will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year.
The FAA based its decision on input from a group of experts that included representatives from the airlines, aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and the mobile technology industry.
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.    If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services.  You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
“We believe today’s decision honors both our commitment to safety and consumer’s increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flights,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants, and I look forward to seeing airlines implement these much anticipated guidelines in the near future.”  
“I commend the dedication and excellent work of all the experts who spent the past year working together to give us a solid report so we can now move forward with a safety-based decision on when passengers can use PEDs on airplanes,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The PED Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) concluded most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals from PEDs. In a recent report, they recommended that the FAA provide airlines with new procedures to assess if their airplanes can tolerate radio interference from PEDs. Once an airline verifies the tolerance of its fleet, it can allow passengers to use handheld, lightweight electronic devices – such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones—at all altitudes. In rare instances of low-visibility, the crew will instruct passengers to turn off their devices during landing. The group also recommended that heavier devices should be safely stowed under seats or in overhead bins during takeoff and landing.
The FAA is streamlining the approval of expanded PED use by giving airlines updated, clear guidance. This FAA tool will help airlines assess the risks of potential PED-induced avionics problems for their airplanes and specific operations. Airlines will evaluate avionics as well as changes to stowage rules and passenger announcements. Each airline will also need to revise manuals, checklists for crewmember training materials, carry-on baggage programs and passenger briefings before expanding use of PEDs. Each airline will determine how and when they will allow passengers broader use of PEDs.
The FAA did not consider changing the regulations regarding the use of cell phones for voice communications during flight because the issue is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The ARC did recommend that the FAA consult with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to review its current rules. Cell phones differ from most PEDs in that they are designed to send out signals strong enough to be received at great distances
Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes:
1. Make safety your first priority.
2.  Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
3.  Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
4. Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
5.  Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use.  You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.  
7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
8.  It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
9.  In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
Current FAA regulations require an aircraft operator to determine that radio frequency interference from PEDs is not a flight safety risk before the operator authorizes them for use during certain phases of flight. Even PEDs that do not intentionally transmit signals can emit unintentional radio energy. This energy may affect aircraft safety because the signals can occur at the same frequencies used by the plane’s highly sensitive communications, navigation, flight control and electronic equipment. An airline must show it can prevent potential interference that could pose a safety hazard. The PED ARC report helps the FAA to guide airlines through determining that they can safely allow widespread use of PEDs.
The PED ARC began work in January, at the request of Administrator Huerta, to determine if it is safe to allow more widespread use of electronic devices in today’s aircraft.  The group also reviewed the public’s comments in response to an August 2012 FAA notice on current policy, guidance, and procedures that aircraft operators use when determining if passengers can use PEDs. The group did not consider the use of electronic devices for voice communications. A fact sheet on the report is now available.
The FAA is immediately giving airlines a clear path to safely expand PED use by passengers, and the Administrator will evaluate the rest of the ARC’s longer-term recommendations and respond at a later date.
A Portable Electronic Device is any piece of lightweight, electrically-powered equipment. These devices are typically consumer electronic devices capable of communications, data processing and/or utility.  Examples range from handheld, lightweight electronic devices such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones to small devices such as MP3 players and electronic toys.