In praise of British Airways’ “BA Magic” initiative

Why BA’s “BA Magic” initiative should be encouraged and applauded.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Social Media

Joe & Liz (Image Credit: British Airways)
Joe & Liz (Image Credit: British Airways)

For the past few months BA has been releasing a series of films on social media under the banner of “BA Magic”featuring surprises on members of the public.

We have to admit to having been a little sceptical of the initiative, not least because one of the first films featured a man proposing to his girlfriend on a packed Airbus A320 en route to Larnaca.

Was it a rearguard initiative in response to negative PR earlier this year? Or perhaps a drive for clicks and likes on social media with all too common “And you won’t believe what happened next?” click bait.

However, it would take the hardest of cynics not to be moved by the latest video released on Friday. It features Joe taking his first flight with his wife Liz after he experienced life changing injuries in 2014.

We’ll let the film tell the whole story.

It is a salutary reminder for all that be able to fly is something that should never be taken for granted and aviation is fundamentally about bringing people together. And, irrespective of any motive for positive publicity, BA deserves praise for its responsiveness and generosity.

If you know someone could benefit from this initiative then do submit an application to BA. Needless to say BA will be looking for a strong and original story-telling angle.

British Airways Pilots Take Off On Twitter

How BA pilots are gaining a huge following on Twitter and engaging with the airline’s passengers.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Social Media

British Airways Pilots
British Airways Pilots (Image Credit: British Airways)

Social media has long been a tool used by airlines to engage with their passengers.  YouTube and Instagram allow airlines to share slickly produced videos showcasing new aircraft, cabins and routes.  Snapchat, for those that have embraced it, allows airlines to take passengers behind the scenes and show case live events such as inaugural flights on new routes.

Arguably, the most significant social media tool is Twitter.  But it is something of a double-edged sword for airlines.  At its best, it can be effective tool for rapid responses to customer queries and for distilling information quickly.  But every airline is one tweet away from a worldwide social media storm.

Twitter not only provides a direct line of communication between passengers and airlines, but also their staff. And a growing number of BA pilots have amassed quite significant followings on Twitter. Not only that they are starting to co-ordinate their presence under the hashtag #BASMART

Leading the initiative is British Airways A380 pilot Dave Wallsworth who has amassed some 25,000 followers. Dave frequently dispatches updates as he plies BA’s Airbus A380 network to destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Los Angeles.

Here’s a video Dave recorded from the flight deck taking off from Vancouver, bound for London Heathrow:
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A cautionary lesson for airlines on social media

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Social Media

A few months I ago I posted about the disappointment experienced by many British Airways passengers when BaxterStorey took over the catering contract for the British Airways lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5.

The issue had largely died down. That was until last Saturday a poster on FlyerTalk had identified that, following an inspection of two of the six lounges at Terminal 5 (The Galleries First lounge and Concorde Room), Hillingdon Council had awarded these lounges a food safety score of 2 out of a possible 5. This means an improvement is required.

To put this into context, almost all of the outlets at Terminal 5 achieved either a score of 4 or 5 with only Gordon Ramsay’s “Plane Food” restaurant and a branch of Caffe Nero achieving a score of 2.

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Was Hasan Syed’s Twitter campaign against British Airways justified?

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Social Media

BA First WiFi
(Image Credit: British Airways)

I’m sure by know you have read the story of how Hasan Syed used Twitter to protest his dissatisfaction at the way British Airways responded to the loss of his father’s luggage on a trip from Chicago to Paris last weekend.

In the interests of accuracy and completeness, the passenger did not transit via Heathrow. He flew from Chicago to Newark on American Airlines, and from Newark to Paris on BA’s subsidiary OpenSkies.

Hasan spent close to $1,000 to promote a series of Tweets to alert users to his views on BA’s customer service failings:

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