They say in business you should associate with the smartest people you can find … and today’s guest post comes from a person who I met through business, have become friends with, ferried bagels to in London … and who happens to be one of the smartest people I know operating within airline emerging media.
Today’s post is from Nuria Garrido, of British Airways’ Digital Innovations Team. Sure Nuria’s post is completely self serving for British Airways … however given that I highlighted British Airways’ and their OneWorld Alliance partner Qantas, back in February 2008, as the first airlines to deploy an iPhone App (with BA beating Qantas by mere days)… and I have now used the British Airways App to check in for more than one flight I figured I’d let her write whatever she wanted for her Guest Post.
If you’re an airline looking for new ideas for social media you should pay attention to this lady, she knows what she is talking about … if you’re an iPhone App geek, you’ll enjoy the post … if you’re a British Airways traveller, you may learn something interesting about your airline of choice.
British Airways Mobile Apps
I remember the buzz around the company when we launched WAP check-in in 2000 and then in 2008 were the first airline to launch an iPhone app. During this time, we also made improvements to our ba2go.com site. Last month, we launched our new mobile apps for Android and Blackberry devices and enhanced our existing iPhone app which have been really popular.
The cross-functional team (strategy, architecture, design and build) in British Airways were busy ensuring that the apps were fully robust for our customers and included new or improved functionality.
We wanted to make these apps as personalised as possible and easy to use so we used the Executive Club membership to simplify this process. You can join our frequent flyer programme for free but if you don’t want to, you’ll still be able to use the apps (not all features will be available though). The apps give our customers and especially our Executive Club members more control and makes their travel experience with us easier.
A key enhancement to the iPhone app was the introduction of the mobile boarding pass – launched on 19th July between London Heathrow – Edinburgh. We’ve now managed to roll this out to 6 domestic routes between London Heathrow and Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Manchester and between London City and Edinburgh, Glasgow. Behind the scenes the team is continuing to ensure that mobile boarding pass is available on more routes but it will take time before it’s available on all of them.
We’re also working on introducing mobile boarding pass functionality for both the Blackberry and Android phones.
One great feature on the Blackberry app is that you’re able to add your flight details into your calendar, so no more copying and pasting!