BA staff armed with iPads

Staff at BA’s corporate and first class lounges are being issued with iPads to help staff communicate with each other across airports, as part of a general overhaul of BA’s IT services.

The iPads will also allow staff to research frequent business class flyers. The “Know Me” programme is to personalise customers’ travel plans and enhance customer experience.

BA staff get iPads for better customer service

Fly by BA Business Class and you could be recognised by name!

Staff can find photos online and store them next flight manifests to identify key customers as they arrive. This is intended to be just another service for customers wanting that personal touch from their airline — the idea is that, if a customer tweets or blogs that they were angry at a delayed flight, the next time they arrive at the business lounge a member of staff will be there to apologise and make sure they’re looked after with extra care. It’s entirely manual — no automatic facial recognition technology is involved.

If the scheme proves popular it may be rolled out to other customers beyond business class.

Is this a sinister use of customer data? I always err on the side of open data and photographs and social media profiles are public, by definition. It is up to the individual to regulate how public their social media data is.

I am not a BA frequent business class flier but the idea of being recognised and named as I arrive would give me a positive view of the customer experience.