British Airways has been sending out emails to its “most loyal customers” as a follow-up to the interview published in the Financial Times on Friday (read more here).
The CEO and Chairman of British Airways, Mr. Sean Doyle, who took over from the much hated Alex Cruz in 2020, opens up that nothing is going to the plan and how miserable the airline is. He continuously asks us to be patient while they try to sort things out.
You can access BA here.
Here’s the email that went out:
I’m writing to you directly today in the spirit of transparency, which is the ethos we’re striving to promote at British Airways in 2022 as we emerge from the worst crisis in our 102-year history.
We know that for many months now we’ve been asking you to be patient with us. Patient while we bring multiple aircraft back from airfields around the world. Patient while we rebuild our network, retrain and recruit people to serve you better, and patient while we deal with the thousands of customers that need our help.
To be frank, we’ve been moving from one set of restrictions to another and the amount of change we’ve been dealing with over the past couple of years from week to week has been relentless. I’m not seeking to make excuses for things that should have gone better. What I am doing is making a personal commitment to you that we will build a better British Airways. An airline you can trust and rely on and that offers great customer service, with someone always available to help. Most importantly, an airline that you are proud to fly with – an airline that you are proud is your British flag-carrier. For me, 2022 is the year we’re finally able to rebuild and re-energise our airline. After the recent news from the UK Government around the removal of restrictions, it’s time to get Britain moving again.
My number one priority is to address the customer call centre issues many of you have experienced and may still be experiencing. In the face of constantly changing and complicated travel restrictions the length of time it’s taking us to take calls has naturally been longer, which has pushed up our waiting times. We are mid-way through replacing our phone systems to create a better customer experience and are also already recruiting more people to ensure your calls are answered, social media messages are responded to and problems are solved in the moment, wherever possible.
We’ve been working hard to create a more premium experience for you, putting you at our heart and doing it in a way that’s sustainable. Every aspect of this strategy is to help make your journey more seamless and enjoyable. For example, our operations teams are working on a new baggage tracing system, allowing you to track your bag via your phone throughout your journey. We know you’ve enjoyed the table ordering service we began to offer in our lounges during the pandemic, and so we’re continuing with this initiative. You’ve also told us you appreciate the complimentary water and snacks we’ve been offering on short-haul flights in our Euro Traveller cabin, so we’ll be continuing with these too. In addition, we’re working hard to improve the quality of the meals and choices we serve across all cabins and rolling out our Club Suite on as many aircraft as we can, as quickly as we can.
We know change starts from within. Our teams across the airline have been through a lot, and I am looking at what we need to do to recognise and reward the people we know make a difference to your journey, and ensure they have everything they need to feel empowered to do the right thing by you every single day.
I know that change won’t happen overnight, but this week I have briefed teams across the airline to do all they need to, to tackle the issues we know you’re facing so we don’t let you down. In the meantime, I want to thank you for staying with us. I know your loyalty has been tested and I want to assure you that we don’t ever take it for granted.
I hope that in the coming months you’ll notice a significant move towards a better BA, driven by our people to deliver a better experience for you, our most loyal customers.
There is nothing but empty words from Mr. Doyle, who merely begs for our patience. Please stick with us and continue spending cash while we vaguely promise to change something in the distant future that may never materialize.
The airline, during the pandemic, REMOVED functionality on its website that allowed refunding and canceling reservations, requiring its “most loyal” passengers to try calling the airline.
You could cancel some online but only to a voucher even when changes and cancellations would have allowed cash. Many of the most loyal customers could not get through and were forced to accept something less than they were entitled to. BA simply wasn’t taking calls to protect its cash flow. Plain and simple.
There are only two “enhancements” here; water and crisps for the euro economy passengers, and the table ordering in the Emerald (First class) lounge is here to stay.
IMHO British Airways is lost. Does it want to be a “premium” airline or one competing with Ryanair and EasyJet that both serve their respective niches well?
The flying public and “its most loyal customers” are tired of the never-ending excuses that BA’s PR team is spitting out.