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Email on BAs future direction from Sean Doyle

Email on BAs future direction from Sean Doyle

Old Jan 29, 22, 11:40 pm
  #1  
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Email on BAs future direction from Sean Doyle

Well, this certainly sounds like a lot of nice words (my personal view is BA should actually start rolling out some of the below improvements that may never see the light of day to customers before they start trumpeting them):

To our loyal customers,

Im writing to you directly today in the spirit of transparency, which is the ethos were 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 weve 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, weve been moving from one set of restrictions to another and the amount of change weve been dealing with over the past couple of years from week to week has been relentless. Im 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 were finally able to rebuild and re-energise our airline. After the recent news from the UK Government around the removal of restrictions, its 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 its 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.

Weve been working hard to create a more premium experience for you, putting you at our heart and doing it in a way thats 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 youve enjoyed the table ordering service we began to offer in our lounges during the pandemic, and so were continuing with this initiative. Youve also told us you appreciate the complimentary water and snacks weve been offering on short-haul flights in our Euro Traveller cabin, so well be continuing with these too. In addition, were 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 wont happen overnight, but this week I have briefed teams across the airline to do all they need to, to tackle the issues we know youre facing so we dont 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 dont ever take it for granted.

I hope that in the coming months youll notice a significant move towards a better BA, driven by our people to deliver a better experience for you, our most loyal customers.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 12:22 am
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Good! Nice to see.
I've mainly moved over to Virgin / Delta for the time being (who are also far from perfect ). Hopefully the signs BA have turned the corner will become clear later in the year and I'll trust them more to deliver again.

So, a wait & see from me, but with a general optimistic thumbs up.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 12:26 am
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Hmmmm...

rb211.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 1:10 am
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Have just read this, I was wondering if it had been sent to everyone or if it was a result of the feedback I gave on a recent flight.

Good to see it's a wider pledge to all, rather than just those that call out the current poor experience.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 1:19 am
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Acknowledgement is the first step towards recovery.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 1:37 am
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Ill judge by actions, but at least the intent is there.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 2:00 am
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Dunno, I read the email as having a bit of an edge myself. The repetition of patience came across as a plea / command to have more of it because it is really hard for BA right now. Then there was the reminder
of the free crisps and water service in Y, and to perhaps be more grateful for it.

Anyway lets hope Sean can make some tangible, sizeable changes soon. Honestly I have my doubts. BA is exceptionally agile when making savings but less so when investing.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 2:06 am
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A cautious thumbs up from me. To echo a post up thread, the acknowledgement of issues is a positive first step.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 2:08 am
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To be honest, there is scarce clarity of direction here.

The main point is about continuation of things decided years ago (baggage tracing, Club Suites, etc)

Then there are two specific covid-time improvements to be retained, both of which are positive (free water and crisps in ET, table ordering in lounges)

There is a bit of a wishful thinking context analysis that we are finally out of the covid mess. Maybe, maybe not in regulatory terms, but certainly, in terms of travel, in my view, there will be a significant lag before we can travel normally, so I sure hope that this is not code words for ending status protection because many of us are still in positions where we simply won't be allowed to travel for work for at least 6 months, and in many cases longer.

Finally, there is an acknowledgement of being able to offer again what should be the absolute basics (being able to reach call centres, moving away from what are, frankly, sometimes unacceptable levels of catering these days)

But what I don't see is any indication of that elusive "future direction" towards an a better airline one is happy/proud to fly. If you ask me what is the BA being (re)built, then reading this, beyond the concept of an airline which hopes to survive, and that is more than fair enough, I just genuinely don't know.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 3:03 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic

But what I don't see is any indication of that elusive "future direction" towards an a better airline one is happy/proud to fly. If you ask me what is the BA being (re)built, then reading this, beyond the concept of an airline which hopes to survive, and that is more than fair enough, I just genuinely don't know.
I seem to recall earlier in the week Doyle made a reference in the FT about rebuilding its reputation for premium service.

On a separate note, I find it amazing the guy has been in charge for over a year and never pulled up for anything, especially being a bean counter by trade. If it was his predecessor there would be a total storm regardless of how small the issue it would always be his fault.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 3:35 am
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Originally Posted by flybymonkey
I seem to recall earlier in the week Doyle made a reference in the FT about rebuilding its reputation for premium service.

On a separate note, I find it amazing the guy has been in charge for over a year and never pulled up for anything, especially being a bean counter by trade. If it was his predecessor there would be a total storm regardless of how small the issue it would always be his fault.
I wondered about the bit that said due to positive feedback we are keeping table service in the lounges. From posts on this forum I thought the opposite was true, eg service taking far too long. Not everyone has time to spend 2 hours in the lounge. Guess it will save money and perhaps save waste
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Old Jan 30, 22, 3:49 am
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I was quite amused to be in receipt of this at 05:25 on a Sunday, suggesting poor Sean was up all night scribbling away, working out how many times he should use the word 'patience'.
A wordy plea to stick with the airline, not a strategy. Guessing the team saw Finnair CEO's letter the other day and comms team decided this was a good idea.
In summary though, gleaned from all those words:
- more call centre staff (volume and location?)
- free water and crisps in economy (good!)
- Club Suite rollout continues (hardly new)
- lounge table service continues (the number of poor, usually older, folk who I see pleading with staff to just bring them something, not via a phone order, suggests this won't be a positive for all)
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Old Jan 30, 22, 3:59 am
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Originally Posted by bhbloke
Have just read this, I was wondering if it had been sent to everyone or if it was a result of the feedback I gave on a recent flight.

Good to see it's a wider pledge to all, rather than just those that call out the current poor experience.
From what Ive seen on twitter its gone to everybody. What concerns me (genuinely) is BA putting new systems in place in their call centre.. we know. BAs track record here. Its good they want to change but make the changes first before blowing your trumpet.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn
From what Ive seen on twitter its gone to everybody. What concerns me (genuinely) is BA putting new systems in place in their call centre.. we know. BAs track record here. Its good they want to change but make the changes first before blowing your trumpet.
Nothing to worry about, you obviously didnt notice any problems because we already have the new phone system in both Newcastle and Manchester! Not sure if Bremen has switched over yet, but next to switch is the Delhi contact centre.
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Old Jan 30, 22, 4:06 am
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Pure PR puff....until the stated improvements materialise (if indeed they ever do) It's as simple as that
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