British Airways has announced that all 15,000 cabin crew will receive an iPhone XR to use as part of its on-board service. Until recently, only senior cabin crew were equipped with iPads to handle passenger service issues.
Like any airline that uses modern technology, every passenger's records will be available from their database, including details such as meal preferences to things passenger manifests and details for those with tight connections. I would genuinely love to see how it deals with people who are likely to misconnect, as typically passengers are automatically booked onto the next flight, but could someone for instance be able to choose a new routing and ask a cabin attendant to book the new itinerary for them?
As far as I see, these iPhones in essence will act as a face-to-face form of BA.com's “Help Me” page (I also wrote an article about that here) when you can't access the internet because you're in the sky. Cabin crew will also obviously have greater powers to act upon a wider range of requests than you can, so I do see this as a genuine improvement to the on-board service.
One specific case in point, as quoted in their press release:
“Recently, when a customer realised that he had forgotten to order a special meal, he was really impressed when I quickly took out the phone, logged onto ba.com and ordered a meal for his return journey – all within a matter of minutes in the middle of the flight.
It felt so rewarding to be able to immediately resolve the situation for the customer. All my crew reference guides are also loaded onto the phone, so everything I need is in my pocket throughout each flight; it really has made a huge difference already.”
On the topic of personal details, one interesting item of information I suggest every ‘hobbyist' request is your “CIV score” (Corporate Individual Value) out of 105 which is BA's numerical way of saying how important you are to them. Basically the higher the number the more likely you are to receive preferential treatment, which is especially true in situations such as operational upgrades or ‘op ups' in frequent flyer lingo.
The rough scoring is, according to Flyertalk:
- Non-Executive Club known customers – 0-4.
- Blue – 5-11
- Bronze – 12-25
- Silver – 26-51
- Gold – 52-96
- Gold Guest List – 97-99
- Gold Guest List for life – 100
- Premier – 105