In an attempt to regain its status as the world’s favourite airline, BA is introducing a host of changes – aimed at making the passenger journey from start to finish a relaxing, comfortable, and – most importantly – an enjoyable one. Over the next year, passengers can expect to see upgrades at check-in and airport lounges, onboard catering, and even new designer uniforms for cabin crew.
Over recent years, the oneworld carrier has been accused of downgrading its services and aiming to compete with the budget airlines. British Airways now wants to position itself as a premium carrier, a tour de face that is being welcomed by critics and fans of BA alike.
This week, the airline launched sleep pods for First Class passengers flying London Heathrow to New York JFK. Available in its Heathrow Terminal 5 First Lounge – with the Concorde Room and JFK’s Terminal 7 lounges to follow – these space-age cocoons offer passengers the ultimate 20-minute power nap. The pods recline into a zero-gravity position, which – according to its manufacturers - elevates the feet and reduces pressure on the cardiac system. With the added aid of soothing music, passengers fly into a deep sleep and a gently awaken when the allotted time expires.
Onboard, and the airline is fast-tracking the introduction of its new Club Suite seats to its entire fleet. Today, only 10% of the airline’s 250 aircraft can boast this flat-bed seat with its own door to aisle which boosts privacy.
The premium cabin catering service will be handled by the Austrian upmarket caterer Do & Co which has built a new facility at Heathrow Airport. Do & Co has an excellent reputation and provides the premium catering for other airlines including Turkish Airlines and, of course, Austrian Airlines.
Savile Row apparel designer Ozwald Boateng has been hired to redesign the crew uniforms. Although not yet introduced, passengers can expect a smart new look, oozing class - while in keeping with the traditional BA colours and style.
In an attempt to speed up the check-in process, BA has teamed up with AirPortr which offers a service that will take passenger’s bags from their homes or hotels and have them already checked-in before they arrive themselves at the airport.
It is expected that the world’s major airlines will be rolling-out upgrades of their own as the uptake of Business and First Class seats is set to accelerate.