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  • British Airways Finds a New Use for the iPad
Technology Articles > Gadgets > Tablets > British Airways Finds a New Use for the iPad

It’s been obvious all along. Technology can be used for a multitude of things including enhancing the way that businesses connect with clients. Yet, few business embrace technology fully, which is, in every way, a shame. British Airways aims to break the boundaries between business and what’s mostly seen as a casual social device: the iPad.

British Airways has been testing an iPad program that includes one-hundred iPads and one-hundred crew members. The goal of the iPad initiative was to equip crew members with detailed passenger information in addition to essential B.A. manuals and instructions. Thus far, the program is going rather well, and the company intends to purchase more iPads throughout the next few months.

What iPads Can Tell Crew Members

The average airline hands any given flight crew a lengthy list of passengers before each trip. The crew is required to look over the list, pay special attention to passenger needs, and prepare for special meals, requests, and other details. These lists can be many pages long depending on the size of the flight. Needless to say, this is not the best way for flight attendants to recall and note passenger information.

This is precisely where the iPad steps in. Instead of relying on, somewhat archaic, paper lists, B.A. crew members who have been testing iPads now have all passenger information on an iPad screen. Passengers who require special meals are clearly outlined. The name of each passenger is listed neatly, and it is even possible to see who that passenger is traveling with and where a passenger has traveled before.

Having passenger information at a crew member’s fingertips is important, but it’s also important that crew members know how to act when something goes awry. This information was once listed on sheets of paper too, but the iPad is a much more efficient tool. If, for example, oxygen masks drop down, a senior crew member can find information about how to handle this incident by using an iPad.

Crew Member Response

Crew member response to the iPad trials has been very positive. Those B.A. employees who have tested the iPad program have not had any real troubles using the devices. Further, all British Airways airplanes have 3G networks, so iPad information can be updated throughout a flight. British Airways is the first airline to test out an iPad program such as this one, and so far it’s been nothing but a hit.

How will the new B.A. iPad program impact passengers? You may notice a few crew members using iPads if you fly British Airways. You might also notice that meals and general service improves. Aside from these things, the iPad program won’t impact passengers for now, but there is a lot of potential for crew and passenger interaction through devices such as the iPad.

Other Airlines Are Watching

Few airlines offer tickets that are quite as pricey as the B.A. kind. But, those airlines that do have the funds to purchase iPads are keeping a close watch on the new British Airways programs. Apple may recognize this initiate too and partner up with certain airlines seeking an iPad discount. After all, watching crews walk around with Apple devices is invaluable advertising.