Heathrow can be stressful sometimes (although we’ve had our fair share of excellent experiences too and usually can get from gate to tube on a good day in just 6 minutes) however, if your flight is delayed or connecting flight is on the other side of the terminal, then British Airways’ new enhanced services for connecting passengers might take some of the sting out of a transfer.
Similar to Star Alliance’s connection service, British Airways have implemented new ideas such as making sure flights with a large number of connecting customers are directed to arrive at the most convenient aircraft stands for the next part of their journey.
When the airline knows lots of customers are transferring to the same flight, it will now arrange for a vehicle to transfer them to their next flight, cutting out the need for extra legwork. To help customers print out their boarding passes quickly and easily, new self-service kiosks have been set up in the flight connections area at T5.
As well as passengers with the tightest connections being given Express Connect status to fast-track them through flight connections and security checkpoints, customers travelling in First, Club World or Club Europe who are at risk of missing their onward connection will be provided with a chauffeur driven executive car, where possible, to transfer them to their next flight. This is also available to British Airways Gold and Silver Executive Club members. An initial trial has proved so popular that more vehicles are being added to the airline’s fleet.
Failing all the efforts the airline will now make to create a seamless connection, customers who may miss their connection are now being re-booked with British Airways or any of the airline’s oneworld partners while they’re still in the air. They are then met at the aircraft door by connections staff who provide them with their new boarding pass, refreshment vouchers and, if overnight accommodation is necessary, their hotel booking.
Tom Stevens, British Airways’ head of Customer, at Heathrow said: “We know how important it is for our customers to transfer through the airport quickly and smoothly, and all of these additional initiatives show them we’ll always go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service.” Hopefully these changes will prove competitive and take maximum advantage of their strategic position in Terminal 5.