As British Airways announces £7billion overhaul in bid to reclaim ‘world’s favourite airline’ title from Middle Eastern rivals after years of decline, Travel Editor MARK PALMER reveals 25 things it could do to improve right now

By Mark Palmer Travel Editor For The Daily Mail

01:35 16 Dec 2023, updated 01:42 16 Dec 2023

1 Deliver passenger and baggage to the same airport at the same time. And bend over backwards to help out when this does not happen.

2 Hire sensible, middle-aged women with a sense of humour as cabin crew rather than Love Island wannabes. (Who would you rather come to the rescue in an emergency?)

3 Ban anyone who continues shouting into his or her phone even when the seat belt sign is on and the plane is ready for take-off.

4 Reinstate the ‘basics and brilliance’ service mantra which epitomised their top-to-bottom attention to detail, but that was shelved a few years ago.

5 Offer decent, hearty food on short-haul flights to show you are different from no-frills airlines.

British Airways has embarked on massive £7billion overhaul in a bid to leapfrog rivals and regain its claim to be the ‘world’s favourite airline’
Mark Palmer: ‘Hire sensible, middle-aged women with a sense of humour as cabin crew rather than Love Island wannabes’
Bosses have identified more than 600 areas where it needs to improve after years of decline and a series of mass cancellations due to IT failures
Executives have drawn up plans for a total overhaul of the airline in the next three years that will cost £7 billion to implement.

6 Pay for decent slots at airports so passengers never have to take a bus from the gate to the plane.

7 Bring back newspapers in business lounges and offer a choice of newspaper on board.

8 Have real people answer the customer service telephone lines within ten minutes. Always.

9 Make the CEO travel at the back of the plane like the rest of us – incognito – so he can understand what it’s really like.

10 Give us more than one ice cube in a gin and tonic.

11 Stop cancelling flights at short notice – and when it happens make someone accountable. And ensure that the process of getting a refund is easier.

12 The BA app is a disaster and often does not work at all outside the UK. Fix this, and bring in a tech genius to make the stone-age website the fastest and most passenger-friendly on the planet.

13 Let food and wine experts, rather than accountants, come up with the menus.

14 Extend the holiday season so we can fly to sunny European hotspots in late autumn.

15 If people can be sent to the moon, it must be possible to make a decent cup of coffee on board.

16 Remind crew that passengers are paying more to fly with BA – and so expect more from them.

17 Offer Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce as standard when a passenger asks for a Bloody Mary.

18 Get around to repairing shabby seats or better still install 21st-century seating.

19 Stop taking away hard-earned frequent-flyer points without warning and make it easier to use Avios points on flights passengers actually want to take.

Mark Palmer: ‘Bring back the ¿world¿s favourite airline¿ advert ¿ so we can all celebrate what BA has achieved’

20 When travelling in business class it should be possible to get a quick bite to eat shortly after take-off for those who want to curl up and sleep. At the moment, it’s a whole performance, which takes more than an hour.

21 Lead on innovation rather than always lagging behind other airlines, especially those in the Middle East.

22 Politely ask passengers not to get up and start getting their bags from overhead lockers until their turn comes. This worked well during the pandemic.

23 Bring back sleeper suits in business class.

24 Bring back the ‘world’s favourite airline’ advert – so we can all celebrate what BA has achieved.

25 Above all, strive to make flying glamorous and fun.


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