Skift Take

If you are sitting toward the back of the plane, British Airways' Know Me program may know you, but expect their special efforts to be directed to the passengers in the better seats.

British Airways is tracking individual customers’ interactions with the airline, scouring Google Images for passenger photos, and messaging the iPads of customer service agents and cabin crew to give the airline’s most loyal customers personlized service at the airport or during the flight.

The program, called Know Me, has been in the works for awhile, but now is being rolled out in full, the airline announced today. And, British Airways now predicts it will send 4,500 “personal recognition messages” per day to staff by the end of 2012.

The program has parallels to KLM Surprise, where the Dutch carrier will use social media to hand out a map of great football pubs in a city where a football fanatic is heading, en route to a big match.

The British Airways Know Me campaign seems a bit stodgier, and geared heavily toward the airline’s most loyal, upper-tier frequent flyers.

For example, British Airways says a Silver Executive Club member taking his first flight in business class may get a visit from a crew member explaining the benefits of the service.

Courtesy British Airways

“Equally, if a regular traveler has experienced any issues on previous flights, such as a delay due to the weather, the crew will be informed of that and will be able to go the extra mile, recognize the previous issue and thank the customer for their continued patrongage,” the airline says.

British Airways Know Me and KLM Surprise are part of the airline personalization trend, where carriers are using the data they collect about customers and and keep tabs on social media to differentiate their service and compete against one another.

Not only are airlines sending customers individually tailored offers before the flight — now they are customizing service when passengers are in the airport or during the flight.

Some British Airways passengers may love the new attention, especially if it comes with extra perks, and others may see it as stalkerish.

At any rate, make sure your photos in Google Images are up to date, or conversely, try your best to delete them if you want to travel incognito.


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Tags: british airways, personalization, tablets

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