Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Introduces Signed Video Content for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Customers

2 months ago

British Airways is working with SigncodeUK on a new partnership to provide accessible signed video content for its deaf and hard-of-hearing customers.

Fredrick Da Costa, British Airways’ first Deaf Customer Experience Agent, features in the signed video content.
Credit: British Airways

The first video, which you can take a look at below, has been created to provide a more comprehensive overview of the travel journey, from the booking process to the in-flight experience. The video also features Fredrick Da Costa, British Airways’ first Deaf Customer Experience Agent who uses BSL as part of his role. 

British Airways has announced that a second video is expected to be released by the end of 2023 that will focus on onboard safety features and procedures, as well as also exploring the opportunity to provide the content in additional additional languages.

The new signed video content will be available to customers both pre-travel and whilst on board, and can be accessed via a link or a unique QR code.

“We are proud to partner with SigncodeUK to further improve our accessibility offering for our Deaf and hard of hearing customers. This collaboration aligns with our ongoing commitment to ensure that all our customers have a seamless experience and can travel with confidence, with dignity and in comfort,” said Carrie Harris, director of sustainability at British Airways in a release.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Launches Campaign to Celebrate Diwali

4 months ago

British Airways is has debuted a new seasonal advertisement to celebrate the Hindu festival, Diwali. 

According to a release, the film has been created to celebrate those who may be missing out on the family celebrations, as well as recognizing those heading home for the festivities. 

The campaign, which features a cast made up of British Airways team members – including Akash, Shilpa, Amanda-Rose, and Ruchika – sees them fulfilling their duties at work as voicemail messages from their real family and friends play in the background.

“Each year, millions of people around the world gather to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, and we know that making that journey home to be with loved ones is so important. Our people are at the very heart of this campaign, as we wanted to thank them for helping families and friends reconnect during the festival. Happy Diwali to all our customers and colleagues,” said Hamish McVey, director of marketing at British Airways. 

The adverts will run from October 20 to November 11.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Partners with Alzheimer’s Society to Support Customers Travelling with Dementia

5 months ago

British Airways has announced a three-year partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, a UK-based charity that works to support people living with and affected by dementia. 

Credit: British Airways

The new partnership will see British Airways and the Alzheimer’s Society working closely on a number of initiatives designed to make travelling with dementia more accessible, including bespoke training for customer-facing colleagues and the introduction of Dementia Friends across the organization.

The Alzheimer’s Society has also become a beneficiary of the BA Better World Community Fund, which has seen more than £3.4 million raised since its launch in April 2022. 

“I’m delighted to announce this partnership between British Airways and Alzheimer’s Society. This is a subject very close to my heart and many of us have experienced a loved one living with dementia and know the added anxiety that travel can bring. Through this partnership, we continue our commitment to make travel accessible for everyone while raising awareness and funds for the vital work this fantastic charity does,” said Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Doubles Its Inflight Media Offerings

7 months ago

Recognizing the demands of consumers to have more options while in the air, British Airways has doubled the amount of content available to watch through its inflight entertainment system since the beginning of the year, according to an announcement from the carrier.

The inflight entertainment system has benefitted from a range of new media, with the carrier now offering a host of new boxsets, movies, podcasts and children’s programs, as well as a exclusive content thanks to its partnership with Paramount+.

British Airways has stated that the new content will be on board from August.

Credit: British Airways

The carrier has also been rolling out WiFi connectivity across its entire fleet, with the majority of its aircraft now connected, enabling content streaming on personal devices.

British Airways’ chief customer officer, Calum Laming, said: “We know just how important it is to provide a great range of entertainment for our customers to enjoy during their journeys, and it’s one of the things they look forward to most when they fly with us, so we’ve been working hard to source new content, doubling the amount available at our customers’ fingertips.

“We’ve partnered with brilliant brands like Paramount+ and even created a dedicated British Original channel. From a newly released blockbuster film to the latest podcast, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during their flight this summer.”

Related: 5 Missed Opportunities for Better In-Flight Entertainment


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: British Airways Set to Take Off With New Safety Video

10 months ago

May I have your attention, please? British Airways has unveiled its latest onboard safety video with a humorous take on British culture.

Air travel has become an integral part of modern life, connecting people to destinations all over the world for both business and pleasure. And as we all know, safety videos are an integral part of the pre-flight experience (even if we don’t always pay attention).

With that in mind, British Airways has recently released its reimagined onboard safety video, which is a refreshing take on the long-standing safety demonstration.

Source: British Airways.

Starting May 1st, 2023, the airline’s long-haul aircraft will switch up their safety demonstration game, where passengers will now be treated to a five-minute video that not only checks off all the necessary safety elements but does it in a way that’s actually enjoyable. Yep, you read that right – enjoyable!

The video showcases British Airways employees as they go about their daily tasks, giving viewers a glimpse into their jobs. But that’s not all; it also adds a touch of British celebrity, featuring some well-known names such as Ncuti Gatwa, Little Simz, Robert Peston, Kaya Scodelario, Emma Raducanu, and Tom Kerridge.

“We have all sat through safety demonstrations before, so we knew we needed to create something different that would capture attention and was totally in line with our British Original positioning,” said Calum Laming, British Airways’ chief customer officer.

You can take a look at the video below:

The Original Safety Briefing, British Airways.

British Airways have managed to highlight the familiar and recognizable aspects of British culture while still driving home the important safety information, and the use of such a diverse cast is also particularly refreshing.

In today’s celebrity obsessed world, it is not unusual for brands to rely on endorsements to promote their service offerings, however, there does seem to be a shift towards featuring a more diverse range of ambassadors in advertising.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

British Airways Cancels At Least 1,000 More Summer Flights

2 years ago

Flying in Europe is a mess this summer. British Airways has cancelled more than 1,000 additional flights through October amid increasing flight delays and cancellations across the continent.

The Oneworld Alliance carrier is cancelling roughly 1 percent of its schedule from July though October, which equals a little over 1,000 flights according to Cirium schedules. The cuts are on top of the 10 percent reduction that British Airways made to the period in May. An airline spokesperson described this summer’s recovery as the “most challenging period” in the aviation industry’s history.

(Martin Deutsch/Flickr)

EasyJet, KLM, Lufthansa, and Swiss International Air Lines have all been forced to cut schedules in recent weeks due to operational difficulties with staffing, at airports, or with air traffic control. And that was before a pilot strike at Scandinavian airline SAS forced it to cancel as much as 76 percent of its schedule on Tuesday, FlightAware data show, and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S.

British Airways is in a unique situation. Executives have placed the blame for operational issues on what they view as understaffing by the operator of London’s Heathrow airport, but politicians have cited both the airline and airport. In addition, a dispute with two of British Airways’ unions has raised the threat of a strike by check-in staff at Heathrow later this summer.

Airlines

Transatlantic Business Travel Recovery Leads at British Airways

2 years ago

International Airlines Group CEO Luis Gallego said Friday that corporate bookings on its flights to and from North America are leading the recovery of business travel at its airlines, which include British Airways and Iberia.

“Business traffic is coming back,” he said during the group’s first-quarter earnings call on Friday. “We see that. For example, banking finance, the levels are around 65 percent the levels that we had in 2019. That’s a sector that is very important for us.”

Overall corporate demand at IAG has recovered to roughly 67 percent of 2019 levels but it varies widely by airline and market. For example, transatlantic corporate demand is at 90 percent of three years ago at British Airways. And across the group, bookings from large corporate accounts has recovered to 60 percent of 2019, while small- and medium-sized business bookings are at 80 percent. IAG also owns Aer Lingus and Spanish budget carrier Vueling.

The business recovery at IAG puts it in between peers Air France-KLM and the Lufthansa Group. Air France-KLM said Thursday that corporate demand is at 70 percent of 2019, while Lufthansa said the same day that it is only at roughly 50 percent but saw a 30-point improvement during the first quarter.