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British Airways Secures Funding to Revolutionize Website User Experience

The airline has secured investment from its parent company IAG to revamp its website and mobile app and address their longstanding technical issues

May 16, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of British Airways

British Airways, the renowned U.K. flag carrier, has recently revealed that it has obtained funding from its parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), to tackle the persistent technical problems afflicting its website and mobile app.

Over the years, the airline has faced consistent criticism due to its online platforms’ poor usability, leading to complaints from loyal customers and frequent flyers. However, with this new investment, British Airways is determined to rectify these IT challenges and improve the overall user experience for its digital services.

Photo: Courtesy of British Airways

The airline recently informed its employees of its plans to create a “seamless and personalized experience” for its passengers when using the British Airways website or app for booking or managing their flights. Accordingly, a team of more than 200 people is working on a major redesign of the carrier’s website, focusing on addressing the recurrent issues that have bugged its internal IT system for years.

During the website’s beta testing phase, a limited number of participants will have the opportunity to explore and interact with the revamped website, providing valuable feedback to the development team. This crucial step allows British Airways to address potential challenges, fine-tune the user experience, and enhance the website’s performance and functionality.

British Airways is expected to add more self-service options as part of the website’s overhaul. For example, several minor changes and amendments to flight bookings and services can only be done via the carrier’s call centers, which become massively overwhelmed with the high demand, thus forcing customers to wait on hold for long periods. Other new features are expected to be a dynamic live pricing system and an improved retargeting marketing communications system.

Photo: Courtesy of British Airways

The announcement comes after several IT system meltdowns over recent years and months that have damaged British Airways’ once-revered reputation. One of the most recent issues faced by the airline was in late March when an internal technical issue caused widespread flight delays and cancelations out of its primary hub of London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

One of its costliest failures was in 2018 when a data breach affected over 400,000 customers and employees with stolen login, card, booking, name, and address details. This resulted in the airline being hit with a £20 million ($25.1 million) fine by the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) in 2020—the largest penalty ever issued by the independent body—although this was significantly reduced from the £183 million ($229.4 million) fine that was initially intended.