British Airways and using suppliers to deliver your customer experience


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Trip to France Day #3 - Manchester, England - 10, Dec - 03.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: sebastien.barre

As some of you may have noticed (or not) I was away on holiday last week and we flew back into the UK on Sunday night.

What makes this interesting from this blog’s perspective is what happened after we landed. After disembarking, getting through passport control was easy. Then, we headed for baggage collection and that’s where it all got a little harder.

We were waiting for our bags to be delivered to the baggage carousel and this was taking longer than expected. And we waited. And then we waited some more.

Finally, an announcement was made over the public address system that our bags were delayed because

‘of the larger than normal volume of bags on our flight’


Then, a few minutes later, another announcement was made explaining that

‘a power failure in the baggage unloading area means that bags would be delayed by another 15 minutes’

I think it is ironic when BA had just announced a new branding campaign….to fly, to serve (see new launch video below)……my experience got me to wondering about how lying constitutes service?

I must say that the baggage problem was not BA’s fault and we had had a really positive experience so far on both legs of our flight. However, it wasn’t that BA that let us down it was the staff at Gatwick with the delays and spurious announcements.

The challenge I have with all of that is that it was BA that we thought our tickets from not Gatwick airport and so the responsibility for the customer experience has to lie with BA and that any failure in how their suppliers deliver rubs off on BA’s brand.

Can they prevent that? Probably not all of the time. But, they could ask the airports to stop lying to their passengers whilst we are still technically in their care.

For me, the overall lesson here is: if you have to use suppliers to fully deliver your experience, be careful of the standards and the expectations that you demand from them.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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