British Airways Crisis Management

British Airways is the world’s leading flag-carrier UK’s airline and aviation company. The airline experienced a massive crisis of tech and IT failure in 2017, which resulted in the form flight delays, cancellation of flights, luggage losses, and various other disruptions. Today, we’ll discuss British Airways crisis management; crisis event, strategic approach, and lessons learned from British Airways crisis communication strategy. 

Crisis Event to British Airways 

The crisis of IT and tech system failure happened to British Airways in 2017. It caused a wide-scale disruption of operations like; flight delays, cancellations, luggage management errors and issues, flight scheduling, and other critical system disruptions and failures. However, it attracted significant media attention; thousands of people were standing at the airports waiting for their flights. 

The IT system failed during the peak of the holiday season, and the heavy crowd of passengers further amplified the challenges and issues for the airline. They experienced high frustration and couldn’t change their flights due to the crowded holiday season. It wasn’t only a temporary glitch and IT system failure; what made matters worse was that the company couldn’t reverse the tech failure and return things back to normal. 

However, the entire crisis event raised serious concerns and questions about operational and functional resilience, customer service capabilities, and IT infrastructure. While managing the scale of the crisis, British Airways worked tirelessly to resolve the problem and return the system back to normal. 

Strategic Approach of British Airways Crisis Management

Let’s discuss the strategic approach of British Airways crisis management to deal with the IT system failure; they’re as follows; 

Open & Transparent Communication 

British Airways quickly realized the wide scale and scope of tech system failure. The aviation company acknowledged the IT system failure; and launched multiple communication lines web platforms, social media, and digital media to connect with the end consumers and inform them about the crisis. However, the company remained open and transparent throughout the crisis event; and kept informing passengers about the steps they were taking to manage the crisis. 

Customer Support Service

In order to answer the customers’ concerns and queries, British Airways introduced a dedicated customer support service helpline. It allowed the airline brand to keep answering questions regarding rebooking, flight reclaims, and compensation plans. A transparent communication strategy and answering customers’ queries showed the aviation company’s strong commitment to the targeted customers and resolving the problem. 

Flight Rebooking & Compensation 

In order to compensate customers and passengers for the delays and cancellation of flights; British Airways offered them multiple options of flight rebooking, transferring, and refunding the amount of their ticket. It allowed the aviation company to decrease the impact of the crisis and gave priority to the customers over the business. 

Corrective Actions & Precautionary Measures

In order to avoid the occurrence of such incidents again in the future, British Airways thoroughly investigated the root cause of the system failure and took precautionary measures and preventative approaches. Launching changes to improve the capabilities of the IT system helped the company to avoid such incidents from happening again. 

Alternative Travel Open 

British Airways guided its passengers to either reschedule their flight to some other date or plan their own personal traveling arrangements. The airline offered flexible options to the customers in the form of rescheduling, rebooking, transferring, refunding, and other options that allowed the company to reduce the impact of the massive disruptions. 

Improving IT Infrastructure 

After the incident, British Airways focused on improving and strengthening its tech and IT infrastructure to deal with any type of disruptions. A better IT system, secure server, and strong firewalls help the company to increase the resilience of its security system. 

Coordination & collaboration 

British Airways coordinated and collaborated with the aviation regulatory department to learn from the incident and comply with the regulatory requirements. Connecting with external stakeholders helped the company gain a key insight into the whole crisis event and develop better strategies. However, it allowed the company to keep up with the growing industry trends and improve its system resilience. 

Rebuilding Trust & Confidence 

In order to rebuild the brand image and regain the trust and confidence of customers, British Airways launched a massive media campaign; interviews, press releases, an official apology, and other PR strategic approaches. The company informed customers about the recovery steps they have taken to deal with the crisis event. Incidents happen no matter what the business area of the field is; an open and transparent communication approach allows you to win the trust and confidence of customers. 

Lesson Learned from British Airways Crisis Communication 

Some of the main lessons learned from the British Airways crisis management and they’re as follows; 

  • Remaining prepared and ready for any type of crisis event 
  • Launching an open and transparent communication strategy
  • Direct and customer-focused strategic approach 
  • Continuous improvement and learning from your mistakes 
  • Improving the resilience of the tech and IT infrastructure 

Conclusion: Lessons Learned from British Airways Crisis Management| Strategic Crisis Management Example Company 

After an in-depth study of the British Airways crisis management; we have realized that British Airways is the world’s leading airline and aviation company. If you are learning about British Airways crisis communication strategy; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned crisis event; strategic approach, and lessons learned from the crisis event. 

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