Business

British Airways’ massive $9B overhaul includes new lounges, upgraded seats

British Airways on Monday announced a massive $9 billion overhaul of its operations that will include a brand new web site and mobile app, renovated airport lounges, artificial intelligence technology integrated into its computer systems, and upgraded first-class seating.

“We’re on a journey to a Better BA for our people and our customers, underpinned by a transformation program that will see us invest $9 billion over the next three years to revolutionize our business,” British Airways’ Chief Customer Officer Calum Laming said at an unveiling in New York.

British Airways has announced plans for a massive $9 billion overhaul of its operations. AFP via Getty Images

Laming said the upgrades will encompass “delivery of new aircraft” as well as “new cabins.”

The new web site and app, which is currently in beta testing mode, will allow customers to make changes to their travel plans through their devices rather than have to call the airline’s customer service reps.

BA passengers who have Executive Club memberships will also be able to use the airplane’s WiFi free of charge to send text messages using WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger and Teams Chat.

The company has commissioned a team from Microsoft to create a customized WiFi system enabling BA personnel on the ground to communicate in real time with cabin crew members in the air in order to help solve any unexpected issues before a flight lands at one of the airline’s destinations.

BA is also rolling out a cutting-edge engineering system, the E-Logs platform, that uses real-time data to predict aircraft maintenance issues in advance — thus reducing delays.

E-Logs will replace the paper-based system, enabling the airline to track potential maintenance hazards on all of the company’s 270 jets in its fleet.

Passengers will enjoy enhanced WiFi service as well as access to new lounges in cities like Miami and Edinburgh. HANNAH MCKAY

“We’re using the latest technology to help ensure we continue delivering a consistently high standard of service for our customers – always with a focus on safety,” Andy Best, BA’s chief technology officer, said.

British Airways is also testing out a new website and app that will enhance customer service. Getty Images

BA will also invest in construction of a new lounge space in Miami as well as renovations of its lounges in Seattle, London’s Heathrow and in Edinburgh.

Americans customers who fly one of BA’s short-haul flights in Europe will notice new seats and cabin interiors.

BA is due to upgrade its fleet with the arrival of the next generation of the Airbus A320neo and A321neos.