Earlier this month, British Airways experienced an unexplained IT glitch to its system. The airline struggled for a good few days before they were able to get back on track. But the glitch did not come without damages. The system failure had apparently caused thousands of delays and cancellations for flights flying out of Heathrow and Gatwick. It caused a massive disruption to all British and Oneworld networks which eventually lead to 75,000 unhappy and grumpy passengers.
So what did British Airways do?
Initially, the airline offered passengers to rebook their flights and soon after, they started refunding entire itineraries. But it didn’t stop there. According to information shared on Flyertalk, British went even further in their efforts to make up for the glitch.
The airline extended its apologies to its Executive Club Loyalty program by extending its elite status to members affected for another 2 years regardless of tier points earned.
An Executive Club member wrote this in Flyertalk:
“I’m not sure if this is related to the claim I filed today due to a cancelled flight on Saturday or they sent it automatically to those affected, but I had my status extended another two years regardless of tier points earned!”
Emails sent out were unsurprisingly well received by Executive Club members. Typically, in order to earn Executive Club status, members must fly with a fixed volume of miles and rack up revenues based on “tier points” each year. In other words, you’d have to spend tens and thousands of dollars with British Airways to reach the elite status.
This move could prove to be British Airways’ smartest move, especially after the airline significantly remove passenger benefits. It’s generous but at a high expense on the airline’s part.
Since the airline appointed Alex Cruz as the CEO, seats were reduced on several flights and fees were added. Although it may have saved the airline here and there, the campaign wasn’t exactly doing British any justice. However, it seems to be quite the opposite judging from the response in the Flyertalk thread.
Meanwhile back at BA head office, the incident is currently under investigation. Apparently, the glitch was not due to natural causes but was rather a human error where a contractor had flipped a power switch on its main server.