British Airways testing iPads to enhance customer service

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Airlines are embracing iPads in a big way. Just yesterday, we featured a story about another airline -- Delta -- that is replacing the bulky flight bags that cockpit crews carry around with lightweight iPads packed with information. Now British Airways has announced a trial program in which 100 cabin crew members are using iPads to streamline and enhance customer service.

The iPads are chock-full of information about the passengers on a particular flight, and the information is updated just prior to departure when a list of boarded passengers is uploaded to the device. This replaces the traditional printed seating chart, and also adds information about Executive Club status and special meal requests.

Paper handbooks and timetables are also being replaced by the iPads, which are loaded with digital facsimiles of safety manuals and schedules for the flight crews. Should a passenger on a British Airways flight have an issue or complaint before takeoff, the incident can be logged and shared immediately with ground-based customer support personnel for resolution en route.

British Airways says that the iPads are already receiving "great feedback" from both crew and customers. The airline hopes to roll out more devices to all senior cabin crew within the next few months.

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