British Airways Apologizes for Delays

BA delaysComputer issues plagued Delta recently, and now British Airways is feeling the pain. Tens of thousands of customers have been delayed while checking in, dropping off luggage, and waiting to take off. Frequent fliers may remember similar delays in July, when the airline was upgrading its check-in system. This time, an IT issue shut down some systems, causing staff to hand write boarding passes.

The airline apologized for the delays, admitting that processes have been "taking longer than usual": "We are sorry for the delay to their journeys." Although passengers were actively complaining on Twitter, the company had little to say online. The Twitter page has only one reference to the delays-after the issues were resolved.

But some customers did receive a letter, posted in an NBC article.

  BA apology

Discussion Starters:

  • Assess the letter to customers. What principles of letter writing and bad-news messages does the airline follow in this communication? What would improve the letter?
  • What word choices and other aspects of the letter tell you it's British? Why did the airline chose this method of communication?
  • What else, if anything, should the airline have communicated on social media?