Last Friday was a bad day for airlines.  British Airways lost its website and didn’t know when it was coming back.  Another airline, Flybe, lost its call centre too.

BA’s site crashed offline at about 6am UK time and technical staff were still working out what the problem was at 11.30am, according to The Register, which reported that:

“The airline apologised to customers and suggested they hit the phone and use the call centre (0844 493 0 787) rather than trying to book tickets online.

Unrelated, I happened to have had a flight altered by Flybe so tried to contact their call centre to sort out the mess. Usual automated response that got cut off automatically after 2 minutes.

Eventually I managed to get through to reception who refused to take a message but admitted that they were having “severe problems with phones”.

Losing a website would not have mattered a couple of years ago, but with most passengers now checking in and reserving seats online, this is likely to cause BA customers – and its airport staff – some serious hassle.

Call centres that do not work is not the answer either. The answer is to ensure all systems are available 24/7 and not to allow customer satisfaction to take a swan dive.