Going abroad used to mean getting away from it all. Advances in technology mean everyone can remain connected, even on holiday. In a study of 2,000 people by British Airways, the smartphone was voted the most essential item (32 per cent) to take on holiday – beating books, e-readers, music players and tablets. Thanks to the popularity of the ‘selfie’, camera apps are the second most used app on holiday (29 per cent), with over a quarter of women (27 per cent) using social media to share pictures and updates from their holiday with friends. Meanwhile, men are more likely to use map and news apps.

BA found the top apps used on holiday are:

  • Weather app (32 per cent)
  • Camera app (29 per cent)
  • Map app (23 per cent)
  • Social media app to share updates (21 per cent)
  • News app (16 per cent)
  • Social media app to find out what’s going on (14 per cent)
  • Translator app (12 per cent)
  • Local travel guide app (11 per cent)

The airline has introduced a number of digital innovations to enhance the customer journey, as illustrated in its recent ‘To Fly. To Serve.’ advert. The popular BA app has had over three million downloads, allowing users to check-in to flights, retrieve boarding passes, access the Executive Club and save details to ‘passbook’ (Apple’s virtual wallet). The mobile boarding pass has been incredibly popular with 6.5 million downloads.

The airline also has a ‘Perfect Days’ App offering personalised travel guides in a dynamic and exciting way, and is currently trialling a digital luggage tag, which if successful, could eventually do away with the need for paper tags.

The airline has over 4.5 million cumulative followers on its social media channels including Facebook (over a million likes), Twitter UK (325,000 followers), Twitter USA (347,000) Pintrest (760 pins), Instagram (23,000 followers), YouTube (26,000 subscribers), Google+ (2.5 million followers) and Sina Webo (162,608).

Improvements to mobile technology for customers are part of a £5bn investment by BA in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.