Coachlines - March 2020

20.03.20 Evening Standard, 20th February 2020

BA apprentice goes the extra mile

A young British Airways’ apprentice has won praise on social media after helping with a customer’s Valentine’s Day travel plans, reports the Evening Standard.

Daniel Thompson, 19, from Ruislip, a BA customer service agent, said he was “just doing his job” when he ensured customer Piyush Patel, 53 and his wife could still go away on a romantic getaway with their friends.

The Standard writes that the group had travelled from Surrey to spend Valentine’s Day seeing the northern lights in Iceland, but Storm Dennis meant their flight was cancelled. Going above and beyond, Mr Thompson, who began working at Heathrow Airport in October, found all airline flights still running to cold destinations the same day. He then found out how to get the group quick visas to the US and got them on a ‘fantastic’ break to New York within hours.

Piyush, an advisor to London’s Federation of Small Businesses, said he wanted to do something to thank the apprentice, so wrote about his efforts on LinkedIn. The post said: “I am typing this at 4.40am from The Grand Hyatt in New York reflecting back on how I enjoyed the flight here, the complimentary lounge access and thinking how proud his parents must be of him.” The post has received more than 70,000 likes and millions of views.

“It was one of their birthdays in a week’s time as well as a Valentine’s break and Times Square and New York seemed of a par with a romantic trip to Iceland,” said Daniel. “People have been putting under that LinkedIn post that I am a future CEO. My family is so proud… I’m trying to keep my head as small as I can. At the end of the day I was technically just doing my job, but my whole plan is to go into management eventually.”

The apprentice told the Standard that the incident proves young people are capable, and called for more positive feedback on social media. “People were so shocked someone had put something positive on social media. Especially for people at my age, it’s huge,” he said. “I would like more feedback to be positive than negative, everyone is quick to complain and no one is quick to praise.”

Daniel has since had a meeting with BA CEO Alex Cruz and was one of 25 employees chosen from 45,000 colleagues honoured at a company event at Heathrow. A BA spokesperson said: “We’re really proud that this customer has gone out of his way while he’s on holiday to thank our colleague, Daniel, for his amazing help.”

Source: Evening Standard, 20 February 2020. Please click here to read the full story.