British Airways has announced plans for a multi-million pound investment in staff training at Heathrow, with the aim of “empowering” employees to solve any customer problem that may arise.

The carrier said that its airport ‘hosts’ have traditionally helped customers with one aspect of their journey, but going forward will be given training to enable them to help travellers “across a range of different areas – from ticketing, to re-booking, changing reservations, finding delayed luggage or providing up to date flight information”.

Between now and next summer, and beginning at T5, staff will be trained to work across the terminal, and will be equipped with iPads loaded with specialist apps.

They will be required to walk the terminal floor “reaching out to customers”, rather than waiting for them to visit desks.

The approach will eventually be extended across the airport, empowering all staff, “whichever area of the airport they work in, to provide outstanding customer service”.

Commenting on the news Klaus Goersch, BA’s Chief Operating Officer said:

“This will change the service we deliver at Heathrow, but at its heart, this is a really simple idea. It’s about trusting our people and empowering them – giving them everything they need to provide the very best service to our customers.

“We’re encouraging our hosts to treat customers as they would their own family, and to own and resolve issues on the spot. It’s this exceptional customer service that will set us apart from other airlines.”

Last year the carrier introduced Mandarin-speaking customer service staff at Heathrow T5, working shifts to coincide with the departure or arrival of BA’s flights to mainland China.

British Airways introduces Mandarin-speaking customer service staff at Heathrow T5