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Editorial

The standards set out in this section govern the creation of content for ba.com. They are independent of device and visual design. These standards are set by the UX and Editorial champions group. Please contact Nick Gassman or Geraint Jones for editorial standards queries.

Error messages

Written on May 7, 2015

Error messages should be tailored to the function so that the user is clear about what has happened and what they should do next. An error message should follow this structure: 1) apologise for the error 2) briefly explain what the problem is, to give the user some context 3) tell the user what toContinue Reading

ba.com writing style

Written on June 26, 2012

Writing for the web is different from writing for other media because users scan-read and want to get to information quickly. These standards outline how to best write for ba.com.  They have been developed from the British Airways tone of voice guidelines and incorporate search engine optimisation (SEO) principles. Here you can find the ba.com writing principles, alongContinue Reading

Numbers and numerals

Written on March 4, 2011

How to use numbers in writing; when they should be written in words and when you can use numerics.

Time formats

Written on March 4, 2011

How you should write the time, including local market exceptions.

Metric and imperial units of measure

Written on March 4, 2011

How to refer to units of measure such as cm or inches, in content.

Telephone numbers

Written on March 4, 2011

How to present phone numbers for local and global markets.

ba.com URL

Written on March 4, 2011

How to present ‘ba.com’ in copy.

Use of ‘my’ and ‘your’

Written on March 4, 2011

When is it correct to use ‘my’ or ‘your’ when referring to purchases from British Airways?

Capitalisation

Written on March 4, 2011

This explains the approach to the written style used in copy and further details can be found in the BA dictionary.

Date formats

Written on March 4, 2011

This shows how to write the standard date format and also includes the day and month abbreviations for the core languages.

Spaces after a full stop

Written on March 4, 2011

In has been standard to use two character spaces after a full stop , but this has been replaced by the single space convention in published print and digital media today. Therefore content should be written with one space after the full stop.    

Links to the same page, or further down other pages

Written on March 4, 2011

How to use ‘anchor’ links, or links within the same page or to specific content on other pages.

Footnotes, asterisks, superscript

Written on March 4, 2011

How to use footnotes, if you cannot avoid using them.

Links to ‘Home’

Written on March 4, 2011

Usage of the ‘Home’ link.

Usage of your and my on ba.com

Written on March 4, 2011

When do I use ‘my’ and ‘your’ when personalising content for logged in Executive Club members or customers with bookings using MMB. Use ‘my’ to refer to something the customer has done and for which they have a degree of ownership i.e. My booking. Use ‘your’ when presenting the customer with something we are offeringContinue Reading

Place names

Written on March 1, 2011

Where a destination is named, the city name at least should be used (e.g. London). Where it is necessary to distinguish the airport, the full name of the airport should be used (e.g. London Heathrow), but if there is insufficient space, the code can be used (e.g. London LHR). Use English forms when they areContinue Reading

Alt tags and other tags for images

Written on March 1, 2011

ALT tags are compulsory on all images. For guidance please refer to the accessibility guidelines      

Action buttons – naming

Written on March 1, 2011

Continue – default labelling to move to the next stage in a process. Submit – typically used when the customer has filled in a form and this is the only stage in a process. Confirm – to be used where the customer is asked to review information and to confirm that it is correct. ProceedContinue Reading

Bullet points – when to use them

Written on March 1, 2011

Bullets should be used: when items are to be listed (e.g. what can you not take in baggage) when a series of discrete brief concepts are to be presented (e.g. benefits of EC membership) for instructions when a complex message needs to be simplified Bullet points should not be used when the effectiveness of theContinue Reading

Links in emails

Written on March 1, 2011

Link directly to relevant content When a link is provided in an email to content or functionality, the link should go directly to the relevant content rather than to an intermediate landing page that would require further clicks. This does not remove the need to take the customer first to a login page if theContinue Reading

References to time in emails

Written on March 1, 2011

Emails should not contain reference only to relative days such as ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’, but should at least contain actual dates.

Bullet points in text emails

Written on March 1, 2011

The dash [-] is to be used for bullet points – first bullet – second bullet

Line length of text emails

Written on March 1, 2011

The body text line length of emails should be limited to 65 characters.

Headings in text emails

Written on March 1, 2011

Headings (text emails) All content in text emails must have headings in the style shown below, with the stated exceptions. There will be two blank lines at the end of a section. The new section heading will be in capitals, and will be bordered above and below by dashes to the same length as theContinue Reading

General order of content for servicing emails

Written on March 1, 2011

The order of content is primarily dictated by importance to the customer ‘Do not reply’ Salutation Index (for text emails) Transaction specific information – e.g. PNR/flight details (text) General info for everyone – e.g. terminal changes, baggage allowance (text) Contingency info if appropriate – e.g. wheelchair access, ticket desk location (text or link) Supplementary informationContinue Reading

Emails – mandatory sections and wording

Written on March 1, 2011

Except where stated, the following wording applies to text and html emails. The layout is mandated for text emails. Text emails are to be composed using the courier font for layout. The working assumption is that the customer will be using courier for text emails. 1) ‘Do not reply’ text at the top PLEASE DOContinue Reading

Customer facing microsites

Written on March 1, 2011

Microsites are only permitted where business objectives cannot be met with a standard development on ba.com. Within this context, a microsite may be: one or more non-standard pages on an external server one or more non-standard pages on ba.com Where a microsite is used, the following issues must be accounted for: look and feel shouldContinue Reading

Wording of links

Written on March 1, 2011

Wording of links Links to be worded so the clickable part is meaningful. The wording of a link should include the key phrase in the title of the page which it links to. ‘Click here’ is not to be used. Where the clickable part of a text link is not fully explained, there should beContinue Reading

External sites – how to link

Written on March 1, 2011

Open in new window Links to sites external to British Airways should be opened in a new browser window, set to a size which does not obscure the ba.com window. Customer awareness Where a link is provided to an external site, it is a legal requirement that it be obvious to customers that they areContinue Reading

Consent to direct marketing

Written on March 1, 2011

It is a requirement of the UK Data Protection Act that a “consent statement” appears at all points of data capture for direct marketing across the network. The following text is to be used as standard ======================================================== Sign up to receive exclusive fares, special offers and other marketing emails from the British Airways group. Yes,Continue Reading

Cookie policy

Written on March 1, 2011

It is a legal requirement to have a site-wide policy on cookies that is easily accessible.

Privacy policy

Written on March 1, 2011

Websites should have a privacy policy, easily accessible for all visitors, and also linked to from appropriate places on the site.

Online surveys

Written on March 1, 2011

‘Confirmit’ is the approved tool for conducting ad-hoc online surveys. Surveys can be targetted or random, and may be conducted in local languages. Customer Insights must be consulted in the planning of any online survey. There are four principal ways to attract a customer to a survey: Via a link from a chosen page toContinue Reading

Design for printing

Written on March 1, 2011

Pages designed specifically for printing should fit within a width of 21cm (A4 width) and a length of 28cm (US standard length). They should ‘work’ if printed in black and white. If the page is in colour, if appropriate, the customer should be informed that a black and white print is OK. Buttons in popupsContinue Reading

Franchise content

Written on February 28, 2011

Approach From the customer perspective, British Airways’ franchise operations are a fully integrated part of British Airways’ service. Where British Airways services are operated by a franchise carrier this should be made clear. Information about franchises should be easily available. Franchise carriers own sites How separately hosted franchise content should be presented. Pages built forContinue Reading

Official list of supported countries

Written on February 28, 2011

The starting point for listing countries will be the list of member states of the United Nations. This may be modified by advice from government affairs, or for other reasons. This is a link to the United Nations website for the most up-to-date list of recognised countries: http://www.un.org/members/list.shtml

Email addresses on web pages

Written on February 28, 2011

‘mailto’ and explicit email addresses should not normally be used on web pages. Where an email capability is needed, forms should be used.

Translation of PDF files

Written on February 28, 2011

Translations of PDFs will be on a case-by case basis. Where an English PDF is offered for download from a non-English page, it must be stated that the PDF is in English by the download button. This will require additional transalation of the download page.

Display of positive and negative cash numbers in text emails

Written on February 28, 2011

If we’re dealing with a refund: Fare refund: GBP 600 Tax refund: GBP 50 Admin fee: -GBP 30 Total refund: GBP 620   With a payment: Fare: GBP 600 Taxes: GBP 50 Discount: -GBP 20 Total to pay: GBP 630

Using RightNow FAQs on ba.com

Written on February 28, 2011

The use of FAQs in RightNow on ba.com should normally be reserved only for Latest Flight News. All normal content should be on an appropriate page on ba.com. If any content is placed in RightNow other than Latest Flight News, it must be linked from a relevant page.

Application timeouts

Written on February 28, 2011

If an application session times out, an appropriate message should be given to the customer, and appropriate action offered e.g. ‘Sorry, but you have not done anything for [time], and you will need to start again’    [big red start again button] If an application session times out, an appropriate message should be given toContinue Reading

Tier Points terminology

Written on February 22, 2011

Download Tier Terminology document (.pdf).

Currency presentation

Written on February 22, 2011

Where 3-letter currency codes are used, the ISO 4217 standards should be used (eg GBP, USD). In English, the three letter code comes before the units, with a non-breaking space between e.g. EUR 300, GBP 250.  In most other languages, not including Irish, Latvian and Maltese, the positioning is reversed. Where it would result inContinue Reading

BA dictionary/glossary of terms

Written on February 22, 2011

The BA dictionary details how certain airline terms and sub-brands should be written online. These terms are referred to in a certain way to ensure they are always written consistently.

Supported browsers and systems

Written on February 22, 2011

Last updated 9 March 2017 We support browsers and systems that our customers use. Desktop web Mobile web Fully supported Fully supported MSIE 10 and above on PC (not Mac) and Edge iPhone 4s and above – iOS 8+ Safari Safari 9 and above on Mac Android phones <7” – Android 4.4+ Android browser, ChromeContinue Reading