British Airways: Localization takes flight in record time


Continually improving the customer experience both, on the ground and in the air, is a way of life for British Airways. Long before customers arrive at a terminal, the airline plants the seeds of a pleasant journey by providing essential travel information to customers in their preferred languages.


Due to the complexity of their web and mobile content management systems, British Airways required IT team assistance to gather and prepare files for translation on many of their pages. Developers had to manually generate visual previews of where text would be displayed to achieve high-quality localization, which took time away from their day-to-day roles.

With content strategists consistently promoting faster release cycles and company executives anticipating expansion into new languages, the content team began to critically examine their approach to translation.


British Airways decided to test Smartling’s web translation proxy (the Global Delivery Network) in a single-language pilot program to support a route launch to Korea. The version was completed in only the time it took to translate the 500k+ words making up the site. Not only did this reduce the developer time required for translation, but it also empowered their content teams to complete translation projects in record time.

Content teams were excited to have a simple, centralized space for authorizing and monitoring translation jobs. Developers were relieved to see that content teams could instantly and accurately pull files into the translation environment without IT assistance. With automatically generated visual context, British Airways soon found its translators consistently outperforming quality indicators from the previous year.