Tag: Airline Customer ServiceView All Tags
There's no question that these days, us airline passengers are pretty ticked off at the airlines. Yes, there are some great deals going on these days but there's also a lot of nickel and diming going on in the form of luggage fee, check-in fees, change fees, upgrade fees and even, in-flight food fees. And don't get us started on the possible pay to pee fee or the airline that shall not be named because it couldn't even get off the ground.
So perhaps sensing that passengers need some delicate handling again, a few airlines are trying to bring back an element of customer care.
The Red Coats program, which dates back to the 1960s, “was one of our better-known services,” Gil West, Delta’s senior vice president of airport customer service, said in an interview. The decision to disband the program in 2005, while the airline reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, was viewed as a mistake by some employees, he said....
The new Red Coats will be able to use hand-held devices to print boarding passes and issue vouchers to airport clubs.
The best part about the Red Coats is that they can do it all without having to get a supervisor's permission, thus saving time and hopefully some frustration.
They'll never admit it, but recent evidence suggests that United Airlines is getting sick and tired of listening to customers bitch and moan about every damn thing. In one extreme case, a serially-disgruntled passenger was frozen out of his Mileage Plus Account for calling to complain more than 200 times in one year. Calling that many times certainly seems obnoxious to me, but come April, even your run-of-the-mill complainers are going to have a harder time finding a sympathetic ear. That's because United has announced plans to disconnect a phone line dedicated to fielding customer compliments and complaints.
According to an interesting column on msnbc.com, United says the move is designed to encourage customers to write letters or emails instead of using the phone, a tactic that they believe increases customer satisfaction. The cynics among us might think they're doing it for the cost savings, but since the move seems inevitable, now's a good time to hone our whining skills to get the most positive results.
Airline Customer Service / Airlines / American Airlines / Technology / Travel Technology / → All Tags
Frequent fliers on American Airlines will soon enjoy streamlined automated customer service by phone, thanks to a fancy new customer-recognition program.
As the AP points out, the Remember Me system recognizes the phone numbers of AAdvantage members, greeting them by name and automatically providing same-day gate and flight information with nary a keystroke. A spokesman said that the move is aimed at improving the customer-service experience, though it will also save the company money by reducing the need for actual human beings in the call center.
Like most people, we've been frustrated by the frequent ineptitude of computerized phone systems, but since that's the direction the industry is inevitably headed, we applaud improvements such as these. The more that customer recognition programs can truly anticipate why we're calling and deliver the information we need quickly, the more we'll accept them. Now, if the airlines could program computers to make flights depart on time, we'd be getting somewhere.
Upon arrival at LAS late last week it was clear that JetBlue was running a tad behind as far as flights East were concerned. Our flight was delayed two hours, but our more immediate concern was would we make our connection at JFK? Knowing we were on the last flight from JFK to BOS, visions of spending the night on a dirty JFK floor filled our heads. The JetBlue desk jockey assured us we would make the connection.
When we arrived at JFK not only did we make our connection, but JetBlue held the plane so all passengers with connections could get on board. Fair enough. Our flight ended up landing in Boston maybe 15 minutes later than it was originally scheduled to, again, fair enough.
So imagine the surprise we had when a letter appeared in our inbox two days ago.
JetBlue didn't have to do this. After all, they ended up getting us to our final destination on time, which is really the endgame. However, the fact that the airline issued us this voucher sure will earn them a egoboo heading into the sketchy winter flying season.