This winter is a challenging one for air travel. Hopefully, you haven’t found yourself on a cancelled flight. I wasn’t so lucky and while waiting on standby, I was aggravated by the lack of customer support from the airline. However, I met one ticket agent (let’s call her, “Grace”) who “got it” and I salute three principles she used that made many stranded travelers feel better about their experience. These lessons can apply to any business.
Information is priceless. valigia persa People get frustrated very quickly once they have no idea what’s going on. The panic that accompany cancelled travel plans is multiplied whenever you can’t get a straight answer from airline staff. Too often it looks like you’re purposely sent into a long line only to find out that the agent in front does not have any idea what’s going on. Grace got on the loudspeaker and admitted that she didn’t have most of the answers for the hundreds of people who have been waiting to catch a standby flight. But she did explain the method of getting everyone to his or her destination. Grace also let people know that once they were in the standby system, they were in it until they got on a plane. This kept many from worrying about whether they’d have to re-register whenever they tried to catch a brand new flight on standby.
Tune in to concerns but don’t forget your needs. While Grace was willing to listen to traveler questions and concerns, she noticed that she had been asked the same questions again and again. This kept her from doing her other duties, which included getting as numerous standby customers on the following flight. So she gave out all the information one more time and asked that people leave her alone. And she called for those folks who had been waiting for a time to let any newcomers know the thing that was going on. By enlisting the crowd, she gave us something do to and allowed her to serve us better.
Humor never hurts. There’s plenty of tension in a airport when it’s set with unhappy people. Grace would use humor in her announcements and that brought a smile to even the absolute most tired traveler. “Trust in me,” she said with a sarcastic smile, “We would like to get you out of here around you do.” That sentence let everyone know that this is a difficult day for people that have tickets in addition to the airlines. By using humor to acknowledge this point, a distressing situation became less adversarial.
My only regret from that day was that I forget to obtain Grace’s full name or employee number. I could have sent a letter of recommendation to her airline about her excellent customer service. For the time being, i’d like to just say, Grace, you were amazing!