Monday Insight – July 31, 2023

Customer Service Staff
Are The Airlines’ Front Line.

But Who Are They Really Working For?

Let’s get clear:

The US DOT is now armed and ready to take on the airline industry.

It makes great press and diverts attention away from the mess at the FAA and ATC.

What this means is that the airline industry cannot afford any avoidable service screw-ups. And when there are such events, they need to move quickly to diffuse the situation with hard facts. Nature abhors an information vacuum. Some folks in the media love them.

Farming Out Customer Service To Unconcerned Sharecroppers. An airline’s first line of defense from stupid and biased media reporting is their troops on the frontline, i.e., the staff dealing directly with the customer. 

Today, every airport is on “Candid Camera” – any foul-up, argument, altercation or service slip gets immediately videoed and on the global web in a heartbeat.

The problem is that in many cases, the airline’s front-line troops aren’t in the fight.  

While airlines spend bazillions on new apps and web support programs, they often “sharecrop” their airport customer service to outside contractors whose employees don’t work for the airline, have low pay and benefits, and not always care if the passenger ever flies the carrier again.

This is not a minor issue. The results of customer service sharecropping are popping out all over. It shows. Do a web search, and the stories of airline consumer “outrages” are running rampant.

A lost or damaged wheelchair here and there. A golf pro’s clubs being turned into junk sticks. Videos of gate agents stealing from a carry-on bag left behind. Stories of gate staff being paid an incentive commission for collecting excess baggage fees, which can skew decision-making. Stories of last-minute “gotcha” fees for carry-on.

Some of the stories are malarkey. But the media tends to take them as gospel. Today, just about anything down to a scuffed Samsonite gets traction.

The folks in Buttigieg’s press-pandering Washington clique and the suits in some sections of congress love this stuff. 

Enough. Invest eight minutes and get the complete perspective of how this really is the frontline that can protect the industry and the public from political dimbulb legislation.

There is jihad against the airline industry. And the industry needs to get a lot tighter.

The latest Aviation Unscripted™ video spends just over eight minutes outlining the new threat – a largely self-imposed threat – to the US airline industry. And what needs to be done.

Click here and take a look. It might rattle a cage or two.