9 Things Airlines Can Do To Make the Economy Class Experience Better
I’ve flown 173 airlines and I’m pretty observant as to how things are done. As such, I’ve compiled some things that airlines can do to make the economy class experience better. This post is like taking all the good things from different airlines and putting them into one airline. Here goes:
1). Heat the roll whenever you serve one
I just flew on Gulfair (GF) and they heated the croissant served at breakfast and it makes such a difference to the meal. I also flew on KLM (KL) and the lunch roll was heated. Take note other airlines.
2). Deliver the snack/meal with the drink
Most airlines will come through and give you the snack/meal and then the drinks follow. As the process of handing out the meals is quick, sometimes by the time the drinks get to you, you’ve ate the meal already. If you serve it all at once like I’ve seen it done on Singapore Airlines, it makes for such a better service.
Tell the customers what they are eating; don’t just say chicken or beef or vegetarian. Most airlines don’t provide a menu in Economy class, so the passengers depend on the flight attendants to tell them what they are about to eat. It’s not enough to just say chicken, beef, fish or vegetarian. As some passengers don’t and can’t eat certain type of foods.
Yes they can order a special meal, but that’s not always the case and oftentimes they don’t realize they can and did not do it within the usual 24 hours before departure timeframe. Plus, they may prefer the chicken if its served with rice as opposed to being served with mashed potatoes.
So just take some time to say chicken with mash potatoes, beef with rice, fish with vegetables or a pasta.
3). Better explain what the customer is buying
It’s all so very complex now, one almost need a degree to understand the fare rules and whether I pay for a bag, or seat, or a meal, or how many points they’ll get for the trip. Simplify!
4). When serving the meal look at the passenger
I’ve noticed that on some airlines, the crew does not look at the passenger when the meal is being served. They take it from the cart and hand it to the passenger while they look straight ahead or back at the cart. I’ve even seen them have two trays and handing one to the person on the left and the other to the person on the right. Please take a little time and make eye contact. Why are you in such a hurry?
5). Treat all customers with respect
I know its tough as you deal with the same issues everyday and you may be going through issues yourself. I’ve been there so I know, but this is the job for which you signed up, so be respectful.
6). Recognize that some customers are traveling for the first time
Some travelers are clueless and have never traveled before, so they have no idea what to expect. As such they’ll ask simple questions that may seem idiotic. But to them, they genuinely don’t know.
I know that there are cheats out there, but don’t treat everyone as if they are; give them the benefit of the doubt first.
7). Treat customers properly during delays
As you know, there will be delays; its inevitable, but its how you treat the customer during such an irregular operation that counts.
8). Get rid of those automated phone lines and let the customer speak to a real live agent
When you call from the airports the automated systems almost always hang up on the customer. I know this saves you money, but it frustrates the customers who are paying you money. You get fewer calls now due to automation and the Internet, so it makes sense to ensure that the customer who has paid for a ticket and have to call you get a much better service.
Sometimes they are borrowing a phone to make a call and the automated system keeps hanging up as it can’t understand them as the background noise at the airport is too loud.
Ensure that your App can do all the functions on the phone.
There should be no reason why your App can’t do all the things your customer will need. Or at least the top five things. Making changes should be high on the list as when things go wrong this is tantamount.
9). Don’t hide your seat map
The customer should be able to see the seat map at all step of the process. The fact that I’m checked in and have a seat assignment does not negate that.
On some airlines, the user cannot see if the seat next to them is open, so they will keep asking the agent which waste both their times.
What say you? What can you add to this list? Do you agree with the ones I have here?