About the Airline

            The London-based airline is reputed to provide outstanding service to its passengers.  Its pilots and cabin crew are well-trained and noted for their friendliness and service quality.  For instance, the crew can accommodate a passenger on board the plane who is on a tight connecting schedule by making a series of phone calls during a flight to arrange for a faster transfer of passengers.  The airline also prides itself in following a strict schedule, that means, closing the plane’s doors a few minutes before take off, which could result to leaving behind those people who might arrive a few minutes before the scheduled departure.

Identification of Problems

            The airline is noted for being able to arrive on time to its destinations and also leaving on time from its point of origin.  While this is greatly appreciated by many passengers, the airline does not take into account passengers who are on connecting flights, even those flying first class.  This is one aspect where the airline is weak.  Its crew do not consider the other airlines’ schedules and how that would affect their passengers’ ability to catch the flight.  Aside from the inconvenience of missing the flight, the passengers would feel unimportant and would likely look for another airline who could provide him better service.  Another weakness of the London-based airline is the absence of a ground agents who could properly assist passengers who failed to make the connection.

Options and Alternatives

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            The airline’s problems are focused on poor customer service and strategy management.  There are several alternatives available to improve on these areas.  First, the airline can choose to fly later than schedule in order to give allowance to those passengers who are flying connecting flights.  Second, the airline can coordinate with other airline companies being used by their passengers to know whether it should fly on schedule or wait for those making the connections.  Third, the airline can improve on its customer service by hiring capable ground agents who can make the flight changes less inconvenient and painful for passengers.

Recommendations

            Any airline company’s success and growth are supported by a loyal customer base.  That means, the airline must go out of its way to cultivate good relations with its customers.  In this regard, the company must make the connecting flights as seamless as possible.  There should be coordination with other airlines to know whether it’s possible to wait for passengers who will be making the connection.  By doing this, the passengers would feel that the airline cares for them and not just their fare.  If it isn’t possible to wait for delayed passengers, there must be a helpful agents on the ground who could help the passengers obtain another flight schedule that won’t greatly disrupt their schedules.

Implementation

            The implementation of these changes are not difficult.  It only needs empowerment of the crew to decide whether or not they can delay for a few minutes before taking off.  Management must determine how long should each flight wait for delayed passengers.   For instance, if there are five passengers flying on connecting flights, maybe the crew could wait for about 15 to 30 minutes before they should go.  While waiting, the ground agents could use information systems to check with other airlines concerning their schedules to know whether the passengers could make it within 30 minutes.

Assessment Criteria

            To assess whether this strategy is effective, each flight manager must submit a report of how many passengers where able to catch up with their flights because of the system.  By doing this, management will know if there is a sense in waiting for delayed passengers.  Also, the airline can conduct random surveys asking passengers concerning the company’s services.

References

Jenkins, B.  (2008, September 14). What To Do If You Miss Your Flight. Free-Articles-Zone.

            Retrieved October 5, 2008, from

            http://results.myhpf.co.uk/framedresults.asp?Keyword=air+travel+++customer+service

Stirtz, K.  (2008).  What Do Customers Really Want? Survey Reveals the Truth. Customer

            Service Manager.  Retrieved October 5, 2008, from

            http://www.customerservicemanager.com/what-do-customers-want-survey-reveals-

            truth.htm

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