The pandemic heavily affected the airline industry, experiencing significant financial losses and the need to lay off most employees. Since people had to stay home and minimise their flights, no cash flow was going into companies’ systems, leading to cancelled flights and poor customer service.
What people complained about the most was the lack of refunds provided for the flights that were no longer available, but since fewer workers were available to deal with an increasing number of un customers, stress and high workload might’ve contributed to the uncalled-for treatment of passengers. This factor affected numerous companies, most of which ceased their operations after declaring bankruptcy.
Now that most of them have regained a good status and the number of flights and passengers has increased, a few problems have been solved. Still, something remains unfixed ― the decent treatment of employees that directly influences customer service.
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What Companies Are Doing Wrong
As a result of constant layoffs, it’s safe to say that most workers have something against airline businesses. Therefore, trying to fix this issue is a real challenge because most companies are still providing similar wages as at the time of the pandemic, which has led to numerous strikes from unions.
For example, Heathrow Airport, the most extensive one in the UK, has finally got back on track with the profit since a significant number of customers are booking flights. However, their workers demand better pay, as an upcoming ten-day strike is expected at the end of October. So, if you’re struggling to find airport parking Heathrow around that time, it may be because employees are asking for their rights.
Ryanair Makes Workers Pay For Their Uniforms
Known for one of the worst customer experiences, along with British Airways, Ryanair has been under investigation by authorities due to low pay and obliging their employees to pay the costs of their uniforms. This is not the first time Ryanair has wrongly treated its employees. There have been considerable strikes in 2022 during the holidays.
While customers have not talked about a rise in baggage prices and the lack of aeroplane seat space, there’s nothing much the company will do since it’s a low-cost one. Along with the ticket and luggage prices that are low, people usually also get parking lots due to competitive prices with businesses like Parkos for the complete package and fewer expenses.
How Should Companies Protect And Prioritise Their Workers?
The airline industry is one of the most important in the world because it connects people from all imaginable places. But due to its massive scale, it’s challenging to control and improve every aspect of it, from price fluctuations to how workers are treated.
At the same time, an airline company consists of numerous different worker types, from the flight crew to the ground, which also get separated into multiple jobs. However, both need to be provided with security. For instance, the flight crew needs protection from falling while walking in the aircraft, and the surfaces must always be clean and dry. At the same time, they should be offered proper vaccination when travelling to other countries without having to pay for it.
The ground crews should also get training freely on how to respect preventive measures to take care of their health and have a safe approach to dealing with their tasks. But what’s most important is choosing communication and listening to their complaints. While most employers believe there will always be someone to accept the same position if a person leaves, this way of thinking is precisely what alters a company’s brand.
Why Improving Airline Customer Service Is Essential
Customer service is the backbone of a functioning business, especially in those directly engaging with the client, such as the airline industry. Without proper communication, mutual respect and adequate problem-solving skills, the chances of becoming a successful organisation are low, despite being an economy-class airline.
Good customer service increases loyalty, so booking a flight from a company whose reputation is top-notch will prove that prices are not the problem. But for the crew to act as well as possible and make the most out of their training, the company is required to offer them fair salaries and constant training because one’s quality must be decent to give their best at work.
The quality of customer service also ensures a company’s competitive advantage. New airlines and those with modest services might overcome those first-class ones where clients are not respected, and employees are treated unjustly.
What are Some Of The Best Airlines In The World?
Although almost every airline has specific issues, some manage to overcome them and provide better customer service despite challenges. For example, Singapore Airlines is known for its dedicated service, offering in-flight menus to all classes, benefiting from entertainment systems and enjoying gourmet meals. The company has an expanded destination route and has numerous aircraft that suit different flight types.
The Emirates is also reasonably famous for its culturally diverse workforce that helped in its established award-winning customer service. It was the most prominent international airline before the pandemic but has recovered since.
There’s also Japan Airlines, founded in the country most appreciated for people’s respectfulness. It’s a premier carrier with four major hubs across Japan, with an impressive reputation for treating all customers with traditional Japanese hospitality. Hence, it’s got one of the best qualities in services and flight safety.
The airline industry was heavily hit by the pandemic, losing a lot of money and employees, along with the company’s reputation. After two years of having few to no flights across their countries and the world, some businesses got back on track and have expanded their horizons by employing more workers and improving their services.
However, the issue with fair wages remains still, as we can see how many unions are starting strikes multiple times a year to ask for better pay that goes in accordance with current living costs. Considering how rent prices increased, airline workers should be prioritised to ensure a fair living.