Airline customer service is notoriously bad, but there is a way to get the information and services that you need. Here are airline customer service tips to help you survive the rough and tumble world of modern flight.
One of the first things a passenger can do to deal with poor airline customer service is to call to confirm all flight times, check in procedures, and special requests the day before the flight. Taking the time and the inconvenience to make an in-depth phone call the day before the flight in order to confirm every aspect of your reservation and check on all check-in and security procedures. By doing this, people can save themselves a lot of problems later. In addition, by having all necessary documents ready and being prepared to use check-in kiosks, you can avoid some of the more common customer service issues that can arise during check-in. If special requests were made with the reservation, confirming those reservations the day before can help take care of any potential issues before you even arrive at the airport.
Unfortunately, not issues can be resolved so easily. Passengers may still have to deal with customer service personnel at length before or after check-in. If you encounter a major issue, be patient, take a step back, and don’t take it out on the customer service representative. It is understandable that people become irate when a flight is canceled or simply delayed. Everyone is impacted and long held plans are put on hold. When asking for updated information, be sure not to take your anger and frustration of the inconveniences you are experiencing out on the customer service personnel at the gate. They don’t have control over the flight schedule, and they are simply relaying information. Patience goes a long way when trying to obtain assistance with problems experienced with the flight schedule.
Sometimes, the only option given by customer service personnel isn’t the one best for you. At that point, take a step back. Weather usually plays a big role in airline delays, as does security. In most cases, the airlines simply have no control over flight delays, cancellations, and rescheduling. If your flight is canceled and there is a chance to board another flight (almost always to a different destination), you’ll most likely have to go with the new plan if you don’t want to wait another day or longer. There is a great likelihood that your flight itinerary will bring its own set of inconveniences as well. It is important to remember that the customer service representatives aren’t there to make life miserable. They are simply working with the information and flights that they have available. If passengers want to get anywhere, working with airline customer service personnel is vital. You can vent your anger at the airlines later.
Other times, the issue arises once the airplane is boarded. While it is true that airline customer service doesn’t stop at the gate, remember that if you do experience delays once on the airplane, it isn’t the flight attendants’ fault. There are times when the pre-boarding and boarding experiences go flawlessly only to lead to a lengthy delay on the runway, sometimes of several hours. In most cases, there is absolutely nothing that the pilots or flight attendants can do, other than try to make the passengers as comfortable as possible. Once again, this is another place where you really aren’t in a position to take the frustration airline customer service personnel. Flight attendants in particular can take the brunt of the frustration. Constant and incessant complaining can make the experience much more miserable for all. It is the airline bureaucracy that needs to hear about improper treatment of passengers and unnecessary delays.
It is also important to remember that airline customer service issues don’t necessarily end once in the air either. If the flight is canceled and then you’re rerouted to another airline; don’t count on the airlines to provide accurate information to friends and family waiting on the other end. Airlines make mistakes, even on their passenger lists. One might be tempted to think that such airline passenger issues were resolved in the wake of September 11th, 2001. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Passengers need to ensure that they have a way to communicate sudden changes in the flight itinerary to their family and friends. You don’t want your parents told that you picked up the boarding pass for the flight, and were on-board, when that wasn’t the case. In one instance, such information was conveyed (after 9/11), and when the person was not seen coming off of the airplane at the final destination, the parents feared the worst. Even if one feels as though the airlines shouldn’t be in the business of providing false information (and it is true, they aren’t), passengers need to take responsibility for communicating any and all changes to your family and loved ones.
If all passengers were treated with respect and exhibited almost un-human patience, there would be no need for this article. However, the truth is much more complex. In many cases, passengers do have some very legitimate grievances against the airlines. However, their employees having to deal with irate customers day in and day out doesn’t help their customer service reputations. By keeping in mind these airline customer service tips in mind, passengers can better keep up their end of the bargain, and more. Eventually, a more pleasant air travel experience may emerge. Surviving airline customer service doesn’t have to be that bad.