Airline Customer Service – Part 1

While I’m writing this, I am sitting in seat 7C on Frontier Airlines. I’ve already suggested how I think airlines can improve their customer service, so how do these companies actually do? Overall, Frontier Airlines hasn’t been that bad. The staff has been pretty friendly, the seat is okay, and the overall airport experience was as good as it could have been (quick check-in, no security line). Oh, and the plane was on time and clean. Based on this experience, and especially compared to other flying experiences, there isn’t that much to complain about.

That’s a terrific thing for customers, but not for customer service professionals. We always need something to critique in order to be able to do our jobs and make ourselves worth the time/effort/money that people put into hiring us. So what could Frontier Airlines do better? Keep in mind, this is really nitpicking. Overall, the experience was very good and I don’t have much to complain about.

Easier to buy TV.
Frontier offers some television programming to passengers (I keep wanting to type customers). This is great and a lovely way to help pass the time of a three or four hour flight, but getting the system to actually accept a credit or debit card seemed tricky. I tried to get it to work and so did the person sitting next to me, but with no luck. The flight attendant came by and got it to work in about a second. She did not explain what she did (or how she did it), but just kept going. Barely a word was muttered. Frontier should try to make the system less guess work and more teaching people how to actually do it.

The crew didn’t know some of the little things.
For example, there was a lot of hesitation when the flight attendant was saying what snacks the airline would be giving out were. If this happened at a restaurant while a waiter was telling the specials, it would be quite noticeable and completely unacceptable. It isn’t hard to look at the packages before you get on to do the announcement. It certainly makes things easier and when people’s movies (that they paid for!) are being interrupted, it’s best to make things easier and quicker. Another passenger asked about some of the liquor they had in stock and the crew member didn’t really know. Her answer was not “I’ll go check – just a minute!” but more a whole bunch of excuses about a frequently changing stock and the company discontinuing some things.

Not much personality.
While I would much rather have a lack of a good personality than a bad personality, I didn’t notice much personality among the crew on the flight. They weren’t rude or mean by any standards, but they didn’t seem to be enthusiastic. There weren’t many smiles, thank yous, or you’re welcomes. In fact, it wouldn’t be stretching it to call the crew customer service bots.

I’ll have plenty of customer service stories to share over the next week or so. I have to deal with a car rental place, a hotel, and a whole bunch of different companies. One of them has to do something worth writing about (good or bad). We’ll see how these major companies do – what they did right, what they did wrong, and how they can improve.

One Response to “Airline Customer Service – Part 1”

  1. Jeremy said:

    Jun 18, 07 at 10:07 pm

    In the end, you are not a “Raving Fan” so you are a “revolt waiting to happen.”

    I loved when you said “and especially compared to other flying experiences, there isn’t that much to complain about.” It just shows how bad airlines are, and how much potential there is for one of the airlines to create “Raving Fans.”