Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Client Service Success at United Airlines

The airlines have been taking it on the chin for as long as we can all remember. While some of the criticism may be justified, a great deal of it is just piling on. I wonder how you or I would hold up under the daily stresses of working on the front lines in the airline business. It can't be easy.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were running well behind schedule trying to catch our United Airlines flight from Boston to Denver. Totally our fault. We arrived at the ticket counter hopelessly late when, despite being extremely busy, the ticket agent overheard us talking to another UA representative, and called out, "Are you two on the Denver flight?" We of course replied, "Yes."

At that moment she came from behind the ticket counter and said, "Follow me." She physically walked us all the way to the front of the line at security - not a short walk at Logan's C Terminal. As we breezed through security, she offered instructions as to what to tell the agent at the gate so we could board (nothing unethical mind you). She waved goodbye and wished us luck. We made the flight by a whisker.

Unfortunately, it all happened so quickly that I didn't catch the agent's name who helped us. I wish I had, but in the absence of that, I believe she represents the majority of the people who assist us with our air travel each and every day. She, and others like her, work under tough circumstances to say the least. It should give us pause not to be tough customers. As hard as it is when we want to get where we want to go, we should remember that the airline employees are there to help us if we will only let them.

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