Flight delays and cancellations happen to the best of airlines. Mechanical issues, bad weather conditions and even last minute staffing problems can unpredictably interrupt flight services. And travel-weary passengers are not always the most understanding or easiest to please — especially when they’re frustrated by delays. Angry customers often take to social media in moments like these and hurt the reputation of an airline by posting negative reviews. However, there are a few ways that airlines can make these situations less stressful for customers.
1. Make connectivity a priority
Passengers who get stuck at the airport gate without WiFi or access to electrical outlets to charge their mobile devices may get angry quick, especially if they need to contact the office about their delay. According to research from PwC, “Mobile devices are flyers’ #1 travel companion. Travelers want to stay connected from the ground up—whether for work or entertainment.” By making mobile connectivity a priority, airlines can ensure that passengers are able to use their mobile devices without interruption.
2. Provide in-person interactions with airline staff
Rather than making customers call a customer service number just to get put on hold, provide opportunities for them to chat with a service representative in-person when their flight is delayed. According to PwC, two out of three U.S. customers prefer to talk to an agent in person to resolve issues that arise.
3. Keep passengers informed with timely updates
This may seem like a no-brainer, but a common passenger pet peeve is not knowing how long their flight will be delayed. Passengers want to know if they have time to grab an in-airport massage, visit the gym provided by some airports or grab a bite to eat. Rather than making them wait around, let passengers know what airport amenities are available and how much time they have to kill.
4. Create a “Customer Bill of Rights”
JetBlue created a "Customer Bill of Rights" that clearly defines what the company promises their passengers. Information on flight cancellations, delays and even in-flight entertainment are available. The document promises that customers experiencing delays will have access to free drinks and, depending on the situation, some are even offered refunds.
[Image via Can Stock Photo]