When something goes wrong, a decent airline is one that does a professional job of either fixing the issue or trying to help those caught out. An associate of ours was once stuck on a grounded flight in Australia. In that case, the airline did everything its passengers could reasonably expect: they were ALL kept informed of what was happening; when the plane didn’t make it out (due to a government blind-spot, not the airline) they were swiftly transferred to a nearby B&B – by taxi or bus – with a generous telephone allowance arranged for them.
That level of customer care is very impressive. Of course, it makes sense to try to work out the track record of the airline before you book! Here are 10 qualities you should look for if you want to gauge for yourself how good an airline really is:
- Excellent safety record
- Easy to navigate website with clear, intuitive online booking process
- Advanced online booking management and online check-in
- Simple, properly enforced options for elite check-in, baggage, preferred seating and boarding
- Approachable, professional flight attendants
- Range of customer-focused policies (and staff available that are empowered to do things)
- A clean, comfortable lounge with customer-centred features like free wi-fi
- Excellent connections to partner carriers
- Good aircraft condition with plenty of cabin space for long-haul passengers.
We’ve left out any reference to the quality of food and drink here, because it may not be an issue for short haul passengers. Our logic is that if we can get in a car, train or bus and happily sit for 30 minutes without the urge to eat, then the same most likely applies to air travel. Go any longer than 90 minutes, though, and food becomes a factor.
Do you have a favourite airline? Do you have any experiences relating to customer service that really made an impact on you, good or bad? We’d love to hear from you.