Skyteam is investing in both technology and training across its 20 members carriers to minimise the effects of flight disruptions.
Speaking at the travel trade fair, ITB in Berlin, the Chief Executive Officer of Skyteam Airline Alliance Management, Perry Cantarutti, said that the alliance has made considerable investment in both technology and training to help travellers in the event of “irregular operations” (IROPS) – airline speak for when things go wrong.
“The nature of travel today is people are further and further afield. They are travelling on carriers that may be partners of their main carrier. Occasionally things don’t go the way we hoped,” Mr Cantarutti said.
To enable this Skyteam has invested in relevant technology.
“We are enabling front line staff at any Skyteam carrier to be able to help a customer who is a victims of irregular operations, irrespective of what tier status they are and what airline they are flying on, so they can be helped at the first point of contact where there is a disruption.”
Training of staff is then undertaken.
“You are often outside of your home turf so you might get referred back to the original carrier that sold you the ticket or you might not get as many options offered to you if the staff don’t appreciate what capabilities exist.”
At a time when the relevance of airline alliances is often questioned (see our piece here), Mr Catarutti said that,
“Minimising disruption in this way is a very powerful notion and it’s one of those things which could be a very compelling proof point for Skyteam. Our slogan is “Caring more about you” and “Making travel seamless”. My view is that it’s at those moments when things go wrong that an airline really earns its stripes and proves itself to the customer.”