In my first week at ACI-NA, travel writer Harriet Baskas published an article in USA Today about pet therapy programs in airports. Being new to the airport and aviation industry, I was not familiar with such programs, and the article was an eye-opening experience into the lengths airports will go to provide excellent customer service.
ACI-NA’s Customer Service Seminar in Reno, Nevada, has been a great forum for our members to discuss the latest issues and trends in customer service. One member put it best when she said that the objective of customer service is about lowering travel stress. In the golden age of social media, it’s easy for a complaint regarding customer service to go viral. So what are airports doing to lower passengers stress and provide the best possible customer service?
My big takeaway from this week’s conference is that airports work tirelessly to establish enterprise-wide customer service standards that apply not only to airport employees, but also third-party vendors at the airport. In order to achieve this, several airports have launched campaigns to provide everything from extra care to a smile and a compliment to their travelers. During a tour of our conference’s host, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the airport employees gave conference attendees a first-hand looks at their different efforts to create a worry-free experience for passengers through their #KindnessTakesFlight campaign and volunteer programs.
In a way, my tour of RNO (I’m also still getting into the swing of airport-code lingo) brought full-circle these beginning months for me at ACI-NA. The centerpiece of #KindnessTakesFlight is the Paws 4 Passengers therapy-dog. Not only was I so excited to meet these four-legged ambassadors, but so were many seasoned airport pros. Flying can be stressful, but airports are embracing creative ways to make the journey seamless for passengers. It’s safe to say that air travel hasn’t totally gone to the dogs.
Communications and Marketing Coordinator