Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amid all its problems, Qantas is running around like a headless chook

Wotta lotta crap the story below is. It is more money spent on engineering inspections and maintenance that is needed, not more talk. Passengers are a lot more worried about bits falling off the aircraft than they are about the brightness of someone's smile. And how about having enough check-in desks open so that passengers can board without waiting in line for an hour or more? And WTF has wine appreciation got to do with any of QANTAS's problems? John Borghetti must be another typically clueless business-school graduate. It sounds to me like Qantas is headed the way of the now defunct Ansett -- a once great Australian airline that also lost its way

QANTAS is about to send 18,000 staff, from the chief executive down, back to school as part of a massive push to boost customer service standards. A high-tech $10 million training facility, which opened yesterday in Sydney, is at the centre of the strategy to propel the Qantas brand back to the top.

The move comes after a horror year for the airline where delays and maintenance problems battered its reputation with travellers, The Australian reports. Up to a third of its planes ran late and cancellations sky-rocketed as a result of an industrial row with engineers. It also comes as full-service airlines, which face a downturn in premium passengers because of the economic crisis, are being forced to compete more fiercely to fill business and first class seats.

The new Centre of Service Excellence brings all Qantas customer service training under one roof and covers areas ranging from makeup and grooming to telesales, check-in procedures and wine appreciation. Facilities include a 126-seat auditorium, four cabin-crew training pods that simulate aircraft environments and a hi-tech area where staff can send suggestions to management using interactive screens. It also features "customer experience zones", demonstrating the environments that passengers in various classes, and on various arms of Qantas, experience in the course of their journey.

Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti, who will be the first top executive to undergo training, said one of the main changes Qantas passengers could expect as a result of the new centre was more consistency in the airline's customer service. He said customer service would be a big differentiator for airlines competing for high-end customers in difficult times.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

QANTAS again -- another big holdup

Huge queues at Brisbane Aiport as QANTAS computers crash. You would think it was a budget carrier from the way it is run. There seem to be no backup systems for when things go wrong. Will it be another PanAm? Seems like it

QANTAS flights have been impacted by a global crash of the airline's check-in system. Queues at the Brisbane Airport departures area this morning snaked right through to Jetstar as frustrated travellers were repeatedly told of the computer problems.

Issues with the baggage system compounded the delays but passengers were reassured their flights would not leave without them. The 7.55am flight to Melbourne eventually departed more than 40 minutes later and other flights were held up for as long as an hour.

Qantas apologised to passengers for the inconvenience, on one of the busiest flying days of the year. An airline spokesman confirmed the global crash of the Amadeus check-in system. The problem last arose on November 16, 2009, and took about six hours to rectify as check-in staff were forced to process passengers manually.