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Does Service Suffer When Airlines Out-source?  
User currently offlineAkjetBlue From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 790 posts, RR: 5
Posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Just got to thinking about VS out-sourcing all of their US airport operations, and wondered if the service level goes down hill when an airline decides to out-source their operation. Also, in the long run, do they scare away more customers (revenue loss too) with the poor service, once they out-source or does the public just not care who checks them in or handles their flight?

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8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12341 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 2290 times:
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I am sure it suffers, having worked for a tour operator that use to use TZ for its flights, they had signature flight support that did the actual check in, and it was hit or miss on the attitude of the people who checked you in for the flight. It is a entry level no benefits, high turn over field at best.

You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 2277 times:

It really depends on who is doing the service on their behalf. Most 3rd Party Handlers have such high turnover that the quality of service is bad; when it's another airline, it can be hit or miss, depending on whether or not that airline has staff that are dedicated to that flight. Some airlines will have employees that are trained to work those flights so that there can be some form of consistancy with the service.

User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 2210 times:

Without a doubt. The only time that I have ever dealt with contracted staff was with Worldwide Flight Services handling the CO flights at STT, and the entire operation, from checkin to boarding, was a complete chaotic mess. I had never given so much credit to the CO EWR gate agents until that point.

User currently offlineFA4AM From Mexico, joined Nov 2004, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 2203 times:

You bet it does!

As a former MANPOWER (assigned to LH in MEX) staff, I can really tell you that people just don't feel themselves as part of the airline. The meaning of work reduces itself to only making what out-sourced employees are required to do without taking care of service standards.

No benefits, or just minimum, no sense of belonging to the airline.... Why bother to make a good impression? Besides, staff turnovers are big, changing employees almost every 4-6 months. Because people just "land" there while finding themselves a better job.

Being employed by a respected mexican airline makes me compare both scenarios and I can assure, outsourcing is not good, at least not when is done by a third party, different from another airline.

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 2208 times:

Well, this question is a bit of a no-brainer. Here is the answers you will get.

1. Airline employees answer-Of course it suffers, the true airline employees are the only ones to be able to provide true customer service and have anything to lose if it does not come through.

2. Airline management answer-We believe that we can outsource the job, which we regret may cause reduction in employees, but will still be able to provide excellent customer service, while increasing shareholder value by saving $125 million annually.

3. Customer answer-I really don't give a rat's ass who does what as long as I don't have to pay more tha $299 to fly from LAX-DXB in Business Class, and if I can get it even cheaper, do what you have to so I can save more cash because, for the most part, we are a bunch of cheapasses. But when I do recieve less than stellar, first class service, I will be sure to complain about the service, despite how you did what you needed to do to provide me with what I wanted, the cheapest fare while reducing what was needed, which was labor, since it is the highest cost an airline can incure besides the required fuel.

4. Outsourced Labor answer-I really don't care. You paid my company a lot of money to do your bitch work for you and since I know I will have a job because I do your job for less, then it doesn't matter how I treat YOUR customers. I can be nice or a jackass, and I will still get paid either way, so why should I give a crap.

Pretty much sums it up. My heart goes out to the VS American employees. A nice airline(Virgin Atlantic only, IMO) known for excellent service to London from the US is sure to see its service levels drain. Sorry guys.

User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 4 hours ago) and read 2182 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 5):
I can be nice or a jackass, and I will still get paid either way, so why should I give a crap.

Same goes for airline employees...

USA 3000 outsources all of their ground services and I couldn't tell the difference between them. They were nice enough and got the job done.


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 2 hours ago) and read 2168 times:

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 6):
Same goes for airline employees...

Not necessarily. Granted, we have all ran into an airline employee who, lets just say, was having a bad day. Heck, I have even seen some that do not belong in a public contact industry at all. But I know that at Delta, if you get a bad letter from a customer, the employee gets called onto the floor for it. You better have a good reason why this person went so far as to write a letter, or its going into the employee's file. Not too many other airlines have that policy, as far as I know of. On the other hand, you get a good letter, you are rewarded, and usually pretty nicely as well.

But what I was saying was this. If I work for Skyhigh Airlines, then I know that if the customer service is horribly continuously, then people will stop flying and the airline will fold up, meaning that job.

But, if I work for Skyhigh Airlines outsourced company, it doesn't matter if the customer service is great or sucks, either way, I get paid. If the service is horrible and the airline folds, why should I care, because my company will have another contract for me to work.

But you are correct, there are some airline employees, in which it doesn't matter either way.

User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2106 times:

I have yet to see any mention of Delta outsourcing their call centers to India. I have a few grievances with that – the classic PDX/PWM screw-up even after I repeated the state and airport code several times.

And a complicated issue which the customer service rep could not fix and seemed to refuse to answer anything unless it was on a script. (and no, I don’t hold that against Indians/NRIs).

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