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Theoretical Customer Service Challenge  
User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2070 times:
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I've had this floating around in my head for the last couple of days. this isn't based on an actual event, just theoretical.

Assume that the aircraft involved is a 747-400 with an F18/C80/Y320 conifiguration

So here's the premiss:

You're the head of passenger operations for an airline, you're called down to the gate to settle a dispute between two gate agents over how to handle an oversell situation in coach. Assume that volunteers have already been requested and no one's willing to volunteer, When you review the load, you discover the following:

First, 1 ticketed passenger, 17 open seats
Business: 57 ticketed passengers, 23 open seats
Coach: 360 ticketed passengers, 320 open seats.

Agent number one wants to try and get everyone on by moving 17 from business to first and 40 from coach to business, opening up 40 seats in coach.

Agent number two thinks that those 40 who don't have seat assignments should be issued denied boarding compensation.

Who do you side with and why?


Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2061 times:

I do not side with either one!

Put everybody who is in C and Y on the upgrade list and let the computer sort them out by the airline's algorithms! These already compensate for flyer level, ticket value, etc, similar to what DL does for domestic Medallion upgrades ..
Both agents go home happy, as do a bunch of passengers, and the flight departs on time!

 duck 



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2032 times:



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter):
Who do you side with and why?

Assuming the flight is close to departure, those empty seats in F and C are close to having somewhere between 0 and negative value to the airline (if noone's butt is in them they still cost money, don't they)

On the other hand, DBC has a direct and very real cost to the airline -- and potentially even bigger than the $400 cash payout (a passenger may refuse the compensation and sue the airline -- Ralph Nader sued Allegheny and won)

So you Deny Boarding to 40 paying customers, shell out $16,000 in cash (possibly more + legal fees), loose oodles of good will (especially when the media finds out that there were plenty of empty seats), and still, ultimately have to get them to their destination or refund their original ticket.

So I say upgrade on the basis of FQTV status and fare paid until there's a butt in every seat- except maybe the seat next to the person who actually paid for F.

There is a risk of product dilution, but when carefully managed the benefits of getting the passengers to their destination outweigh that risk, in my mind.



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineDL Widget Head From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2094 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2028 times:



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter):
Agent number one wants to try and get everyone on by moving 17 from business to first and 40 from coach to business, opening up 40 seats in coach.

This sounds like the most logical option to me. Move up your highest level FF's in each class. Makes everybody happy including the airline.


User currently offlinePBIflyguy From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 248 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

No Brainer.......

1) Sending an aircraft out with empty seats and some PAX home with denied boarding is just crazy.

2) Since the theoretical equipment is a 744, it is safe to assume that the flight is TATL? Denying boarding to anyone on a transatlantic flight with open seats is just BAD customer service. Their hotels would be disrupted, it would create a cascading effect of ill will.

3) You did not factor in non revs. Does your model assume there are none?

4) Again, assuming the flight is TATL, you really do not want to delay that aircraft on departure as it will almost create a delay at its destination airport.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19709 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1814 times:



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter):

Agent number two thinks that those 40 who don't have seat assignments should be issued denied boarding compensation.

Most airline contracts state that if a seat is available on the flight, the passenger MUST be accommodated, even if that seat is in F class.


User currently offlineMcr From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1786 times:
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If the flight is almost ready to depart, catering supplies will have been loaded already, surely? Assuming 18 seats in first but only one ticketed passenger, how much first class catering will a typical airline have loaded onto the plane? Presumably with 320 economy seats there will be a maximum of 320 economy meals loaded, so if you put an extra 23 in business and 17 in first, what (if anything) do you feed them?

User currently offlineNkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2665 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1743 times:

I would take anybody from coach who has a FF status and upgrade them first, then anybody with FF number next.... I made it a rule (when I was a CSS) never to upgrade the last ones checking in.... lateness should not be rewarded.

[Edited 2008-12-04 06:34:29]


I have no association with Spirit Airlines
User currently offlineMSYPI7185 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1614 times:

Back in the day when I was working Intl. flights. The key is how much time do you have?

Lets assume this in an International flight. I would know or have a fairly good idea as check-in was taking place what I was going to be dealing with. Once all of my inbound connecting flights were airborne, I would know better how many no-show pax I would have. At that point I would pull a list of my FF pax, which were sorted by level. I would look at the standby list that had confirmed pax on the flight and no seat. I would then start moving my FF pax into the higher levels of service and then assign their seats to the confirmed pax waiting on seats.
This would continue until everyone was accomodated. If I did not have enough FF pax, which was not uncommon, to work this senario through. I would then start assigning seats in the Business Class cabin, and they would be shown as "Invol. Upgr." on my paperwork to backup why they were upgraded. We did not have First Class on our Intl Flights, but if we did FC would be the last place to upgrade pax.

If there is not enough time, instead of delaying the flight, put the last pax to arrive in Business Class and get the flight out on time! This was rare, unless for some reason you could not keep tabs on this flight and stay on top of it, and then you better be ready to answer some questions.

Under no circumstances do you pay DBC to a pax when their are open seats left.

As far as catering goes, when I ordered the meals for the flight, we made sure that we had at least as many meals on board as pax booked regardless of class of service. In this instance coach would be ordered to capacity, then Business Class would be ordered to pax booked plus the overage in coach up to the max capacity of the aircraft. If we had First Class then it would have continued there as well.


Later MD


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21531 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1588 times:

There is also an option to offer upgrades at a discounted price to anyone booked in certain fare buckets, regardless of status. DL does this on domestic flights before they clear the final upgrade list. TW used to do this as well.

Quoting MSYPI7185 (Reply 8):
As far as catering goes, when I ordered the meals for the flight, we made sure that we had at least as many meals on board as pax booked regardless of class of service. In this instance coach would be ordered to capacity, then Business Class would be ordered to pax booked plus the overage in coach up to the max capacity of the aircraft. If we had First Class then it would have continued there as well.

That's a really good point. If your 418 seat plane has 418 pax booked, you should load 418+ meals. Makes absolute sense.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
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