This winter has been a challenging one for air travel. Hopefully, you haven’t found yourself on a cancelled flight. I wasn’t so lucky and while waiting on standby, I was aggravated by the possible lack of customer care from the airline. But, I met one ticket agent (let’s call her, “Grace”) who “got it” and I salute three principles she used that made many stranded travelers feel much better about their experience. These lessons can affect any business.

Information is priceless. People get frustrated very quickly if they do not know what’s going on. The panic that accompany cancelled travel plans is multiplied whenever you can’t get a direct answer from airline staff. rimborso bagaglio danneggiato Too often it looks like you’re purposely sent into a long line only to learn that the agent at the front has no idea what’s going on. Grace got on the loudspeaker and admitted that she didn’t have all the answers for the hundreds of men and women have been waiting to catch a standby flight. But she did explain the process of having everyone to his or her destination. Grace also let people know that once they were in the standby system, they were inside until they got on a plane. This kept many from worrying all about whether they’d need to re-register each time they tried to catch a new flight on standby.

Pay attention to concerns but don’t forget your needs. While Grace was willing to be controlled by traveler questions and concerns, she pointed out that she was being asked exactly the same questions again and again. This kept her from doing her other duties, which included getting as much standby customers on the following flight. So she gave out all the information once more and asked that folks leave her alone. And she asked for those folks who had been waiting for a while to let any newcomers know the thing that was going on. By enlisting the crowd, she gave us something do to and allowed her to serve us better.

Humor never hurts. There’s plenty of tension within an airport when it’s packed with unhappy people. Grace would use humor in her announcements and that brought a smile to even probably the most tired traveler. “Trust me,” she said with a sarcastic smile, “We would like to get you out of here as much as you do.” That sentence let everyone know that this was a difficult day for people that have tickets as well as the airlines. By using humor to acknowledge this time, an embarrassing situation became less adversarial.

My only regret from that day was that I forget to have Grace’s full name or employee number. I would have sent a letter of recommendation to her airline about her excellent customer service. For the present time, i’d like to just say, Grace, you’re amazing!

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