Qantas to shut airport service desks, force customers onto self-service

TheInsider

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The IVR could simply ask for your PNR up front and then check what time your flight is. It wouldn't be that hard to priortise or re-route calls based on time brackets.
Flight scheduled:
within 60 minutes -> priority 1
60-120 -> priority 2
...
...
> 24 hrs -> normal queue
etc

Not sure why you'd need to rotate numbers to stop them being abused.
$$$$$$$$$$$ - that would cost a lot of money to implement and would have to link up with numerous different systems that wouldn't be compatible.
 

Zulu0929

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From the article



What a load of rubbish. QF have been saying this for the last 18+ months. Using this as an excuse is infuriating.
Absolutely correct. I too am sick of hearing the same message that they trot out 'everytime' I call and they always have an excuse as to why. AJ is using the pandemic to get rid of as many staff as possible, forcing customers onto the self service machines and in the direction of Travel Agents at a cost to the customer and not QF. So, no check in desks at Perth, no service desk, can't get through on the phones. So much for the perks/benefits of being lifetime members which are also being gradually eroded. No mention of a cut in the number of directors, but there was mention of AJ's bonuses and share allocation yesterday. A perfect example of self interest and avarice whilst the staff are being discarded.
 

TheInsider

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No mention of a cut in the number of directors, but there was mention of AJ's bonuses and share allocation yesterday. A perfect example of self interest and avarice whilst the staff are being discarded.
Staff are getting very angry on internal messaging boards.

Unfortunately or fortunately the pilots are the one who are speaking out, because if ground staff or cabin crew dare said anything on Yammer they would get the boot straight away. But the sentiment is the same company wide.

Yammer for QF is basically an echo chamber at the best of times.

 
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glasszon

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I had a bad experience with QF about the withdrawal of the service counter as well, they changed my return flight while I was in the air, so when I landed I approached the check in counter on arrival. They said they can't help at all and ask me to call the usual QF number; when I asked further they said they are near the end of the shift as the last flight of the day is about to depart and left me there.
 

PineappleSkip

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I too am sick of hearing the same message that they trot out 'everytime' I call
When it comes to call centres vs online, unfortunately it's inconsistent messaging.

I haven't yet followed up on the online advice that I had to ring the call centre re changing my screwed up booking that's a week away. I know when I ring tat I will get a message saying don't call unless you're travelling in the next 24 hours. Followed by a message saying I can change my booking online.

Yeah, right.
 
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wandering_fred

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I wonder when complaints about passengers who require assistance will get staff numbers increased?
Or should they not be wandering
Fred
 

Ade

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I'm interested in why these CEOs actively damage their brand.

I appreciate your sentiment here and I'm with you.

But, I don't think any CEO is doing damage to their brand. Not really .. hear me out :)

The way I see it, and there is a lot of ways one could look at this, and, as someone mentioned in this thread, the CEO of the company is solely focussed on getting their shareholders happy ... as long as the shareholders are happy the company is happy to pay the CEO salary, perks, bonus etc etc

And, I think especially in the case of QF, the damage the CEO does hardly leaves a dent on the brand name ... if we look at it,

1. QF is the one of the two full service airlines in AU - the other one being REX which is relatively new to the capital cities circuit. They are by no means less that QF, but given QF's length of time in the market, most of the customers are loyal to QF. VA is not flying to a lot of destinations and so there is an natural inclination to QF for business travel. One likes it or not ... In my work, my travel team will only book us on QF flights .. not VA or JQ or REX .. they say it's because a full service airline is reliable than the low cost ones.

2. The remit of the CEO is to keep a healthy company balance sheet, good press and keep the $$ coming in - AJ is doing all this and so no one would really care what he does ...

3. re : employee grunts in Yammer - this happens in every company, every team .. show me one team where all the team members are happy with their leader/boss .. it's virtually non-existent :)

4. re : knowingly pursue policies that negatively impact customers - for QF removing service desks is one of the thousands of policy changes that happens over the course of the company's lifetime .. much like any other policy change there will be happy, satisfied and un-happy, unsatisfied customers ... it's just the fact of it ... I understand that there have been occasions where having a service desk would have been helpful ... but the same outcome could have been achieved by having well trained staff on the floor or have more phone lines open or do something to limit the impact of not having the service desk .. Now, given that we know of an instance where WA went into lockdown and there were not much QF ground staff could do - QF will say that they have taken into account the events of the day and that there is a lesson to be learnt .. they might go back and train more staff, BUT, it doesn't guarantee that there will not be another incident where QF will let it all loose and say, we are sorry and there is a lesson for us to take away from this incident :) This cycle will go on ...

5. As long as there is a nation-wide or international issue that is causing QF to bleed shareholder's $$, no one is going to take notice and the management will keep reporting that there have been minor bumps along the road, nothing that we have not seen before or nothing that we can't handle. I suspect if many of these issues are even taken up to the level of senior management, let along AJ. And when the company is bleeding $$, the board will move to change the CEO ... And as a joke I read on "A Bit of Humour" thread goes, AJ will prepare 3 envelopes :D

My 2 cents :) Happy to be corrected if any of what I mentioned above isn't accurate.
 

TheInsider

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Routing incoming calls to different virtual queues based on a list of booking references / flight schedules isn’t rocket science.
It is when the booking/reservation system is a legacy system that is used by a lot of carriers, means less changes can be made specifically for one airline.
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I wonder when complaints about passengers who require assistance will get staff numbers increased?
Or should they not be wandering
Fred
What assistance do you mean?

If for wheelchairs etc, then easier to do online.
 

TheInsider

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3. re : employee grunts in Yammer - this happens in every company, every team .. show me one team where all the team members are happy with their leader/boss .. it's virtually non-existent :)
All I meant from this is QF have a very strict social media policy and if you post anything negative in these closed loop channels, then you'd be getting a please explain from one of the many many managers. Also it's very rare for people to be complaining in this channel for QF staff. 99% of it is fake look at me rubbish.
 
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Ade

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All I meant from this is QF have a very strict social media policy and if you post anything negative in these closed loop channels, then you'd be getting a please explain from one of the many many managers. Also it's very rare for people to be complaining in this channel for QF staff. 99% of it is fake look at me rubbish.

I agree.

re : fake posts - ha ha :D I'm sure there are some folks who post nice things to keep up appearances :)
 

TheInsider

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Out of interest, I wonder which airlines around the world have done this and do have the Rolls Royce of Amadeus with all the bells and whistles?
I'm more talking about the check-in system that is being used - Altea CM.
The airlines that use more of the product are actually LH/AY/LX and even CX.

We also have to remember QF and I think BA were the initial launch customers of the Altea CM product range, the initial design was basically for QF/BA at the time. QF were their best customer, now QF are the 2nd lowest customer (and many years behind other carriers technology) in terms of purchasing additional functionality within the program. It was only in the past few months that some excess baggage charged could actually be processed through CM. Other airlines have had this functionality for many years.

In terms of their reservation system, QF use an overlay called AQIRE (in-house system) with the backend being Amadeus CRS. QF have only recently started using the Amadeus reservation product of ARD (amadeus reservation desktop) to some agents in the Cape Town call centre.
 
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wandering_fred

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TheInsider

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Asking for a wheelchair online is easy.
Finding someone at checkin to actually DELIVER it may not be.
Nor is getting the "mobility device" aka walker baggage checked for hand off at the gate.
Some additional required wandering?
Fred
Doing it at check-in is a very easy process and many 'commissionaires' are available to do just that at the gates? Unless I'm misreading something here?
 

RAM

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OK, but Victoria has also had three ot6her lockdowns including a recent one, not long before this Greater Sydney and adjoining areas example.
The last two Victorian lockdowns - both near 'instant' lockdowns both were due to leaks from other States.

Surely Q's social media team have noticed the massive surge in 'Q what are thinking of' posts across social media.

Hopefully the Sydney lockdown will provide time for the Q 'sub contracted' airport staff to be trained up?
 

RAM

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Doing it at check-in is a very easy process and many 'commissionaires' are available to do just that at the gates? Unless I'm misreading something here?
But getting one requested for the arrival end (as I experienced in 2018) coming into Sydney can sometimes not work.

The workers had been sent home earlier and I ended up with the Sydney Airport Operations Manager pushing me after a 20-30 minute delay. Never been through immigration/customs as fast in my life. I virtually never stopped moving.
 
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Seat0B

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I feel very negatively re this incident. It's shameful even if one customer is not being served properly and it reflects very, very, very poorly on the airline.
I do too, but if it had to happen (or should that be because it was bound to happen) at least @AFF Editor has a platform to get some attention onto it. And he has a good track record of getting action on matters that are raised. If it was just me as the affected passenger, all I could have done would be to have a rant - which is becoming scarily frequent for me these days.

honestly as you mentioned @Ade, none of this should have been a surprise to Qantas in the crazy times we live in, and if they want people to be willing to take the risk and pay for flights or use up their points, they need to make us all feel that predictable risks have been managed.
 

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