Communication shortfalls can be annoying, especially under pressure. Inevitably, given the complexity of our industry, this happens all too often in cases where we are reliant on third party providers.
Airport / Hotel communications is a prime example. Still today many airports handling agents are using an antiquated fax method to communicate with hotels with regard to availability. At Zürich we were using this method as recently as June 2015! With a single fax coming in from each hotel early morning it is quite feasible that the information well be incorrect at 20:00 and beyond.
During significant disruptions at Zürich in 2014 we were informed that all hotels were fully booked although disrupted passengers were making their own bookings directly. Post disruption investigations revealed that between only 3 hotels in the airport vicinity, we had sufficient rooms to satisfy the airport needs. Sadly, due to the lack of communication and underlying process definition whereby large amounts of passengers can be accepted late at night, both hotels, who missed out on last minute ad-hoc revenues, and airlines passengers were inconvenienced.
Sound familiar …?
The Stranded Passenger Solution recently deployed at Zürich provides real-time availability and pricing which is updated twice daily by our hotel partners. As there is no cost factor for hotels they are prepared to offer the 1 minute per update in exchange for potential ad-hoc revenues.
Key Benefit : A win-win situation for all stakeholders.
This display is only available to handling agents and airline personnel. Gone are the days where the handling agent has to call each and every hotel on a lengthy list to obtain the information that the system provides within a matter of seconds.
Key Benefit : Expeditious disruption handling
Once the handling agent has made the initial telephone reservation with the hotel facilitating immediate confirmation of the booking in their in-house reservations system, all further communications are via the Stranded Passenger Solution. The handling agent clicks on the hotel in the system which displays a booking form. Once completed and sent, the hotel will respond via the system ensuring to copy the airline concerned. Airlines operational staff are now fully aware of the location of their passengers and the airport manager has full transparency in terms of disruption cost.
Key Benefit : Disruption handling transparency.
Current procedures at Zürich omit the need for transportation bookings during “normal” disruption handling, however, transport companies will log into the system and update their seat capacity and pricing given a “Stranded Passenger Alert” scenario. Please see the “RED Alert” section for further details on this functionality.
The following additional information and functionality is provided to users within the system:
- Tutorial Videos for Handling Agents, Hotels/Transport and Airlines.
- Checklists in PDF format for printing and easy reference.
- Direct telephone numbers for hotel reservations avoiding the troublesome automated re-direct.
- Airlines Direct billing addresses and airline 2-letter codes for hotels.
- Comprehensive list of hotels nominated system responsibles for troubleshooting issues.
- Generation of mails to varying groups of users with a single Email.
We would be happy to provide you with any additional information as required.