Air India to maintain record of frequent flyers
Air India is set to create a data bank of travellers who have travelled with the airline more than once, officials said.
The airline, which is overhauling its call centre after repeated passenger complaints, will take the passengers’ consent before taking their contact information, from either the agents or the passengers themselves. They will also keep a record of the food choices of the passengers and their seat preferences.
The move will help passengers missing out on updates from the national carrier regarding flight cancellations and delays because they booked their tickets through travel agents.
According to Air India, 80% of the travellers book their tickets through agents.
“There have been instances when we rescheduled the flight and informed the passengers but the message did not reach them because the travel agent did not give passenger’s mobile number while booking. Also, in case of international flights, a passenger’s phone number might not be working. In that case, we will take their consent to update them through WhatsApp,” said a senior Air India official.
Air India’s call centre has the capacity to handle 10,000-12,000 calls every day. But it receives around 27,000 calls a day.
“Air India has planned a major upgrade in its call centre operations from the 3rd quarter of 2019. The call wait time will be substantially reduced from the current levels to global aviation standards. Our passenger will just be a phone call away to purchase new tickets and services like changing booking dates, pre-reserve premium seats like front zone, a window or aisle seat, or deploy their frequent flyer miles to buy new tickets or upgrades. Payments for services would be directly to Air India through an advanced Interactive Voice Response system and caller assist program,” Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.
The airline also plans to use advanced robotic technology and chat-bots for a tech savvy interaction in subsequent years to transform passenger’s experience.
“Our regional booking offices are getting closed as staff is retiring and we are not hiring fresh. So the new call centre will allow booking to be done through phones. We are investing R 30 crore in this but it is expected to increase the revenue of the airline,” said another Air India official.