5 ways airline companies can win back customer trust and confidence


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Airline Customer Experience

Long gone are the days when air travel was a privilege, and when the whole idea of flying was a completely memorable, and quite thrilling experience, right from check-in to arrival. Today, it’s pretty unfortunate that the airline industry isn’t able to stay relevant and connect with customers on a deeper emotional level. Blame it on the airline companies or the airport staff, the net outcome remains the same. Before things slip out of hand completely, airline companies will have to transform the way they look at their customers’ experience.

More than a handful of unpleasant incidents have occurred in the past, all of them had one thing in common – the customer being taken for granted! Needless to say, this attitude has resulted in top airline companies bearing the brunt of adverse negative publicity. When we now look back and connect the dots, it becomes quit clear that airline brands need to compulsorily place themselves in the customers’ shoes and make it a habit. This is the only way you can win back lost customers and gain ground on market shares as well.

Here, we take a look at the 5 ways airline companies can deliver superior customer experiences.

1. A happy CABIN-CREW results in HAPPIER customers

In today’s world where customers want truly delightful experiences, anything ordinary or mediocre is nowhere close to being acceptable. Airline companies must stretch their arms out wide and pick staff with the right attitude. Woes exist a plenty, to each passenger his own. Having said that, ensuring that the passengers are more or less happy with the journey boils down to the skills of the cabin-crew and how well they empathize with passengers. A good training module alone won’t suffice. Airline brands need to assess personal qualities and traits as well while hiring for the cabin crew. Here’s what a balanced checklist looks like!

airline customer experience

2. Treat LOYALTY towards customers as your RELIGION

We all know that every airline company has its own loyalty program. A loyalty program is an ELITE STATUS issued for travellers depending on ‘how frequently they commute’ and ‘their preference of opting for business class’. Loyalty programs nowadays lack the aspect of generating awareness among frequent flyers, let alone be customer friendly. Over 50% of passengers who have signed up to these programs barely know how they work. Aviation companies must put forth their best efforts towards making these programs more transparent and customer-friendly. A loyal customer leads to repeat business, thereby giving your profits a steady boost. Therefore it is vital to bring a lot of relevance and emotion to your loyalty programs.

Singapore Airlines’ premium economy ticket gives passengers the access to ‘Book the Cook’ service. This personalized experience helps customers choose from a wider selection of meals and lets passengers reserve a meal 24 hours before take-off.

3. Passengers would gladly accept a ‘Semi-premium Class’

There exists an economy class – one that comes with unappetising meal options, cramped leg room, meagre entertainment options and less-spacious seats. On the other hand, we have the Business Class that is often accompanied with the best of meals, infinite entertainment options and lavish seating with ample leg room. Shouldn’t there be adequate measures to create a happy medium wherein passengers can select a few add-on services and upgrade their economy travel to something on the lines of a ‘semi-premium’ class? Just like how we customize our pizza, wouldn’t it be amazing to add-on few extra services to an economy ticket?

Tigerair’s queue jump option, lets passengers skip the queue while boarding upon paying a processing fee during booking. This surely helps slash significant waiting time at airports.

4. SIMPLICITY is the ORDER of the day

Not all passengers are on a vacation, for the majority of us TIME is MONEY. Passengers like their experiences to be quick and seamless. After being clogged with the exhaustive pre-booking routines, the last thing passengers would expect is to walk into stereotypical formalities of security-check. Right from booking a ticket to arriving at the destination, the journey is anything but simple. The list of point outs starts from fluctuating prices, long queues at security-check counters, cramped luggage space in flights and it goes on. While it is imperative to deliver state-of-the art flying experiences on-board, improving pre-boarding and post-arrival procedures can surely add a spark to your brand name.

KLM airlines’ ‘MEET and SEAT’ is a unique way to help passengers look forward to flying with them. This feature enables passengers to view their co-passengers’ Social media profiles, yes on authorization of course! Bored of reading a book? Or Staying glued to a screen? Check out this option, next time you’re on-board KLM airlines.

5. Be MATURED, when it comes to handling technical delays

Just imagine you walk into a garage, waiting for service to be completed. How would it be, if the staff makes you wait indefinitely, not explaining you the cause of delay? Adding fuel to fire, imagine yourself to be in a hurry. That is exactly how passengers feel when they have to bear with technical difficulties. Whatever be the issue, passengers must be given a valid reason when their time and patience is being tested. On encountering delays, airline brands ought to convey the issue across politely and see to it that customers don’t face any hassles by making necessary arrangements. For instance, customers experiencing delays in the waiting lounge could surely feel better with some good complimentary refreshments. Owing up to mistakes and making amends is the best way brands can ace customer experience.

Ganesh Mukundan
I'm a content marketer at Hiver. I've been writing about customer experience for the past 5 years. I'm passionate about narrating delightful customer stories, researching CX trends, and deep-diving into concepts such as VoC and Customer Journey Mapping.


  1. For me Cabin Crew are the important thing, a Good Cabin Crew will provide best hospitality & also deal technical issues with calm & ease.


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