Southwest to Invest $2B to ‘Transform’ Customer Experience

Southwest Airlines plans to invest more than $2 billion on enhancing its customer experience, the carrier announced Wednesday, the same day it was named as the carrier with the highest customer satisfaction score for the economy segment in the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.

Connectivity will be a key focus for Southwest, which is upgrading the Wi-Fi equipment on its existing fleet with connectivity provider Anuvu’s latest-generation hardware, capable of providing a “significant improvement” in speed and bandwidth up to 10 times the current hardware onboard. The carrier plans to have this upgrade on 50 in-service aircraft by the end of May and 350 by the end of October. 

Southwest currently is testing the new Wi-Fi equipment for free on select routes over the western mainland United States. The company “does not have current plans to change the pricing” of its Wi-Fi, which is $8 per day, according to a Southwest spokesperson.

The carrier also recently entered into an agreement with satellite connectivity provider Viasat to provide high-quality internet and live TV programming onboard newly delivered aircraft beginning in the fall of this year. 

In addition, Southwest plans to install USB A and USB C power ports on every seat in the aircraft, using a system that will not compromise legroom, according to the carrier. It plans to start to bring this new capability onboard Boeing 737 Max aircraft beginning in early 2023. 

Overhead bin space also is getting an overhaul, with larger bins on aircraft deliveries beginning early next year. 

Further, by late summer 2022, customers will be able to purchase upgraded boarding at the A1 to A15 positions, when available, on their mobile devices without standing in line at the airport, according to the company. Southwest also will expand its alcoholic beverage selections beginning this summer with a Bloody Mary mix and into the fall with a ready-to-drink cocktail in September, along with new options of hard seltzer and rosé wine. And the carrier will more than double the number of free movies currently available by the end of 2022, it said.

The previously announced new Wanna Get Away Plus fare will become available by the end of May, Southwest said Wednesday.

Source link

Ryanair baggage hack: customer shares genius tip that could save passengers £50 on every flight

A TikToker has shared how to save £50 when adding a 10kg carry on on Ryanair flights

A Ryanair customer has shared a money-saving tip that could help cut £50 off your airfare every time you book.

When booking with budget airlines, the ticket prices are often not the only cost that will hit your pocket.

Sign up to our Travel Guide newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There may also be an extra charge to add hand luggage.

However, savvy TikToker Cloda Scanlon (@orangeobviously) cleverly shared her tip for saving extra cash when booking a flight.

What is the smart tip?

When heading for a weekend trip a 20kg bag isn’t always necessary, but Ryanair does not provide a complimentary 10kg carry on and you need to add it as an extra.

The first option on Ryanair’s website when booking a trip asks you to choose your seats and bag requirements.

However, if you wait and select ‘value fare’ – an option later appears to add luggage.

What did the Tik Tok say? 

In the video, Cloda said: “If you want to save between €40 (£33) and €60 (£50) on your next Ryanair flight plus that 10kg bag, then keep listening.

“So I almost paid €192 (£161) for my flights and instead for the exact same flight with the exact same amount of luggage I’m only going to pay €133 (£111).

“So go into the Ryanair app and do your usual – picking your flights, picking your dates.

“Instead, go back to the booking page and choose the value fare,” which does not include a 10kg bag.

When you click continue, you’re brought to another page where you can manually add the 10kg back for just €13.

Cloda added “that’s instead of what was €22 (£18.50) per person per journey, so go with a small bag and the value fare, then go through to the end to the booking page” and click the 10kg option.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.

Source link

British Airways boss pledges to fix customer service issues

British Airway has promised to improve its customer service and reduce call waiting times after coming through its “worst crisis in our 102-year history”.

Sean Doyle, the airline’s CEO, made the pledge in a message sent to BA Executive Club members over the weekend.

“To be frank, we’ve been moving from one set of restrictions to another and the amount of change we’ve been dealing with over the past couple of years from week-to-week has been relentless,” said Doyle.

“I’m not seeking to make excuses for things that should have gone better. What I am doing is making a personal commitment to you that we will build a better British Airways.”

Doyle added that his “number one priority” was to address the customer call centre issues that customers have been facing when trying to contact the airline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the face of constantly changing and complicated travel restrictions the length of time it’s taking us to take calls has naturally been longer, which has pushed up our waiting times,” he said.

“We are mid-way through replacing our phone systems to create a better customer experience and are also already recruiting more people to ensure your calls are answered, social media messages are responded to and problems are solved in the moment, wherever possible.”

Doyle said that BA would be continuing to offer some services introduced during the pandemic, including table service ordering in its airport lounges, as well as providing free water and snacks on short-haul flights in the Euro Traveller economy cabin.

“I know that change won’t happen overnight, but this week I have briefed teams across the airline to do all they need to, to tackle the issues we know you’re facing so we don’t let you down,” he pledged. 

“I hope that in the coming months you’ll notice a significant move towards a better BA, driven by our people to deliver a better experience for you, our most loyal customers.”

Source link

CWT unveils global customer team

Nick Vournakis
Nick Vournakis

CWT has announced the make up of its global customer team as well as the aims of the business unit.

Led by Nick Vournakis, who became EVP and chief customer officer in November, the team is responsible for maintaining the growth rate for global customers and working alongside the traveller experience team.

Ian Cummings heads up the global meetings & events business within the leadership team while Robin Handley leads the customer effectiveness organisation, a new part of the business unit.

Meanwhile, Gregory Harkins continues to lead defence & government and Tammy Morgan leads regional key accounts.

Raphael Pasdeloup takes over from Vournakis in leading the enterprise customers organisation and Darren Toohey continues to lead the global sales organisation.

Vournakis said: “We enter the new year with a healthy balance sheet, a renewed commitment and investment in our technology platform, and with an unparalleled passion to exceed the expectations and needs of our customers. The customer leadership team are primed for delivering greater client efficiencies, value offerings and personalisation this year and beyond.”

Source link

Burg Steakhouse Customer Leaves $1,000 Tip at Gatlinburg Restaurant

Source link

Airline industry saw a 568% increase in customer complaints in 2020

What you need to know before you book your summer vacation.

MINNEAPOLIS — Taking a trip can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful.

There’s the packing, the tickets, the hotels, just so many things to think about, and so many things that could go wrong.

And that’s just the way it is in a normal year, without a pandemic to worry about.

Kyle Potter is the executive editor at the Thrifty Traveler, an online travel news site.

He says the biggest story of 2020 was the tale of the angry traveler.

“It’s been a bit of a nightmare,” he says. “A nightmare we’ve all been pretty slow to wake up from.”

A new report from the Department of Transportation showed customer complaints went up by more than 568% last year, a new record.

In 2019, the DOT received around 15,000 customer complaints.

That number shot up to more than 102,000 complaints in 2020.

A vast majority of those complaints involved refunds.

Potter says most of those refund complaints were filed back in March, April and May, when the airline industry was trying to figure out how to handle the pandemic.

“Airlines suddenly realized that as travel collapsed, they had way too many planes in the sky. They needed to shrink and shrink fast and the only way you can do that is to start cancelling flights, to limit your losses. This created this game of tug of war with airlines and passengers,” Potter says.

He says the good news is the airlines have mostly figured this out and most airlines will offer you a refund, or a voucher for another flight, no questions asked.

So, we probably won’t see this many complaints in 2021, but Potter does see one big problem heading into the summer travel season.

“Airlines set their schedules 11 months out and airlines schedules are basically just like nothing has happened, nothing has changed. Odds are your plans are going to change by the time that trip actually rolls around because it takes airlines time to figure out exactly what things are going to look like by the time the summer rolls around,” Potter says.

So, if you already have a ticket, he says chances are you might fly out at a different time, a different day, or the flight itself might be cancelled in the coming months.

If that happens, Potter says it’s important to know your rights.

“If an airline cancels your flight, you can get your money back. If an airline significantly changes the time that you depart or arrive, you can get your money back. If they put you on a connecting flight when you booked a nonstop flight, you can get your money back.”

Other than that, Potter says the flying experience in many ways is actually better right now.

Fewer people at the airport, shorter lines, and according to the new report from the DOT, the airlines lost fewer bags, bumped fewer passengers, and didn’t have as many major delays last year.

Potter says as long as you’re flexible and understand that your flight time isn’t set in stone, you should be just fine.

“You just need to be nimble and prepare for the unexpected, and make sure you’re protecting yourself against the unforeseen because if 2020 has taught us anything it’s that the unforeseen is right around the corner.”

The new DOT report also shows that some airlines are better at refunds than others.

According to the report, United had more than 10,000 refund complaints filed against them in 2020.

That’s more than Delta, American, Southwest and Alaska Airlines combined.

Source link

Customer wants tip to be acknowledged by server | Advice

DEAR ABBY: I was wondering if you could give me some advice on tipping. I frequent coffee shops in my area as well as when I travel. The baristas usually are younger women. Usually, there will be a tip jar located next to the cash register.

A typical latte costs $4 to $5, and I leave a dollar in the tip jar. I realize that many servers may be distracted if they’re waiting on other customers, but is it normal for them to never acknowledge someone who is giving them a tip? Is the tip just expected?

Again, I realize there could be distractions, and maybe the baristas don’t notice me tipping them, but it seems like the rule rather than the exception. I think it comes across as lousy customer service. How hard is it to say “thank you”? Is this another example of a generation of poorly raised people?

— Sipping & tipping in Connecticut

DEAR S & T: It’s not only good manners but also good business to thank clients/patrons — just as it’s considered proper etiquette to thank the person who served you. I hesitate to paint an entire generation with the same brush, but the individuals you are dealing with could benefit from a refresher course in courtesy.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Source link

Knoxville bartenders receive $5,000 tip from generous customer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Employees at a local bar received the surprise of a lifetime this week in Knoxville.  

Scott West, owner of Preservation Pub, shared a photo on Facebook Saturday afternoon of a customer leaving a $5,000 tip  for bartenders at the Market Square business.  

Ashley Coleman, who worked that night and is pictured in the photo shared by West, explained what happened in a Facebook post.  

“Last night, Dave and I were working at Preservation Pub when one of our guests ordered a round for the bar, signed his tab and said, ‘Thank you so much – I wanted to make sure I took care of y’all.’ We didn’t think anything of it until the end of the night, when we discovered that he left a $5,000 tip. Understandably, we were a bit taken aback. Dave and I are beyond grateful. COVID hasn’t been kind to any of us but it’s been especially difficult for those of us working in the service industry. Smaller capacities and early curfews have had a devastating financial impact for the majority of us. So, cheers to you Good Samaritan, whoever you are, thank you so much for your generosity!” 

Source link