TROTTINGS

= Trip Jottings.

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.

January 19 2011

 

Trottings. Emirates, Luxury, Qantas.

 

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OME more jotted observations on my travels – these on the airlines Emirates and Qantas, and on luxury travel training:

[] Emirates cannot get its head round some operating problems – partly because it is run by airline experts who follow the old airline rules.

If you do not do online check-in (CI), the system tells you to turn up at the CI desk three hours before flight departure time. But if you do, and the flight is oversold (as in my case), you have to wait until CI is closed before you can CI – yes – which means 30-minutes before departure.

And as you cannot CI, you cannot CI your baggage. Thus if you follow the airline’s rules, you are obliged to sit around the airport with your baggage for nearly three hours. That is not quite the level of service that Emirates is promoting.

The airline needs to tell its passengers who do not CI online to CI, say, 45 minutes before departure, but advise them that they may have to wait 15 minutes before checking in.

Another example of an otherwise-good airline that cannot devise new systems for its operations – despite the fact that as a primarily sixth-freedom airline, those operations are different from normal airlines.

[] Luxury. The question (not from me, although it was a smart one) came at the conference at the International Luxury Travel Mart.

How do you train staff to know what the luxury traveller wants when it is not their life experience?

 

The answer was fair enough, but is irrelevant because the only real answer is It Is Not Possible. Although that is the same for many types of training in the travel business, it is more important in the luxury business – because service is such an important part of the product.

[] Qantas. I had a long flight, from Europe to Melbourne. Unfortunately, this required aircraft changes in Bangkok and Sydney. Fortunately, I was travelling in business class. Fortunately, the airline has comfortable bathroom facilities for passengers at both transit airports, which included shower rooms. And so fortunately I arrived in Melbourne tired – but clean.

 

The Fox