Mumbai

Mumbai airport tackles 12,000 passenger calls in two months

Safe travel: Airline staff guide domestic passengers at Terminal 2 of Mumbai airport.

Safe travel: Airline staff guide domestic passengers at Terminal 2 of Mumbai airport.   | Photo Credit: PrashantNakwe

Contact centre team members work round the clock, some even from home, to help passengers

When will the pandemic come to an end? Can air passengers travel with a newborn baby? Will the Mumbai airport staff be able to identify if passengers are senior citizens and will they be stopped from travelling? These were some of the unusual queries raised by passengers during 12,000 phone calls to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) over the last two months.

As a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the airport handled several questions from anxious passengers fearing for their safety. The most commonly asked questions were about information related to flights, quarantine rules for domestic and international passengers, e-pass requirements, refunds from airlines and resumption of international operations.

“With a curtailed staff and constant inquiries by passengers, the [Airport Contact Centre] team took it onto themselves to ... connect with passengers by being a pillar of support and imbibing positive energy to ease passengers during these testing times,” a spokesperson of the GVK-led Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said.

The ACC team members were trained to adapt to the circumstances and address queries with patience and optimism. They were guided on defusing tension and making passengers feel more secure about their journey. The team devised a plan to address the incoming queries on topics like flight operations, safety of passengers, COVID-19-related queries, and details of medical help offered by the airport, the spokesperson said.

The team prepared a roster to ensure round-the-clock availability for passengers, with each member attending calls for six hours across various time bands. Incoming calls were even transferred to the ACC personnel working from home. Necessary data and a set of frequently asked questions were provided to these team members.

“The team also worked closely with all stakeholders of the airport to stay constantly updated on the latest news, particularly data related to flight operations around repatriation and cargo flights,” the spokesperson said. The ACC teams catered to calls from across India, and not only from passengers, but also from municipal authorities and social activists.

The team used various scripts for public announcements in English, Hindi and Marathi through their cellular devices from home. These scripts were devised to have a warm and friendly tone to make wary passengers, who were travelling for the first time after flight operations resumed, feel comfortable and safe.

CSMIA has been adapting and integrating the airport’s customer communication systems, using a hybrid of an interactive voice response system and live agents to assist passengers with their queries.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 10:23:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/airport-tackles-12000-passenger-calls-in-two-months/article31782890.ece

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