Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS -

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Here is one of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve ever had with an air­line cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

I searched for flights from Hong Kong to Bu­san with China Air­lines, who of­fer the best sched­ule for me (I al­ways avoid flights touch­ing down be­fore dawn and per­son­ally don’t mind a two- to three-hour lay­over).

I se­lected my flights, pro­ceeded to the pay­ment process and put in my per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, when sud­denly the web page went blank. I re­freshed the page a few times but it had no re­sponse at all.

Af­ter a few mo­ments, I got back into China Air­line’s web­site, but the flights I had cho­sen were gone, with only busi­ness class left avail­able (an ex­tra US$350 for the round trip). I felt this was kind of ridicu­lous; a well-es­tab­lished flag car­rier should have a well-de­vel­oped web­site and I shouldn’t have to bear this ex­tra US$350.

I there­fore called the cus­tomer hot­line. I re­ally did not ex­pect much since I have heard of some ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ences deal­ing with air­lines’ hot­lines over the phone.

How­ever Emily – the rep­re­sen­ta­tive who an­swered my call – acted promptly. First she checked the sys­tem and found my in­put, and then she sorted things out with her man­ager. This in­volved a bit of back and forth as I un­der­stand the dates I had se­lected were very busy, but I was amazed with their keen­ness to help me in­stead of fob­bing me off and wast­ing my time, and was very pleased to be of­fered the flights which I had cho­sen ini­tially.

Such a well-trained cus­tomer ser­vice team is not easy to find these days. Wal­lace Wong, Hong Kong

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