In Focus: flydubai
5 years ago by Sonia Rafi
Mr Stuart Weeden, Senior Manager of Customer Service at flydubai talks to us about how the airline is making its mark on the passenger travel experience by providing greater choices, using innovative technologies, analysing customer feedback and offering round the clock customer support.
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“WE REMAIN FOCUSED ON OFFERING PASSENGERS GREATER CHOICE, CONVENIENCE, AND COMFORT”
Q: What services do you provide to your passengers that set you apart from other airlines?
Stuart Weeden: One of the key factors for our success is our ambition to challenge and transform the aviation sector by doing things differently and offering an alternative way of travelling. We operate 44 brand new aircrafts, serve 56 underserved routes, invest in new technologies and employ highly trained staff. We remain focused on offering passengers greater choice, convenience, and comfort and our priority is to listen to our customers. It was based on their feedback that we launched Business Class.
Q: How important is good customer service in addition to efficiency and comfort in the airline industry?
Stuart Weeden: Good customer service is crucial to our business and is something that we remain focused on at flydubai. Our goal is to ensure that our customers enjoy and benefit from our product, which will enable them to not only use our airline at every opportunity, but to recommend flydubai to others. Our top priority is for our customers to feel that they have the resources and means to contact us and resolve any enquiries or questions that they have.
Q: What customer service processes do you have at airport terminals to provide a more passenger friendly experience?
Stuart Weeden: flydubai operates from Terminal 2 at Dubai International Airport, where passengers are able to benefit from a variety of services. Our self-service kiosks allow passengers to save time and check in for their flights. flydubai also has a dedicated information desk in Terminal 2 to assist with enquiries. For our Business Class Passengers, a designated check-in counter, fast track immigration and a Business Lounge are all available. We work closely with our airport services teams to provide support to those travelling with children, along with our elderly and disabled passengers.
Q: What are your procedures for facilitating passengers when it comes to lost or misplaced baggage?
Stuart Weeden: Our principal aim is to reunite the passenger with their baggage as soon as possible. We follow international standards and subscribe to an international tracing system for baggage.
Q: What kind of online support services do you provide on your website and on your social media forums and is this support 24/7?
Stuart Weeden: Our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube pages are popular and provide great platforms to reach more customers, respond to their travel enquiries and ultimately assist them in planning their journeys. This provides us with multiple ways to connect with our passengers. Our 24/7 services include our Contact Centre and our ‘let’s talk’ email service (firstname.lastname@example.org), which allows customers to contact us for assistance. Business Class passengers are also able to SMS our Business Team members with any requirements they have before and during their journey, and they will be contacted immediately by a member of our staff.
Q: Are your inflight menu and movie services set up based on customer preference and feedback?
Stuart Weeden: We have seen a high demand for our award-winning inflight entertainment system which gives passengers access to over 1,300 hours of high-definition movies, television, music and games. This content is available in three languages; Arabic, English and Russian. Our IFE system includes a passenger feedback survey which provides us with valuable information about specific journeys and experiences and we certainly listen to our passengers thoughts and suggestions about travelling with us. Our in-flight menu reflects the diversity of our network and on select routes, passengers can pre-order a hot meal before their journey.
Q: How would you describe the flexibility of your ticketing procedures when it comes to advance bookings, refunds and date changes?
Stuart Weeden: At flydubai, we offer passengers greater flexibility and choice when travelling. Our “Pay to change” and “Free to change” tickets provide our passengers with greater choice when it comes to planning their journey, make changes or request a refund. Business Class passengers can change their ticket at any time, including the day of travel.
Q: In your opinion, what is the role of technology in enhancing the passenger experience? What high-tech innovations does flydubai have in place that add to the overall passenger experience?
Stuart Weeden: Technology has the potential to help our customers, provided that it is developed around them, adding value and streamlining business processes. At flydubai, we use technology to help enhance the passenger experience. Passengers can use our mobile site to book tickets and our inflight technology onboard flydubai has developed a number of features that makes our passengers’ experience something that enables them to continue to use and trust our services. For example, we are the launch customer of the Boeing Sky Interior, designed to reduce jet lag and create a passenger-pleasing experience.
Q: How do you evaluate passenger satisfaction levels?
Stuart Weeden: Customer satisfaction levels are based on the feedback from those who travel with us and the observation of our product delivery throughout a passenger’s journey. We gather feedback from customers through surveys, social media and our in-flight comment cards and surveys. Our Contact Centre and email feedback is also extremely valuable to our research. Net promoter scores are used to trend whether our customers’ perception about our product is improving or not. In addition, we share these scores with our teams in real time to monitor performance and make improvements where required.
Q: What new routes and services is flydubai planning to launch in the near future?
Stuart Weeden: We launched 23 new routes in 2014 and we now have a network of 89 destinations. In 2015, our focus will continue to be on opening up new direct air links to Dubai from previously underserved markets, as well as adding frequency to existing routes.
About Stuart Weeden
Stuart Weeden, the Senior Manager of Customer Services at flydubai is an experienced professional specialising in service delivery, contact centres and customer relations. He brings over 25 years’ experience in the air transport industry having worked internationally across a range of areas including operations, loyalty programs, sales and marketing, consulting, cargo/logistics & IT. Stuart is passionate about ensuring that every flydubai customer has the best customer experience and that the company’s business processes focus on the customer ensuring service continuity and consistency.
Stuart enjoys travel, food, adventure motorcycling and skiing.