We’re passionate about passenger experience and are committed to delivering the best services to those with disabilities. With multiple passenger touch points including check in, security and retail, how we interact and treat passengers impacts on their journey, and in turn, the way in which they perceive the reputation of our clients, airports and airlines. We’ve initiated debate throughout the industry, conducting an extensive research programme of the entire customer experience for disabled passengers and here in New Zealand, our PRM Ambassador, Dylan Alcott, consults with airlines and airports on PRM passenger experiences and recommendations.
Challenging for Change - a report on disabled passengers’ experience of air travel from OCS
The outcome of the research was a published report called Challenging for Change.
In the report, we identified areas where we could improve the user experience, and in doing so, achieve excellent customer perceptions for our clients. We’ve implemented a series of changes to reduce complaints, improve compliments, increase engagement with disabled people and engage the industry as a whole to make further changes. In addition, we’ve invested in new technology to reduce waiting times for passengers and delays in boarding aircraft, and the resulting cost to airlines. We ensure passengers receive a personalised, safe and enjoyable journey through the airport.
Specialist training and enhancing passenger confidence to travel
Our teams are highly trained in ensuring a safe journey through the airport for passengers who require assistance. Air travel is often complex and disabled passengers may experience increased fear and anxiety when it comes to accessing and navigating the airport. We know that not all disabilities are obvious. And we know that sometimes there is a perception of airport assistance services only being for ‘wheelchair users’. This can lead to passengers who need assistance not wanting to ask for support, which can result in delays at check-in and security.
Our customer care agents are specifically trained to recognise and support those with ‘hidden disabilities’ including:
- mental health
- hearing loss, and
- sensory impairments.
We’ve also introduced a new initiative to ensure people with a hidden disability are confident in using the airports where we deliver the FM service.
Award-winning innovation in PRM services
Navigating your way through a busy airport environment can be a challenging experience, but for passengers with hidden disabilities and their families, there are further complexities.
In addition to our trained and experienced frontline staff, with the support of local community and disability groups and recognised charities, we have launched an innovative airport-wide approach to improve the journey for these passengers.
We’ve introduced a unique lanyard that can be worn by passengers that acts as a discrete sign to all airport staff that additional support may be required as they travel through the airport.
This could simply mean:
- giving them more time to prepare at check-in or security
- allowing them to remain with their family at all times
- ensuring they receive a comprehensive briefing on what to expect as they travel through the airport, and
- helping them read a departure board or sign.
In recognition of the work we’ve done and the training we’ve put in place, Michael Connolly, Regional Training and Standards Manager for OCS has been appointed as one of the Minister for Disabled People’s new disability champions for the Aviation sector.
Technology and sustainable innovation - reducing delays for passengers and airlines and driving commercial efficiencies
As the volume of passengers increases year on year, the more important it becomes to provide excellent PRM services for those who need assistance. Services must be delivered faster, more efficiently and with safety at the heart of the passenger journey, to minimise any detrimental impact to on-time performance, which can be costly to all involved.
Our reputation is based on our delivery of an efficient, reliable, high quality and innovative service.
We use the latest technology to improve operational efficiencies. Locating wheelchairs in a busy airport can lead to delays for passengers and ultimately the airline. We use a barcoding system for wheelchairs so we know exactly where they are and what condition they’re in. Our unique real-time resource allocation system supports the planning and allocation of staff and equipment to best meet specific passenger needs and gives us and our clients complete visibility of PRM operations. The system creates optimum shift pattern models using real time flight and passenger information. The result is reduced operational costs and increased productivity.
Key benefits for the client include:
We continue to introduce a range of innovative measures to establish our clients as internationally recognised friendly airports and airlines for passengers with disabilities.
Get in touch with us to find out more about our passenger assistance services and how we can help you.
Delivering the best passenger experienceEvery passenger is unique. That’s why our assistance services are always tailored to each passenger in our care. We know that there’s a need to be flexible and sensitive to changes in passenger requirements throughout their journey with us.
Our experience, systems and processes allow us to understand each individual requirement and share accurate passenger information to ensure that disabled passengers are able to travel with confidence independently or accompanied.
We’re continually developing our service to:
So whether it’s business or pleasure, we’ll always be there at the start and the end of the journey, making the passenger experience a great one and exceeding expectations.