Everyday Work at an Airline Contact Centre During Corona Times

One of the industries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic is in the tourism industry. Worldwide air traffic has now largely ceased. Private leisure, holidaymakers and business travellers hardly ever fly unless its urgent and only cargo are still transported by air. Of course, this has an impact on our work.

In the beginning we were completely overloaded as a contact centre. Countless customers from all over the world have called us to find a solution for their trips. However, many only called because they were afraid and wanted to hear the status of their flight from us.

As a result, we had to skip activities that were actually planned and necessary, such as various trainings. We are particularly proud of the last group of new colleagues who, after a much shorter training than usual, had to answer the phone straight away to support our customers and colleagues.

It all started with the Italian market - in the country where Covid-19 was and is very widespread. After a short time, all other markets were also affected. We had more than 500 calls on hold, the waiting time for customers was long and our colleagues had a lot to do. Nevertheless, they did a great job and held out really well.

Even employees who are normally not supposed to take calls have provided telephone support and helped with the refund of flight tickets.

After an exhausting month with a lot of work, Covid-19 has spread to even more countries around the world and their governments have introduced many different regulations - in some countries, for example, we are not allowed to land. As a result, British Airways had to make extreme adjustments to the flight schedules and cancel many flights. Of course, this means that the workload has dropped again - because if the passengers aren't flying, they don't need our services either.

As a result, the intensity of the job has decreased and fortunately we had a bit of rest after so much work.

Fortunately, FLYLINE quickly organized everything to enable colleagues to work from home. In a very short time, over half of the employees were able to work safely from home. Additional security measures have been taken for colleagues in the office: we have disinfectant dispensers; the workplaces are at least 1.5 meters apart and a mask is required in the hallways. Each individual does the best they can to ensure that everyone stays healthy.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is far from over and the aviation industry is still suffering difficult times. FLYLINE is based in Bremen, Germany and luckily there is a great system from the state to help companies and employees in such a time: short-time work. This means that

the employees work less because the volume of work is lower. The company pays for the work done and 60% to 80% of the loss of wages is compensated by the state. This is of course not a nice situation, but at least it is an opportunity to survive the crisis and secure jobs.

All in all, I think we are relatively well off in Germany compared to other countries. Already now in 2021 it seems like we are on the right track to find our way back to normal - even if normality will look different in the future than it used to be.

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