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New perspectives due to changing departments

To say it in French: „C´EST COMME HABITER UNE MAISON, L´ON PEUT PASSER D´UNE CHAMBRE A L´AUTRE ET GUETTER PAR CHAQUE FENETRE.” Thinking about the possibilities at FLYLINE, I think of this metaphor, which means something like: “It’s like living in a house, walking from room to room and peering through every window”. Changing departments in the same company can be compared to moving from one room to the other and admiring the scenery that each window presents. Working at Flyline has been a thrilling and eye-opening experience. It awakened me to what happens behind the scenes of the air transportation industry. All the acrobatic gymnastics that happens before take-off; from pre-flight safety checks to catering and duty-free loading to luggage stowing - and the list goes on. I will show you in the following paragraphs how I benefited from walking through the different rooms of the house and gazing through their windows.

The Reservations room
During my first year I worked at the Reservations department. There I booked tickets for passengers – obviously. But tickets aren’t the only reason why passengers call us. From changing their seats, double checking what their actual allowed bag weight limit is, up to how many Avios (the currency of British Airways´ loyalty program, the Executive Club) they need for a flight in Club World (British Airways´ sophisticated term for long haul business class) from Paris to New York. These are just a few examples of the many queries we get on a daily-basis through the phone.

The Groups room
A little over a year later, the opportunity to work in a business area called the Groups Department presented itself, as you might guess, I grabbed it. Operating in this function demystified most of my questions about the collaboration between travel agencies and airline companies. It has made me feel like an expert on the field even though I clearly still have a lot to learn. Have you ever, for instance, wondered why in general, when a customer books a ticket from the website of an airline, they must purchase it immediately, whereas if they walk into a travel agency to buy the same itinerary, they get the discretion to settle in rates until a certain deadline? Now I know: That´s because travel agencies get guidelines and deadlines to work through contracts and make necessary amendments before issuing the tickets. Our main customers in the Groups Department are travel agencies. In a nutshell, we contract itineraries for 10 to 99 passengers and present the travel agencies with terms and conditions. We see to it that our processes are applied, and deadlines respected every step of the way - from booking all the way to issuing. A great experience with a lot of fun.

The Customer Relations room
This year I got to experience the Customer Relations arm of FLYLINE. This department in my opinion is where it all comes together: You get to zoom out of the details of every other department to see the full picture. You get to see the picture of what happens behind the scenes, the picture of the input of every single branch or domain, required for a single flight to take off on time. Considering the additional efforts put, enforced rules for the punctual departure of the flight. You get to see the full picture in this domain because, every single complaint you handle, teaches you something that you won´t learn in a classroom or training. Did you notice I said, “I got to experience”? This is to emphasize that it was more than just compensating and apologizing, it was understanding the customer, travelling with them through their stories, feeling what they felt and once again extrapolating the why’s and the how’s of a traveler's questions. 

New experiences ensuring personal development
To some, flying is just the day-to-day business where they move from point A to B. To others, however, it’s an entirely different narrative, particularly to those who strive to contribute to the success of a flight in the background of it. This is where FLYLINE and the Flyliners come in: within this family I got to look through the Reservation Agent´s window, through the Group Distribution Agent´s window and through the Customer Relations Representative´s window. An enriching enterprise not only because of what I learnt, but also because of what I became. This clueless, just-a-random-flight, pre-FLYLINE-passenger is at present a versed, forbearing and equipped airline professional, and has had a personal development push with difficult cases. The most rewarding experience? Knowing that at the end of my day, that booking that special request, that unique trip combination I made to save someone’s journey added a little sunshine to their day. What´s more, I get to work in French eight hours a day and five days a week. Considering that in this house, we fly – in heart – with our customers, in different languages and I enjoy flying in French.

Profile

Position at FLYLINE:
Customer Service Agent - Group and Reservation

Studies:
Integrated Social Sciences

At FLYLINE, because …
… here she can comfortably work in French and English, while combining job and family.

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