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New perspectives due to changing departments

Changing departments at FLYLINE 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 this 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, to enquiring the amount of Avios (the currency of British Airways´ loyalty program, the Executive Club) requiered 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 to solve over the phone on a daily-basis.

The Groups room
A little over a year later, the opportunity to work in 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? I found out it's because travel agencies get guidelines and deadlines to work through contracts and make necessary amendments before issuing the tickets. Thanks to these processing deadlines, tavel agencies in turn grant passengers a certain amount of flexibility with regards to payment methods. Our main customer 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.

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, of the input of every single branch or domain required for a single flight to take off on time. You take note of the additional efforts and enforced rules for the punctual departure of the flight. You get to see the full picture in this department 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 whys and the hows of a traveler's questions. 

New experiences ensuring personal development
To some, flying is just a simple trip from A to B, but it is an intire narrative for those who, through one taks or another, contribute in the background to the success of the flight. This is where FLYLINE and the Flyliners come in: in this house 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 emprise 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, who has had a personal development push with difficult cases. Most rewarding has been, knowing at the end of my day, that booking that special request, that unique trip combination or compensating my crossed customers, 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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