Airlines Reopen For Business… Without Staff To Support

I was going to blame Hurricane Elsa on the fact that there was an 8.5 hour wait to reach a Delta agent. However I remembered last week it took 9 hours to reach an agent to change my flight, and there was no hurricane. Calling the Elite line for Delta for 15+ years, I typically am connected to an agent immediately. Sometimes, like during a hurricane, a robot asks if they can call me back within an hour. That was all pre-Covid and before airlines laid off some 75% of their call agents. The question is, if airlines can’t rehire and staff to meet customer needs, why are flights back to capacity?

American has had staffing shortages since travel resumed as well. Stories of grounded flights due to shift changes, pilot shortages, and long wait times for call agents has been all over social media. American has always struggled with customer services issue. Another question for American, is why would they overbook and sell out their flights when they know they can’t provide the staff needed to accommodate for the number of passengers?

I called Southwest and United to see what there robot would tell me for wait times. To no surprise both quoted several hours for a return call. So while I can’t point finger at the hurricane or Covid, I can call out the poor decisions airlines are making. Airlines want to return to normal times, but haven’t made the staffing investments to do so. They need to reduce the capacity of flights when short staffed as well as the number of flights until staffing is back to normal. Call agents should be priority number one. Let’s face it, America wants to get back to work and wants to travel again….airlines are actually deterring the public with these daily stories of horrific customer service experiences.

Thoughts? What are you seeing from your airline? Leave your comments below….

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