COVID-19 is bringing new technologies and workarounds to airports.
And customer service desks are riding that wave.
Recently, StuckatTheAirport.com reported on several airports now offering virtual information desks.
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Denver International Airport (DEN), and Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) are on the leading edge of this trend.
And now airlines are joining in with assistance from a distance.
First up is United Airlines. They are rolling out virtual, on-demand customer service at their hubs.
United’s “Agent on Demand” program lets passengers use their mobile devices to call, text, or video chat live with an airline agent.
So this means you can deal with a flight-related issue anywhere in the airport. And you can avoid lining up at the gate or at the airline service center.
United’s “Agent on Demand” service is up and running at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Houston’s George Bush International Airport (IAH). And the airline says the service should be live at its other hubs later this month.
To use the program, passengers scan a QR code or access the platform through self-service kiosks at some gate areas.
Like the in-airport staff, the remote agents are able to deal with tasks such as seat assignments, upgrades, standby lists, flight status, and rebooking.
And a nice added bonus, there’s a translation function in the virtual agent program. So if a customer types in one of 100 available languages, their messages are transcribed and sent to the agent in English. And the agent’s responses are returned in the language selected.
In this age of contactless everything, we expect other airlines to offer this type of service soon as well.