Archives

Ground Crew – Baggage

BAGGAGEBaggage 2

Overview

Travellers frequently worry about their luggage more than any other aspect of trips that involve flights, with the possible exception of their seating!

Airline rules around the transport of passengers luggage have changed in recent times due to heightened concerns over terrorism and general security. All items passengers wish to bring onto an aircraft with them is generically known as ‘baggage’ and this chapter introduces you to the two key baggage systems in place with airlines around the world:

  • The piece system
  • The weight system

You will learn how these baggage systems operate, and how to interpret and apply the rules around the carriage of baggage on aircraft. Airline staff are charged with enforcing the baggage rules, and in ensuring that carry-on baggage is capable of being stowed safely during flight.

Learning OutcomesBaggage_case

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the features of the weight and piece baggage systems in airline travel
  • Apply appropriate baggage allowance systems to a range of passenger situations
  • Identify key airline and security requirements for the storage of baggage in the aircraft hold
  • Identify the key airline and safety requirements for the carriage of hand baggage in the aircraft cabin
  • Identify which items are considered dangerous items
  • Apply the restrictions under CITES

Checked Baggage

Any baggage that is handed over to the airline staff at check-in is transported to the aircraft and placed in the hold of the aircraft. On arrival at the destination the checked baggage is taken out of the aircraft and is next seen by passengers in the baggage hall of the airport.

If passengers are travelling on a journey involving connecting flights the baggage is automatically transferred from aircraft to aircraft, with the attached baggage tags acting as key references so the baggage ends up on the correct aircraft.

Note: Because of heightened security issues many transit airports, including all those in the USA, require all baggage to be security checked at the transit airport before being reloaded into the connecting aircraft.
Baggage
In the main, the system does work, but from time to time baggage goes missing and all airlines have lost baggage departments to track and trace baggage around the world.

Baggage allowances vary from one airline to the next and with plane size, journey length and class of service booked for the flight.

British Airways uses baggage guidelines which are similar to most major carriers so we will refer to them often during this lesson.

The Weight System

Under the weight system, all checked baggage must come under a certain weight, regardless of the number of bags, determined by the class of service a passenger holds a ticket for.

Some airlines allow ‘pooling’ of baggage allowances so a family or group travelling together can share their allowance rather than trying to pack their luggage so as to maximise each available kilo of allowance!

The traditional weight allowed for an Economy Class ticket has been 20 kgs, with Business and First Class passengers being allowed 30 kgs.

In response to changes in the cabin baggage regulations a number of airlines have increased the weight limits of checked baggage on economy tickets from 20 kgs to 23 kgs.Baggage System handles millions bags

Some airlines have also standardised their checked baggage allowances, providing the same weight restriction to all passengers, regardless of class of service.

In New Zealand, for example, health and safety regulations require all airline baggage to weigh no more than 23 kgs as it is regarded as unsafe for airline staff and baggage handlers to be regularly lifting bags heavier than that.

Some airlines are also differentiating between domestic and international flights – with different baggage restrictions applying.

British Airways, for example, only allow one piece of checked baggage per passenger on any domestic flight, whereas up to three bags may be carried on international flights.

Check this website (http://www.britishairways.com/travel/baggag/public/en_gb) which explains their current regulations.

Excess Baggage

Passengers with more baggage than is permitted by the airline can pay an excess baggage fee and check in additional bags into the hold of the aircraft.

Traditionally this used to be a very expensive option, but more recently airlines have introduced ‘cost per bag’ systems which allows passengers to take an extra bag at a reasonable cost.

British Airways allow passengers to take up to 10 additional bags and charge around 50 pounds for each piece of additional to normal allowance.Snowboard

Check the link below for details of Air New Zealand’s baggage allowances and see what their current excess baggage charges are:

www.airnewzealand.com/excess-baggage-charges

Oversized items and sporting equipment

Some passengers use their baggage allowance to check in an item that may best be described as ‘oversized’. Such items are just too large to take into the passenger cabin and can include:

  • Portable musical instrumentsGolf clubs
  • Bicycle
  • Surfboard
  • Snow skis
  • Snowboard
  • Water skis
  • Golf bag containing golf clubs and shoes

Airlines can only carry these items if there is enough space in the hold, and travellers should always notify the airline in advance if they want to travel with such an item.

Typically the kind of passenger who needs such an item to be available at their destination is involved in a professional sport and needs their equipment with them on the aircraft.

As with normal baggage the weight restrictions apply, and length restrictions are also considered as the hold of an aircraft has limited space for such items. Most passengers travelling with such items will pay excess baggage in order to carry a suitcase plus their oversized item.Guitar

Larger items, such as hang gliders, kayaks and canoes cannot be checked into the hold of a passenger aircraft as they are simply too big, and must be shipped around the world as cargo in aircraft which are specifically designed to carry such items.

Pushchairs and baby carriages

In addition to normal baggage allowances, airlines allow passengers one pushchair or similar item to be checked into the hold if necessary, and wheelchairs are also permitted as a free additional baggage item.

Passengers are always advised to check their baggage allowance on their ticket, and to check with the airline if they are in any doubt.

The Piece System

This baggage system applies in the following areas of the world:

  • Flights to and from the USA, Canada and Mexico
  • All domestic flights in the UK
  • Caribbean and some South American routes

If the code ‘PC’ is printed on the ticket in the baggage allowance section, the piece system applies, allowing travellers to check in two bags or cases.

Each bag should not weigh more than 32 kilos, and travellers are given a maximum permitted size for each piece too.

This is known as ‘total dimensions’, with the largest being 158 cm. 

suitcase dimensions graphicV2

This bag measures 30 cm x 70 cm x 45 cm, so is therefore below the ‘total dimension’ of 158 cm. Depending on the airline, passengers travelling in different classes of service are usually given different baggage allowances.

The piece system allows travellers in the economy cabin to have 2 bags with overall dimensions of 273 cm. When the bags are of different sizes the dimensions of both are added together. Travellers in Business and First Class can check in two bags each with a maximum dimension of 158 cm to a total of 316 cm. 

Cabin Baggage

In addition to baggage that is checked into the hold of the aircraft, passengers are allowed one or two items of hand luggage that can be carried onto the plane and stowed in the luggage compartment above the seating areas of the aircraft.

The type of items that are classed as cabin baggage includes:

  • Ladies handbagsBriefcase
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Briefcase
  • Bag of duty free goods

Airline cabin crew meet passengers at the doors of the aircraft as they are boarding their flight and check to see what type of hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft.

All airlines observe the general safety precaution that cabin baggage must be able to fit in the overhead lockers or under the seats.

Many airlines have cabin baggage measuring devices at check-in or in the gate lounges, so passengers can check to see if their bags fit the dimensions required.

Larger items are likely to be taken from passengers and stowed in the hold if they don’t fit in the overhead lockers. This is because aircraft have limited secure spaces to store items and items lying on the floor or elsewhere could become a safety hazard.

Checkout Virgin Blue’s website: http//www.virginaustralia.com/nz/en/plan/baggage/
for baggage information and you’ll see that they specify very thoroughly what items of luggage can be taken onto the aircraft.

They even list the kind of small items a passenger may carry, such as a coat, an umbrella, books or a pair of crutches.

Baggage is a critical issue for airline passengers and Passenger Service Agents have to tread a delicate line when dealing with passengers who may have too much luggage and become angry or upset when asked to reduce it or pay excess baggage charges. Good customer handling and communication skills really helps here!

 

ITC plane

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout the current baggage allowances for an airline operating from your nearest international airport. How much check-in baggage is allowed? What is their policy around carry-on baggage? What specifically is allowed, and what is not permitted to be carried?

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods can refer to everyday household items that may not seem to be threatening while we use them in our homes. It is hard to imagine that the items we use everyday could put us in any serious danger. However, being at 9km or more above the ground places us in a completely different environment.

The vibration, pressure and temperature changes that occur in-flight can have a strong effect on certain items, and therefore flying increases the risk of these items. Common household items such as laundry starch, paints, cleaners and batteries could cause fire or corrosion and damage to the aircraft structure if they leak. Also, even though some items may be considered OK on their own, when two different dangerous goods are placed next to each other they can cause a serious chemical reaction. This is one of the reasons why certain items that do not seem dangerous are restricted in transport. The threat lies in the items that are undeclared by passengers and brought on board or packed in checked luggage. Examples of dangerous items that passengers have tried or succeeded in bringing on board include culinary blowtorches, fireworks and petrol.

  • While the cabin and hold are air conditioned, the under floor holds are much cooler than ground temperatures. A package could be loaded in temperate (mild) climates, then unloaded in tropical temperatures.
  • A pressurised cabin is still at eight thousand feet altitude during flight. Bottle tops that aren’t secure may pop at altitude. Containers have to be able to withstand a rapid decompression if the plane descends rapidly.
  • Aircrafts, especially propeller aircrafts, vibrate continuously. Any lids that are not tight can vibrate off. Any packages not loaded correctly can shift and topple in flight. Matches could rub until they ignite.

 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) holds significant responsibility to monitor carriage of dangerous goods on aircrafts.  They work together with local organisations, such as the CAA in New Zealand, to keep air travel safe. Check out their website to find out more.

Dangerous goods have been divided into classes:

  • Explosives – such as fireworks
  • Gases – such as hydrogen and heliumgun
  • Flammable liquids – such as paint, petrol and solvents
  • Flammable solids – such as sulfur and bleaches
  • Oxidising substances – such as organic peroxide
  • Toxic and infectious substances – such as cyanide, arsenic
  • Radioactive material – including medicine
  • Corrosive substances – such as mercury, and battery acids
  • Other dangerous goods, such as magnetised material.

None of the above goods are allowed on-board a commercial aircraft.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

You might have heard about international trade in endangered species. For obvious reasons, the international community is trying very hard to ensure endangered species are protected, so they do not become extinct like so many other animals, plants and insects. Mexican food

Unfortunately the hunt on elephants for their tusks (ivory) is continuing. CITES is an international convention signed by most countries, to protect international trade and transport of endangered species or related products.

Read more about this important agreement here.

Some island nations are very specific on which items can be brought into their country. Britain, Australia and New Zealand are examples of such countries. As island nations they have been spared many animal deceases and pests which have simply ‘walk’ or ‘flown’ across the boarders in other countries.

Australia and New Zealand also have beautiful natural environments, which they are trying to protect from unwanted pests and deceases.  Therefore they have particular import restrictions, as follows:

Prohibited items – are items that must not be brought into the country, such as eggs, egg products, clams (if larger than 30mm), ivory, live animals, fresh water fish, honey, uncooked meat, unpopped pocorn, and turtle & tortoise shellsFood pic

Restricted items – are items that must be declared and may be inspected and treated (i.e. disinfected), such as food of any sort, equipment used with animals, milk, milk products, clams shells (fragments, dead and less than 30mm), cooked meat, camping gear, leis, lei (flower) material, fruit, plants, straw, straw handcraft material, golf clubs, and bicycles.

 

 

 

 

Ground Crew – Baggage

BAGGAGEBaggage 2

Overview

Travellers frequently worry about their luggage more than any other aspect of trips that involve flights, with the possible exception of their seating!

Airline rules around the transport of passengers luggage have changed in recent times due to heightened concerns over terrorism and general security. All items passengers wish to bring onto an aircraft with them is generically known as ‘baggage’ and this chapter introduces you to the two key baggage systems in place with airlines around the world:

  • The piece system
  • The weight system

You will learn how these baggage systems operate, and how to interpret and apply the rules around the carriage of baggage on aircraft. Airline staff are charged with enforcing the baggage rules, and in ensuring that carry-on baggage is capable of being stowed safely during flight.

Learning OutcomesBaggage_case

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the features of the weight and piece baggage systems in airline travel
  • Apply appropriate baggage allowance systems to a range of passenger situations
  • Identify key airline and security requirements for the storage of baggage in the aircraft hold
  • Identify the key airline and safety requirements for the carriage of hand baggage in the aircraft cabin
  • Identify which items are considered dangerous items
  • Apply the restrictions under CITES

Checked Baggage

Any baggage that is handed over to the airline staff at check-in is transported to the aircraft and placed in the hold of the aircraft. On arrival at the destination the checked baggage is taken out of the aircraft and is next seen by passengers in the baggage hall of the airport.

If passengers are travelling on a journey involving connecting flights the baggage is automatically transferred from aircraft to aircraft, with the attached baggage tags acting as key references so the baggage ends up on the correct aircraft.

Note: Because of heightened security issues many transit airports, including all those in the USA, require all baggage to be security checked at the transit airport before being reloaded into the connecting aircraft.
Baggage
In the main, the system does work, but from time to time baggage goes missing and all airlines have lost baggage departments to track and trace baggage around the world.

Baggage allowances vary from one airline to the next and with plane size, journey length and class of service booked for the flight.

British Airways uses baggage guidelines which are similar to most major carriers so we will refer to them often during this lesson.

The Weight System

Under the weight system, all checked baggage must come under a certain weight, regardless of the number of bags, determined by the class of service a passenger holds a ticket for.

Some airlines allow ‘pooling’ of baggage allowances so a family or group travelling together can share their allowance rather than trying to pack their luggage so as to maximise each available kilo of allowance!

The traditional weight allowed for an Economy Class ticket has been 20 kgs, with Business and First Class passengers being allowed 30 kgs.

In response to changes in the cabin baggage regulations a number of airlines have increased the weight limits of checked baggage on economy tickets from 20 kgs to 23 kgs.Baggage System handles millions bags

Some airlines have also standardised their checked baggage allowances, providing the same weight restriction to all passengers, regardless of class of service.

In New Zealand, for example, health and safety regulations require all airline baggage to weigh no more than 23 kgs as it is regarded as unsafe for airline staff and baggage handlers to be regularly lifting bags heavier than that.

Some airlines are also differentiating between domestic and international flights – with different baggage restrictions applying.

British Airways, for example, only allow one piece of checked baggage per passenger on any domestic flight, whereas up to three bags may be carried on international flights.

Check this website (http://www.britishairways.com/travel/baggag/public/en_gb) which explains their current regulations.

Excess Baggage

Passengers with more baggage than is permitted by the airline can pay an excess baggage fee and check in additional bags into the hold of the aircraft.

Traditionally this used to be a very expensive option, but more recently airlines have introduced ‘cost per bag’ systems which allows passengers to take an extra bag at a reasonable cost.

British Airways allow passengers to take up to 10 additional bags and charge around 50 pounds for each piece of additional to normal allowance.Snowboard

Check the link below for details of Air New Zealand’s baggage allowances and see what their current excess baggage charges are:

www.airnewzealand.com/excess-baggage-charges

Oversized items and sporting equipment

Some passengers use their baggage allowance to check in an item that may best be described as ‘oversized’. Such items are just too large to take into the passenger cabin and can include:

  • Portable musical instrumentsGolf clubs
  • Bicycle
  • Surfboard
  • Snow skis
  • Snowboard
  • Water skis
  • Golf bag containing golf clubs and shoes

Airlines can only carry these items if there is enough space in the hold, and travellers should always notify the airline in advance if they want to travel with such an item.

Typically the kind of passenger who needs such an item to be available at their destination is involved in a professional sport and needs their equipment with them on the aircraft.

As with normal baggage the weight restrictions apply, and length restrictions are also considered as the hold of an aircraft has limited space for such items. Most passengers travelling with such items will pay excess baggage in order to carry a suitcase plus their oversized item.Guitar

Larger items, such as hang gliders, kayaks and canoes cannot be checked into the hold of a passenger aircraft as they are simply too big, and must be shipped around the world as cargo in aircraft which are specifically designed to carry such items.

Pushchairs and baby carriages

In addition to normal baggage allowances, airlines allow passengers one pushchair or similar item to be checked into the hold if necessary, and wheelchairs are also permitted as a free additional baggage item.

Passengers are always advised to check their baggage allowance on their ticket, and to check with the airline if they are in any doubt.

The Piece System

This baggage system applies in the following areas of the world:

  • Flights to and from the USA, Canada and Mexico
  • All domestic flights in the UK
  • Caribbean and some South American routes

If the code ‘PC’ is printed on the ticket in the baggage allowance section, the piece system applies, allowing travellers to check in two bags or cases.

Each bag should not weigh more than 32 kilos, and travellers are given a maximum permitted size for each piece too.

This is known as ‘total dimensions’, with the largest being 158 cm. 

suitcase dimensions graphicV2

This bag measures 30 cm x 70 cm x 45 cm, so is therefore below the ‘total dimension’ of 158 cm. Depending on the airline, passengers travelling in different classes of service are usually given different baggage allowances.

The piece system allows travellers in the economy cabin to have 2 bags with overall dimensions of 273 cm. When the bags are of different sizes the dimensions of both are added together. Travellers in Business and First Class can check in two bags each with a maximum dimension of 158 cm to a total of 316 cm. 

Cabin Baggage

In addition to baggage that is checked into the hold of the aircraft, passengers are allowed one or two items of hand luggage that can be carried onto the plane and stowed in the luggage compartment above the seating areas of the aircraft.

The type of items that are classed as cabin baggage includes:

  • Ladies handbagsBriefcase
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Briefcase
  • Bag of duty free goods

Airline cabin crew meet passengers at the doors of the aircraft as they are boarding their flight and check to see what type of hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft.

All airlines observe the general safety precaution that cabin baggage must be able to fit in the overhead lockers or under the seats.

Many airlines have cabin baggage measuring devices at check-in or in the gate lounges, so passengers can check to see if their bags fit the dimensions required.

Larger items are likely to be taken from passengers and stowed in the hold if they don’t fit in the overhead lockers. This is because aircraft have limited secure spaces to store items and items lying on the floor or elsewhere could become a safety hazard.

Checkout Virgin Blue’s website: http//www.virginaustralia.com/nz/en/plan/baggage/
for baggage information and you’ll see that they specify very thoroughly what items of luggage can be taken onto the aircraft.

They even list the kind of small items a passenger may carry, such as a coat, an umbrella, books or a pair of crutches.

Baggage is a critical issue for airline passengers and Passenger Service Agents have to tread a delicate line when dealing with passengers who may have too much luggage and become angry or upset when asked to reduce it or pay excess baggage charges. Good customer handling and communication skills really helps here!

 

ITC plane

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout the current baggage allowances for an airline operating from your nearest international airport. How much check-in baggage is allowed? What is their policy around carry-on baggage? What specifically is allowed, and what is not permitted to be carried?

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods can refer to everyday household items that may not seem to be threatening while we use them in our homes. It is hard to imagine that the items we use everyday could put us in any serious danger. However, being at 9km or more above the ground places us in a completely different environment.

The vibration, pressure and temperature changes that occur in-flight can have a strong effect on certain items, and therefore flying increases the risk of these items. Common household items such as laundry starch, paints, cleaners and batteries could cause fire or corrosion and damage to the aircraft structure if they leak. Also, even though some items may be considered OK on their own, when two different dangerous goods are placed next to each other they can cause a serious chemical reaction. This is one of the reasons why certain items that do not seem dangerous are restricted in transport. The threat lies in the items that are undeclared by passengers and brought on board or packed in checked luggage. Examples of dangerous items that passengers have tried or succeeded in bringing on board include culinary blowtorches, fireworks and petrol.

  • While the cabin and hold are air conditioned, the under floor holds are much cooler than ground temperatures. A package could be loaded in temperate (mild) climates, then unloaded in tropical temperatures.
  • A pressurised cabin is still at eight thousand feet altitude during flight. Bottle tops that aren’t secure may pop at altitude. Containers have to be able to withstand a rapid decompression if the plane descends rapidly.
  • Aircrafts, especially propeller aircrafts, vibrate continuously. Any lids that are not tight can vibrate off. Any packages not loaded correctly can shift and topple in flight. Matches could rub until they ignite.

 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) holds significant responsibility to monitor carriage of dangerous goods on aircrafts.  They work together with local organisations, such as the CAA in New Zealand, to keep air travel safe. Check out their website to find out more.

Dangerous goods have been divided into classes:

  • Explosives – such as fireworks
  • Gases – such as hydrogen and heliumgun
  • Flammable liquids – such as paint, petrol and solvents
  • Flammable solids – such as sulfur and bleaches
  • Oxidising substances – such as organic peroxide
  • Toxic and infectious substances – such as cyanide, arsenic
  • Radioactive material – including medicine
  • Corrosive substances – such as mercury, and battery acids
  • Other dangerous goods, such as magnetised material.

None of the above goods are allowed on-board a commercial aircraft.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

You might have heard about international trade in endangered species. For obvious reasons, the international community is trying very hard to ensure endangered species are protected, so they do not become extinct like so many other animals, plants and insects. Mexican food

Unfortunately the hunt on elephants for their tusks (ivory) is continuing. CITES is an international convention signed by most countries, to protect international trade and transport of endangered species or related products.

Read more about this important agreement here.

Some island nations are very specific on which items can be brought into their country. Britain, Australia and New Zealand are examples of such countries. As island nations they have been spared many animal deceases and pests which have simply ‘walk’ or ‘flown’ across the boarders in other countries.

Australia and New Zealand also have beautiful natural environments, which they are trying to protect from unwanted pests and deceases.  Therefore they have particular import restrictions, as follows:

Prohibited items – are items that must not be brought into the country, such as eggs, egg products, clams (if larger than 30mm), ivory, live animals, fresh water fish, honey, uncooked meat, unpopped pocorn, and turtle & tortoise shellsFood pic

Restricted items – are items that must be declared and may be inspected and treated (i.e. disinfected), such as food of any sort, equipment used with animals, milk, milk products, clams shells (fragments, dead and less than 30mm), cooked meat, camping gear, leis, lei (flower) material, fruit, plants, straw, straw handcraft material, golf clubs, and bicycles.

 

 

 

 

Ground Crew – Baggage

BAGGAGEBaggage 2

Overview

Travellers frequently worry about their luggage more than any other aspect of trips that involve flights, with the possible exception of their seating!

Airline rules around the transport of passengers luggage have changed in recent times due to heightened concerns over terrorism and general security. All items passengers wish to bring onto an aircraft with them is generically known as ‘baggage’ and this chapter introduces you to the two key baggage systems in place with airlines around the world:

  • The piece system
  • The weight system

You will learn how these baggage systems operate, and how to interpret and apply the rules around the carriage of baggage on aircraft. Airline staff are charged with enforcing the baggage rules, and in ensuring that carry-on baggage is capable of being stowed safely during flight.

Learning OutcomesBaggage_case

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the features of the weight and piece baggage systems in airline travel
  • Apply appropriate baggage allowance systems to a range of passenger situations
  • Identify key airline and security requirements for the storage of baggage in the aircraft hold
  • Identify the key airline and safety requirements for the carriage of hand baggage in the aircraft cabin
  • Identify which items are considered dangerous items
  • Apply the restrictions under CITES

Checked Baggage

Any baggage that is handed over to the airline staff at check-in is transported to the aircraft and placed in the hold of the aircraft. On arrival at the destination the checked baggage is taken out of the aircraft and is next seen by passengers in the baggage hall of the airport.

If passengers are travelling on a journey involving connecting flights the baggage is automatically transferred from aircraft to aircraft, with the attached baggage tags acting as key references so the baggage ends up on the correct aircraft.

Note: Because of heightened security issues many transit airports, including all those in the USA, require all baggage to be security checked at the transit airport before being reloaded into the connecting aircraft.
Baggage
In the main, the system does work, but from time to time baggage goes missing and all airlines have lost baggage departments to track and trace baggage around the world.

Baggage allowances vary from one airline to the next and with plane size, journey length and class of service booked for the flight.

British Airways uses baggage guidelines which are similar to most major carriers so we will refer to them often during this lesson.

The Weight System

Under the weight system, all checked baggage must come under a certain weight, regardless of the number of bags, determined by the class of service a passenger holds a ticket for.

Some airlines allow ‘pooling’ of baggage allowances so a family or group travelling together can share their allowance rather than trying to pack their luggage so as to maximise each available kilo of allowance!

The traditional weight allowed for an Economy Class ticket has been 20 kgs, with Business and First Class passengers being allowed 30 kgs.

In response to changes in the cabin baggage regulations a number of airlines have increased the weight limits of checked baggage on economy tickets from 20 kgs to 23 kgs.Baggage System handles millions bags

Some airlines have also standardised their checked baggage allowances, providing the same weight restriction to all passengers, regardless of class of service.

In New Zealand, for example, health and safety regulations require all airline baggage to weigh no more than 23 kgs as it is regarded as unsafe for airline staff and baggage handlers to be regularly lifting bags heavier than that.

Some airlines are also differentiating between domestic and international flights – with different baggage restrictions applying.

British Airways, for example, only allow one piece of checked baggage per passenger on any domestic flight, whereas up to three bags may be carried on international flights.

Check this website (http://www.britishairways.com/travel/baggag/public/en_gb) which explains their current regulations.

Excess Baggage

Passengers with more baggage than is permitted by the airline can pay an excess baggage fee and check in additional bags into the hold of the aircraft.

Traditionally this used to be a very expensive option, but more recently airlines have introduced ‘cost per bag’ systems which allows passengers to take an extra bag at a reasonable cost.

British Airways allow passengers to take up to 10 additional bags and charge around 50 pounds for each piece of additional to normal allowance.Snowboard

Check the link below for details of Air New Zealand’s baggage allowances and see what their current excess baggage charges are:

www.airnewzealand.com/excess-baggage-charges

Oversized items and sporting equipment

Some passengers use their baggage allowance to check in an item that may best be described as ‘oversized’. Such items are just too large to take into the passenger cabin and can include:

  • Portable musical instrumentsGolf clubs
  • Bicycle
  • Surfboard
  • Snow skis
  • Snowboard
  • Water skis
  • Golf bag containing golf clubs and shoes

Airlines can only carry these items if there is enough space in the hold, and travellers should always notify the airline in advance if they want to travel with such an item.

Typically the kind of passenger who needs such an item to be available at their destination is involved in a professional sport and needs their equipment with them on the aircraft.

As with normal baggage the weight restrictions apply, and length restrictions are also considered as the hold of an aircraft has limited space for such items. Most passengers travelling with such items will pay excess baggage in order to carry a suitcase plus their oversized item.Guitar

Larger items, such as hang gliders, kayaks and canoes cannot be checked into the hold of a passenger aircraft as they are simply too big, and must be shipped around the world as cargo in aircraft which are specifically designed to carry such items.

Pushchairs and baby carriages

In addition to normal baggage allowances, airlines allow passengers one pushchair or similar item to be checked into the hold if necessary, and wheelchairs are also permitted as a free additional baggage item.

Passengers are always advised to check their baggage allowance on their ticket, and to check with the airline if they are in any doubt.

The Piece System

This baggage system applies in the following areas of the world:

  • Flights to and from the USA, Canada and Mexico
  • All domestic flights in the UK
  • Caribbean and some South American routes

If the code ‘PC’ is printed on the ticket in the baggage allowance section, the piece system applies, allowing travellers to check in two bags or cases.

Each bag should not weigh more than 32 kilos, and travellers are given a maximum permitted size for each piece too.

This is known as ‘total dimensions’, with the largest being 158 cm. 

suitcase dimensions graphicV2

This bag measures 30 cm x 70 cm x 45 cm, so is therefore below the ‘total dimension’ of 158 cm. Depending on the airline, passengers travelling in different classes of service are usually given different baggage allowances.

The piece system allows travellers in the economy cabin to have 2 bags with overall dimensions of 273 cm. When the bags are of different sizes the dimensions of both are added together. Travellers in Business and First Class can check in two bags each with a maximum dimension of 158 cm to a total of 316 cm. 

Cabin Baggage

In addition to baggage that is checked into the hold of the aircraft, passengers are allowed one or two items of hand luggage that can be carried onto the plane and stowed in the luggage compartment above the seating areas of the aircraft.

The type of items that are classed as cabin baggage includes:

  • Ladies handbagsBriefcase
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Briefcase
  • Bag of duty free goods

Airline cabin crew meet passengers at the doors of the aircraft as they are boarding their flight and check to see what type of hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft.

All airlines observe the general safety precaution that cabin baggage must be able to fit in the overhead lockers or under the seats.

Many airlines have cabin baggage measuring devices at check-in or in the gate lounges, so passengers can check to see if their bags fit the dimensions required.

Larger items are likely to be taken from passengers and stowed in the hold if they don’t fit in the overhead lockers. This is because aircraft have limited secure spaces to store items and items lying on the floor or elsewhere could become a safety hazard.

Checkout Virgin Blue’s website: http//www.virginaustralia.com/nz/en/plan/baggage/
for baggage information and you’ll see that they specify very thoroughly what items of luggage can be taken onto the aircraft.

They even list the kind of small items a passenger may carry, such as a coat, an umbrella, books or a pair of crutches.

Baggage is a critical issue for airline passengers and Passenger Service Agents have to tread a delicate line when dealing with passengers who may have too much luggage and become angry or upset when asked to reduce it or pay excess baggage charges. Good customer handling and communication skills really helps here!

 

ITC plane

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout the current baggage allowances for an airline operating from your nearest international airport. How much check-in baggage is allowed? What is their policy around carry-on baggage? What specifically is allowed, and what is not permitted to be carried?

Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods can refer to everyday household items that may not seem to be threatening while we use them in our homes. It is hard to imagine that the items we use everyday could put us in any serious danger. However, being at 9km or more above the ground places us in a completely different environment.

The vibration, pressure and temperature changes that occur in-flight can have a strong effect on certain items, and therefore flying increases the risk of these items. Common household items such as laundry starch, paints, cleaners and batteries could cause fire or corrosion and damage to the aircraft structure if they leak. Also, even though some items may be considered OK on their own, when two different dangerous goods are placed next to each other they can cause a serious chemical reaction. This is one of the reasons why certain items that do not seem dangerous are restricted in transport. The threat lies in the items that are undeclared by passengers and brought on board or packed in checked luggage. Examples of dangerous items that passengers have tried or succeeded in bringing on board include culinary blowtorches, fireworks and petrol.

  • While the cabin and hold are air conditioned, the under floor holds are much cooler than ground temperatures. A package could be loaded in temperate (mild) climates, then unloaded in tropical temperatures.
  • A pressurised cabin is still at eight thousand feet altitude during flight. Bottle tops that aren’t secure may pop at altitude. Containers have to be able to withstand a rapid decompression if the plane descends rapidly.
  • Aircrafts, especially propeller aircrafts, vibrate continuously. Any lids that are not tight can vibrate off. Any packages not loaded correctly can shift and topple in flight. Matches could rub until they ignite.

 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) holds significant responsibility to monitor carriage of dangerous goods on aircrafts.  They work together with local organisations, such as the CAA in New Zealand, to keep air travel safe. Check out their website to find out more.

Dangerous goods have been divided into classes:

  • Explosives – such as fireworks
  • Gases – such as hydrogen and heliumgun
  • Flammable liquids – such as paint, petrol and solvents
  • Flammable solids – such as sulfur and bleaches
  • Oxidising substances – such as organic peroxide
  • Toxic and infectious substances – such as cyanide, arsenic
  • Radioactive material – including medicine
  • Corrosive substances – such as mercury, and battery acids
  • Other dangerous goods, such as magnetised material.

None of the above goods are allowed on-board a commercial aircraft.

Prohibited and Restricted Items

You might have heard about international trade in endangered species. For obvious reasons, the international community is trying very hard to ensure endangered species are protected, so they do not become extinct like so many other animals, plants and insects. Mexican food

Unfortunately the hunt on elephants for their tusks (ivory) is continuing. CITES is an international convention signed by most countries, to protect international trade and transport of endangered species or related products.

Read more about this important agreement here.

Some island nations are very specific on which items can be brought into their country. Britain, Australia and New Zealand are examples of such countries. As island nations they have been spared many animal deceases and pests which have simply ‘walk’ or ‘flown’ across the boarders in other countries.

Australia and New Zealand also have beautiful natural environments, which they are trying to protect from unwanted pests and deceases.  Therefore they have particular import restrictions, as follows:

Prohibited items – are items that must not be brought into the country, such as eggs, egg products, clams (if larger than 30mm), ivory, live animals, fresh water fish, honey, uncooked meat, unpopped pocorn, and turtle & tortoise shellsFood pic

Restricted items – are items that must be declared and may be inspected and treated (i.e. disinfected), such as food of any sort, equipment used with animals, milk, milk products, clams shells (fragments, dead and less than 30mm), cooked meat, camping gear, leis, lei (flower) material, fruit, plants, straw, straw handcraft material, golf clubs, and bicycles.

 

 

 

 

Ground Crew – More continents

Africaafrican-lion-male_436_600x450

Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia.

With a land mass of more than 30 million square kilometres it covers 6% of the earth’s total surface area.

More than 1 billion people live within Africa, in 53 countries or territories, and the continent accounts for almost 15% of the world’s total population.

Africa straddles the equator with countries in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and takes in a range of climate areas.

Africa has a long and troubled history in many of its countries, but can still offer the visitor a fantastic tourism experience with trips down the Nile to see the pyramids in Egypt, safaris and game parks in South Africa, unique wild animal experiences in Tanzania and Kenya, and a chance to surf and relax on some of the best beaches in the world.

Africa-political map

North America

North America is the third largest continent, and is the northern continent of the ‘Americas’, situated entirely within the Northern Hemisphere.

It covers around 24 million square kilometres which is around 5% of the earth’s surface area. North America includes the USA (United States of America), Canada and a further 21 countries mostly in Central America and in offshore islands.

The continent hosts a population of more than 530 million people.

Tourism in North America is spread across the continent, but particularly close to the west and east coasts.

The state of California on the west coast is a key tourism destination for visitors all over the world, as are the beautiful east coast cities of Washington and New York. To give you some idea of the scale of tourism, New York had a record number of 54 million tourist visits in 2013. Many of these are Americans visiting NYC, and of course a fair percentage is international tourists. Apparently 33% of international tourists visiting the USA in 2010, included New York in their visit.(Source: http://uscib.org/docs/WCIB%20Occasional%20Paper%20NY%20Tourism%20Exports%20(2).pdf)

In the south, New Orleans has been a mecca for tourism for many years, although this has faded somewhat since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


North America Political Map-72dpi

South America

South America is the southern continent of the Americas, the fourth largest continent and is situated almost entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.

It covers almost 18 million square kilometres, some 4% of the earth’s total surface, and the largest single country is Brazil which covers almost half of all the South American land mass.

The smallest country is the Falkland Islands, covering just 12,000 square kilometres, and located to the south east in the Pacific Ocean. This is a tiny group of islands governed by the UK.

South America’s population is around 375 million people across the 12 countries within the continent.

Tourism in South America focuses on some key attractions, such as the Incan temples of Peru, the Amazonian rainforests, and the stunning beach life in Rio de Janeiro.

South America

Antarctica

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, located entirely within the Southern Hemisphere, at the southernmost tip of the world!

It is mostly situated south of the Antarctic Circle, surrounded by the huge Southern Ocean.emperor-penguin_in Antarctica

Whilst it covers 14 million square kilometres, 98% of it is covered by ice and does not host a permanent population. Around 1,000+ scientists are based there at any time, engaged in research and scientific projects.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth, so is not featured much on the tourism map, apart from some cruises in summer time.

Antarctica-Political-72dpi

Europe

Europe is the second smallest continent in surface area, covering some 10 million square kilometres or 2% of the earth’s total surface area. The population of more than 730 million represent 11% of the total world population, and live in the 50 countries located within the continent of Europe, from the UK in the West to the Urals in the East of the continent. All of the countries that make up the European continent are entirely located within the Northern Hemisphere.

The largest country in Europe is the Russian Federation, in both area and population, occupying 17 million square kilometres and hosting 140 million people. The Russian Federation consists of 83 federal states that have come together as ‘Russia.’

The smallest nation in Europe is the Vatican City – a tiny city state located in the centre of the Italian capital city of Rome. The Vatican City is a walled enclave, occupying less than one square kilometre (about the size of a large car park!) and hosting a population of just over 800, including the Pope.

Europe map with labels

The continent of Europe includes the United Kingdom (comprising England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) and Ireland. These ‘British Isles’ are not located within the main European landmass, but off the West coast of continental Europe.

Europe is a huge centre for world tourism, host to scores of cities and world heritage sites. Trevi_Fountain_RomeCities such as London, Rome, Venice, Athens and Prague are all located within this continent.

Oceania

Oceania is the smallest continent, covering some 8 million square kilometres, and centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

It is generally referred to also as Australasia, although it includes 14 other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Oceania is situated entirely in the Southern Hemisphere, and hosts a population of 35 million people.

The largest country within Oceania is Australia, covering more than 7.6 million square kilometres and host to a population of 22 million.

The next country of any size within Oceania is New Zealand, made up of two principal islands (North Island and South Island) totalling just over quarter of a million square kilometres, and host to less than 5 million people.

This makes New Zealand’s ‘density’ (the numbers of people per kilometre) one of the lowest in the developed world and a key draw card for migrants and visitors.Auckland city

The rest of Oceania is made up of island groups, archipelagos and atolls around the Pacific, including Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga – key tourism destinations for New Zealand travellers.

Map of Oceania with labels_v2

Remember the pre-test you did in a prior lesson? How many answers do you know now?

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

 

 

Ground Crew – More continents

Africaafrican-lion-male_436_600x450

Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia.

With a land mass of more than 30 million square kilometres it covers 6% of the earth’s total surface area.

More than 1 billion people live within Africa, in 53 countries or territories, and the continent accounts for almost 15% of the world’s total population.

Africa straddles the equator with countries in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and takes in a range of climate areas.

Africa has a long and troubled history in many of its countries, but can still offer the visitor a fantastic tourism experience with trips down the Nile to see the pyramids in Egypt, safaris and game parks in South Africa, unique wild animal experiences in Tanzania and Kenya, and a chance to surf and relax on some of the best beaches in the world.

Africa-political map

North America

North America is the third largest continent, and is the northern continent of the ‘Americas’, situated entirely within the Northern Hemisphere.

It covers around 24 million square kilometres which is around 5% of the earth’s surface area. North America includes the USA (United States of America), Canada and a further 21 countries mostly in Central America and in offshore islands.

The continent hosts a population of more than 530 million people.

Tourism in North America is spread across the continent, but particularly close to the west and east coasts.

The state of California on the west coast is a key tourism destination for visitors all over the world, as are the beautiful east coast cities of Washington and New York. To give you some idea of the scale of tourism, New York had a record number of 54 million tourist visits in 2013. Many of these are Americans visiting NYC, and of course a fair percentage is international tourists. Apparently 33% of international tourists visiting the USA in 2010, included New York in their visit.(Source: http://uscib.org/docs/WCIB%20Occasional%20Paper%20NY%20Tourism%20Exports%20(2).pdf)

In the south, New Orleans has been a mecca for tourism for many years, although this has faded somewhat since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


North America Political Map-72dpi

South America

South America is the southern continent of the Americas, the fourth largest continent and is situated almost entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.

It covers almost 18 million square kilometres, some 4% of the earth’s total surface, and the largest single country is Brazil which covers almost half of all the South American land mass.

The smallest country is the Falkland Islands, covering just 12,000 square kilometres, and located to the south east in the Pacific Ocean. This is a tiny group of islands governed by the UK.

South America’s population is around 375 million people across the 12 countries within the continent.

Tourism in South America focuses on some key attractions, such as the Incan temples of Peru, the Amazonian rainforests, and the stunning beach life in Rio de Janeiro.

South America

Antarctica

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, located entirely within the Southern Hemisphere, at the southernmost tip of the world!

It is mostly situated south of the Antarctic Circle, surrounded by the huge Southern Ocean.emperor-penguin_in Antarctica

Whilst it covers 14 million square kilometres, 98% of it is covered by ice and does not host a permanent population. Around 1,000+ scientists are based there at any time, engaged in research and scientific projects.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth, so is not featured much on the tourism map, apart from some cruises in summer time.

Antarctica-Political-72dpi

Europe

Europe is the second smallest continent in surface area, covering some 10 million square kilometres or 2% of the earth’s total surface area. The population of more than 730 million represent 11% of the total world population, and live in the 50 countries located within the continent of Europe, from the UK in the West to the Urals in the East of the continent. All of the countries that make up the European continent are entirely located within the Northern Hemisphere.

The largest country in Europe is the Russian Federation, in both area and population, occupying 17 million square kilometres and hosting 140 million people. The Russian Federation consists of 83 federal states that have come together as ‘Russia.’

The smallest nation in Europe is the Vatican City – a tiny city state located in the centre of the Italian capital city of Rome. The Vatican City is a walled enclave, occupying less than one square kilometre (about the size of a large car park!) and hosting a population of just over 800, including the Pope.

Europe map with labels

The continent of Europe includes the United Kingdom (comprising England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) and Ireland. These ‘British Isles’ are not located within the main European landmass, but off the West coast of continental Europe.

Europe is a huge centre for world tourism, host to scores of cities and world heritage sites. Trevi_Fountain_RomeCities such as London, Rome, Venice, Athens and Prague are all located within this continent.

Oceania

Oceania is the smallest continent, covering some 8 million square kilometres, and centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

It is generally referred to also as Australasia, although it includes 14 other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Oceania is situated entirely in the Southern Hemisphere, and hosts a population of 35 million people.

The largest country within Oceania is Australia, covering more than 7.6 million square kilometres and host to a population of 22 million.

The next country of any size within Oceania is New Zealand, made up of two principal islands (North Island and South Island) totalling just over quarter of a million square kilometres, and host to less than 5 million people.

This makes New Zealand’s ‘density’ (the numbers of people per kilometre) one of the lowest in the developed world and a key draw card for migrants and visitors.Auckland city

The rest of Oceania is made up of island groups, archipelagos and atolls around the Pacific, including Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga – key tourism destinations for New Zealand travellers.

Map of Oceania with labels_v2

Remember the pre-test you did in a prior lesson? How many answers do you know now?

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

 

 

Ground Crew – More continents

Africaafrican-lion-male_436_600x450

Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia.

With a land mass of more than 30 million square kilometres it covers 6% of the earth’s total surface area.

More than 1 billion people live within Africa, in 53 countries or territories, and the continent accounts for almost 15% of the world’s total population.

Africa straddles the equator with countries in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and takes in a range of climate areas.

Africa has a long and troubled history in many of its countries, but can still offer the visitor a fantastic tourism experience with trips down the Nile to see the pyramids in Egypt, safaris and game parks in South Africa, unique wild animal experiences in Tanzania and Kenya, and a chance to surf and relax on some of the best beaches in the world.

Africa-political map

North America

North America is the third largest continent, and is the northern continent of the ‘Americas’, situated entirely within the Northern Hemisphere.

It covers around 24 million square kilometres which is around 5% of the earth’s surface area. North America includes the USA (United States of America), Canada and a further 21 countries mostly in Central America and in offshore islands.

The continent hosts a population of more than 530 million people.

Tourism in North America is spread across the continent, but particularly close to the west and east coasts.

The state of California on the west coast is a key tourism destination for visitors all over the world, as are the beautiful east coast cities of Washington and New York. To give you some idea of the scale of tourism, New York had a record number of 54 million tourist visits in 2013. Many of these are Americans visiting NYC, and of course a fair percentage is international tourists. Apparently 33% of international tourists visiting the USA in 2010, included New York in their visit.(Source: http://uscib.org/docs/WCIB%20Occasional%20Paper%20NY%20Tourism%20Exports%20(2).pdf)

In the south, New Orleans has been a mecca for tourism for many years, although this has faded somewhat since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


North America Political Map-72dpi

South America

South America is the southern continent of the Americas, the fourth largest continent and is situated almost entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.

It covers almost 18 million square kilometres, some 4% of the earth’s total surface, and the largest single country is Brazil which covers almost half of all the South American land mass.

The smallest country is the Falkland Islands, covering just 12,000 square kilometres, and located to the south east in the Pacific Ocean. This is a tiny group of islands governed by the UK.

South America’s population is around 375 million people across the 12 countries within the continent.

Tourism in South America focuses on some key attractions, such as the Incan temples of Peru, the Amazonian rainforests, and the stunning beach life in Rio de Janeiro.

South America

Antarctica

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, located entirely within the Southern Hemisphere, at the southernmost tip of the world!

It is mostly situated south of the Antarctic Circle, surrounded by the huge Southern Ocean.emperor-penguin_in Antarctica

Whilst it covers 14 million square kilometres, 98% of it is covered by ice and does not host a permanent population. Around 1,000+ scientists are based there at any time, engaged in research and scientific projects.

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth, so is not featured much on the tourism map, apart from some cruises in summer time.

Antarctica-Political-72dpi

Europe

Europe is the second smallest continent in surface area, covering some 10 million square kilometres or 2% of the earth’s total surface area. The population of more than 730 million represent 11% of the total world population, and live in the 50 countries located within the continent of Europe, from the UK in the West to the Urals in the East of the continent. All of the countries that make up the European continent are entirely located within the Northern Hemisphere.

The largest country in Europe is the Russian Federation, in both area and population, occupying 17 million square kilometres and hosting 140 million people. The Russian Federation consists of 83 federal states that have come together as ‘Russia.’

The smallest nation in Europe is the Vatican City – a tiny city state located in the centre of the Italian capital city of Rome. The Vatican City is a walled enclave, occupying less than one square kilometre (about the size of a large car park!) and hosting a population of just over 800, including the Pope.

Europe map with labels

The continent of Europe includes the United Kingdom (comprising England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) and Ireland. These ‘British Isles’ are not located within the main European landmass, but off the West coast of continental Europe.

Europe is a huge centre for world tourism, host to scores of cities and world heritage sites. Trevi_Fountain_RomeCities such as London, Rome, Venice, Athens and Prague are all located within this continent.

Oceania

Oceania is the smallest continent, covering some 8 million square kilometres, and centred on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

It is generally referred to also as Australasia, although it includes 14 other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Oceania is situated entirely in the Southern Hemisphere, and hosts a population of 35 million people.

The largest country within Oceania is Australia, covering more than 7.6 million square kilometres and host to a population of 22 million.

The next country of any size within Oceania is New Zealand, made up of two principal islands (North Island and South Island) totalling just over quarter of a million square kilometres, and host to less than 5 million people.

This makes New Zealand’s ‘density’ (the numbers of people per kilometre) one of the lowest in the developed world and a key draw card for migrants and visitors.Auckland city

The rest of Oceania is made up of island groups, archipelagos and atolls around the Pacific, including Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga – key tourism destinations for New Zealand travellers.

Map of Oceania with labels_v2

Remember the pre-test you did in a prior lesson? How many answers do you know now?

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

 

 

Ground Crew – Career Preparation

CAREER PREPARATION

Overview

Having studied the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for airline/airport applications and interviews for a role as a Passenger Service Agent.lady holding jigsaw piece

Each airline and ground handling agent has their own application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV preparation and preparation for interviews.

Some airlines use external recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the airline for final interview.

Many airlines and handling agents provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position, but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Use this chapter as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about a career within an airline or airport, you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Learning Objectives

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Conduct an online application for an airline or airport position
  • Prepare a CV for use in job applications
  • Prepare for an interview with an airline or airport

Company Research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the airlines or airport People in an airportcompany that operate in your area, or those who you have an interest in working for.

You may live in a regional town with a small airport so the choices of companies may be limited, but if you live in a major city with a large international ‘hub’ airport, the choices will be much greater.

We recommend that you use the internet to check out which companies operate at & from your local airport. Google the airport name in a phrase such as ‘airlines operating from xxx airport’ and make a list of the airlines that feature flights from that airport. Then try to find out if they operate their own check-in counters, or if this is contracted out to another company such as Menzies Aviation.

Consider each company: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? How large is the company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

Most companies have a section on their web site which outlines career options with them.

Example: Menzies Aviation http://www.menziesaviation.com/index/page/p/22/ref/Careers

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV), or resume, to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation.

The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.your career

Letters or emails accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free.

The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is common for airlines to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. Make sure you check whether this is necessary for a check-in role.

In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.

What is its purpose?

To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)

The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

When is a CV used?

  • When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.
  • When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers
  • During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.
  • To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills, training & experience

CV Layout and Content

Stick to a professional style font, and try to have your whole CV in that same font. Changes in font style make your CV harder to read.airport welcome_Frankfurt

Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.

Start with your Personal Details which should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. (You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you)
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Nationality is important only if you need to describe your residential status (e.g.citizens
  • Driver’s licence, including what type of licence you have (learners, restricted, full.)
  • Health: Jobs at airports require shift work and unusual working patterns, so airlines and handling agents require you to be in good health, and a full medical may form part of the recruitment 
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level. i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

NOTE: Don’t list your smoking status, marital status, or numbers of children – they are not relevant and take up valuable space and reading time!

Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills: Use the first page to ‘sell yourself’:

There is a current trend to use this area on the CV to summarise your key strengths, if possible linked to work experience. List your current & previous job roles on the left, with a corresponding list or short sentences of your key responsibilities & strengths to the right. A table format is best used here.

This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, strong points, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write a good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

Education History usually follows:

Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
Only include details of tertiary or secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential, unless they were exceptionally high.

Employment History follows next:

As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job. i.e. 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!

Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points.Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time, e.g. 2000 -2004.

Time out to raise a family should be briefly explained in your CV.

List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people Snowboardwho are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!
Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles (and your future employer might wonder if you turn up to work the day after a late night…)

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area.

Special Awards and Achievements fit well on at this stage – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25), at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!

Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.


Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

Checkout this list with some Top Tips for CV preparation:

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

There are a huge range of CV templates and ‘CV builders’ online to choose from if you prefer to use a pre-determined layout. Checkout this one here from the New Zealand Careers Service.
http://www2.careers.govt.nz/tools/cv4me/

STOP + THINK Activity

Check your current CV and use some time here to bring it up to date. If you don’t have one…now is the time to put one together as you can’t job hunt without one!
Make sure the CV reflects the ‘top tips’ included here.
Double check your content – does it flow chronologically (in date order, starting from the most recent thing you did) and work backwards
Make sure it looks good, and is totally error free!
Get a friend or family member to proof read it for you.



Email Etiquette

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.email graphic

Address the message appropriately. Use ‘Dear’ (Name of person) and close the e mail with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your full name.

Use the subject window effectively. People get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window (especially as viruses arrive without a subject line).

Do’s

  • Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important
  • Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to read
  • Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

  • Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!
  • Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.
  • And it’s worth repeating this one again – Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event. You will need to prepare so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, did you know? 

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • The person interviewing you may not have had training, and you may very well be better skilled at interviewing.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.
  • Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!


The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities.Cabin Crew Online SILVER: Many people want to become Flight Attendants. Complete this course and be ahead of the pack! In the lessons on this comprehensive SILVER course, and in the quizzes & assessment, you will learn about life as a Flight Attendant, tips on how to stand out at your interview with the airline, as well as excellent tips for an outstanding CV. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

During these activities assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.

You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

Some organisations hold ‘recruitment days’. At these days there may be a group interview followed by a one-on-one interview. If you are sucecssful at these interviews you may

move forward to the next stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formula!

The second stage may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. This may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a great career ahead of you!

Pre-interview preparation

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays.
  • Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & Grooming

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for an airline or airport position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironedlady on phone
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Makeup should be natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

If you are required to take documents/certificates etc with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.

Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

Find out as much as possible about the airline or handling agent you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest.

Typical information to research about airlines includes history of the airline, aircraft in the fleet, route network and special features of their services.

Nerves

It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.

To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the interviewer will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.

Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

During The Interview Process

Communication With People You Meet. From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruiter(s). Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.

On arrival, be friendly and courteous to everybody and anybody you meet – from the receptionist onwards! If you’re asked to wait to be seen, mentally prepare yourself and avoid nervous activities such as tidying your handbag/briefcase! Do not make cellphone calls – this sends all the wrong messages!

Don’t try to be someone you are not at interviews. Just be yourself – your best self on a good day!. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.guy on phone

Your body language will be vital during interviews. Maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruiters and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At many airline or airport interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Be an open communicator with all team members, and participate actively in discussions and exercises.
  • Make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the airline industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and airlines. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

  • Team Work
  • Communications
  • Customer Service
  • Airport Operations
  • The airline industry
  • Current Affairs
  • Airline Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewer may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions you may have so make sure you have thought through some good questions to ask about at the interview.

The questions you ask must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during the interview so far.

Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview!

  • How much is the salary?
  • When could I take some holiday?
  • How soon could I take a cheap flight?
  • What perks come with the job?
  • When will the next pay review be?

Checkout this list of ‘Don’t do this at the interview unless you don’t want the job’. If these seem extreme, you will be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

Interview No Nos_v2

And because the interview is so critical to your success, here are some more useful interview tips:

Maximise your Interview Opportunity

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time. You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

  • Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.
  • Speak clearly: Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous
  • Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately
  • Avoid jokes: Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect
  • Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future.

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight and don’t talk incessantly about yourself. 

After the interview

Remember to thank the interviewer for inviting you to attend an interview. Airline and airport staff work hard to organise interviews that give applicants the best opportunity to shine, and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.Hong Kong_airbridge

Remember that in some airlines the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.

Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as airlines rarely provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.
If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

 

Congratulations, this concludes your Online Course – Ground Crew!

Would you like to stand in your industry or at the interview? We recommend the following courses in addition to the one you have just completed:

  • Winning With Customers – fine tune your customer service skills
  • Cabin Crew Online – if you want to look at Flight Attending as one of your career options
  • Careers in Tourism and Travel – to broaden your knowledge of the travel and tourism industries

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around airlines, travel companies or airports, and these could lead into your dream job in the future!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can also help you with full courses. They are one of the Top Ten Company Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the aviation, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], IATA and Microsoft accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them on 0800 TOURISM [New Zealand 0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [website: www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on courses and programs that include training at campuses in Auckland City and Botany Town Centre, Auckland (New Zealand) and by Distance Online Learning. Some of our Distance Learning courses are available to people studying outside New Zealand. Or you could consider to come to New Zealand, and live here whilst you complete your studies at ITC! (international@itc.co.nz)

Ground Crew – Career Preparation

CAREER PREPARATION

Overview

Having studied the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for airline/airport applications and interviews for a role as a Passenger Service Agent.lady holding jigsaw piece

Each airline and ground handling agent has their own application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV preparation and preparation for interviews.

Some airlines use external recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the airline for final interview.

Many airlines and handling agents provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position, but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Use this chapter as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about a career within an airline or airport, you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Learning Objectives

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Conduct an online application for an airline or airport position
  • Prepare a CV for use in job applications
  • Prepare for an interview with an airline or airport

Company Research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the airlines or airport People in an airportcompany that operate in your area, or those who you have an interest in working for.

You may live in a regional town with a small airport so the choices of companies may be limited, but if you live in a major city with a large international ‘hub’ airport, the choices will be much greater.

We recommend that you use the internet to check out which companies operate at & from your local airport. Google the airport name in a phrase such as ‘airlines operating from xxx airport’ and make a list of the airlines that feature flights from that airport. Then try to find out if they operate their own check-in counters, or if this is contracted out to another company such as Menzies Aviation.

Consider each company: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? How large is the company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

Most companies have a section on their web site which outlines career options with them.

Example: Menzies Aviation http://www.menziesaviation.com/index/page/p/22/ref/Careers

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV), or resume, to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation.

The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.your career

Letters or emails accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free.

The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is common for airlines to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. Make sure you check whether this is necessary for a check-in role.

In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.

What is its purpose?

To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)

The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

When is a CV used?

  • When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.
  • When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers
  • During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.
  • To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills, training & experience

CV Layout and Content

Stick to a professional style font, and try to have your whole CV in that same font. Changes in font style make your CV harder to read.airport welcome_Frankfurt

Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.

Start with your Personal Details which should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. (You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you)
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Nationality is important only if you need to describe your residential status (e.g.citizens
  • Driver’s licence, including what type of licence you have (learners, restricted, full.)
  • Health: Jobs at airports require shift work and unusual working patterns, so airlines and handling agents require you to be in good health, and a full medical may form part of the recruitment 
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level. i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

NOTE: Don’t list your smoking status, marital status, or numbers of children – they are not relevant and take up valuable space and reading time!

Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills: Use the first page to ‘sell yourself’:

There is a current trend to use this area on the CV to summarise your key strengths, if possible linked to work experience. List your current & previous job roles on the left, with a corresponding list or short sentences of your key responsibilities & strengths to the right. A table format is best used here.

This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, strong points, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write a good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

Education History usually follows:

Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
Only include details of tertiary or secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential, unless they were exceptionally high.

Employment History follows next:

As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job. i.e. 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!

Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points.Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time, e.g. 2000 -2004.

Time out to raise a family should be briefly explained in your CV.

List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people Snowboardwho are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!
Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles (and your future employer might wonder if you turn up to work the day after a late night…)

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area.

Special Awards and Achievements fit well on at this stage – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25), at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!

Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.


Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

Checkout this list with some Top Tips for CV preparation:

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

There are a huge range of CV templates and ‘CV builders’ online to choose from if you prefer to use a pre-determined layout. Checkout this one here from the New Zealand Careers Service.
http://www2.careers.govt.nz/tools/cv4me/

STOP + THINK Activity
Check your current CV and use some time here to bring it up to date. If you don’t have one…now is the time to put one together as you can’t job hunt without one!
Make sure the CV reflects the ‘top tips’ included here.
Double check your content – does it flow chronologically (in date order, starting from the most recent thing you did) and work backwards
Make sure it looks good, and is totally error free!
Get a friend or family member to proof read it for you.



Email Etiquette

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.email graphic

Address the message appropriately. Use ‘Dear’ (Name of person) and close the e mail with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your full name.

Use the subject window effectively. People get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window (especially as viruses arrive without a subject line).

Do’s

  • Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important
  • Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to read
  • Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

  • Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!
  • Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.
  • And it’s worth repeating this one again – Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event. You will need to prepare so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, did you know? 

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • The person interviewing you may not have had training, and you may very well be better skilled at interviewing.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.
  • Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!


The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities.Cabin Crew Online SILVER: Many people want to become Flight Attendants. Complete this course and be ahead of the pack! In the lessons on this comprehensive SILVER course, and in the quizzes & assessment, you will learn about life as a Flight Attendant, tips on how to stand out at your interview with the airline, as well as excellent tips for an outstanding CV. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

During these activities assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.

You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

Some organisations hold ‘recruitment days’. At these days there may be a group interview followed by a one-on-one interview. If you are sucecssful at these interviews you may

move forward to the next stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formula!

The second stage may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. This may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a great career ahead of you!

Pre-interview preparation

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays.
  • Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & Grooming

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for an airline or airport position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironedlady on phone
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Makeup should be natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

If you are required to take documents/certificates etc with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.

Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

Find out as much as possible about the airline or handling agent you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest.

Typical information to research about airlines includes history of the airline, aircraft in the fleet, route network and special features of their services.

Nerves

It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.

To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the interviewer will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.

Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

During The Interview Process

Communication With People You Meet. From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruiter(s). Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.

On arrival, be friendly and courteous to everybody and anybody you meet – from the receptionist onwards! If you’re asked to wait to be seen, mentally prepare yourself and avoid nervous activities such as tidying your handbag/briefcase! Do not make cellphone calls – this sends all the wrong messages!

Don’t try to be someone you are not at interviews. Just be yourself – your best self on a good day!. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.guy on phone

Your body language will be vital during interviews. Maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruiters and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At many airline or airport interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Be an open communicator with all team members, and participate actively in discussions and exercises.
  • Make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the airline industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and airlines. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

  • Team Work
  • Communications
  • Customer Service
  • Airport Operations
  • The airline industry
  • Current Affairs
  • Airline Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewer may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions you may have so make sure you have thought through some good questions to ask about at the interview.

The questions you ask must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during the interview so far.

Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview!

  • How much is the salary?
  • When could I take some holiday?
  • How soon could I take a cheap flight?
  • What perks come with the job?
  • When will the next pay review be?

Checkout this list of ‘Don’t do this at the interview unless you don’t want the job’. If these seem extreme, you will be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

Interview No Nos_v2

And because the interview is so critical to your success, here are some more useful interview tips:

Maximise your Interview Opportunity

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time. You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

  • Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.
  • Speak clearly: Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous
  • Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately
  • Avoid jokes: Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect
  • Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future.

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight and don’t talk incessantly about yourself. 

After the interview

Remember to thank the interviewer for inviting you to attend an interview. Airline and airport staff work hard to organise interviews that give applicants the best opportunity to shine, and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.Hong Kong_airbridge

Remember that in some airlines the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.

Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as airlines rarely provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.
If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

 

Congratulations, this concludes your Online Course – Ground Crew!

Would you like to stand in your industry or at the interview? We recommend the following courses in addition to the one you have just completed:

  • Winning With Customers – fine tune your customer service skills
  • Cabin Crew Online – if you want to look at Flight Attending as one of your career options
  • Careers in Tourism and Travel – to broaden your knowledge of the travel and tourism industries

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around airlines, travel companies or airports, and these could lead into your dream job in the future!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can also help you with full courses. They are one of the Top Ten Company Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the aviation, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], IATA and Microsoft accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them on 0800 TOURISM [New Zealand 0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [website: www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on courses and programs that include training at campuses in Auckland City and Botany Town Centre, Auckland (New Zealand) and by Distance Online Learning. Some of our Distance Learning courses are available to people studying outside New Zealand. Or you could consider to come to New Zealand, and live here whilst you complete your studies at ITC! (international@itc.co.nz)

Ground Crew – Career Preparation

CAREER PREPARATION

Overview

Having studied the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for airline/airport applications and interviews for a role as a Passenger Service Agent.lady holding jigsaw piece

Each airline and ground handling agent has their own application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV preparation and preparation for interviews.

Some airlines use external recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the airline for final interview.

Many airlines and handling agents provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position, but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Use this chapter as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about a career within an airline or airport, you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Learning Objectives

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Conduct an online application for an airline or airport position
  • Prepare a CV for use in job applications
  • Prepare for an interview with an airline or airport

Company Research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the airlines or airport People in an airportcompany that operate in your area, or those who you have an interest in working for.

You may live in a regional town with a small airport so the choices of companies may be limited, but if you live in a major city with a large international ‘hub’ airport, the choices will be much greater.

We recommend that you use the internet to check out which companies operate at & from your local airport. Google the airport name in a phrase such as ‘airlines operating from xxx airport’ and make a list of the airlines that feature flights from that airport. Then try to find out if they operate their own check-in counters, or if this is contracted out to another company such as Menzies Aviation.

Consider each company: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? How large is the company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

Most companies have a section on their web site which outlines career options with them.

Example: Menzies Aviation http://www.menziesaviation.com/index/page/p/22/ref/Careers

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a Curriculum Vitae (CV), or resume, to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation.

The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.your career

Letters or emails accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free.

The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is common for airlines to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. Make sure you check whether this is necessary for a check-in role.

In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.

What is its purpose?

To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)

The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

When is a CV used?

  • When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.
  • When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers
  • During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.
  • To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills, training & experience

CV Layout and Content

Stick to a professional style font, and try to have your whole CV in that same font. Changes in font style make your CV harder to read.airport welcome_Frankfurt

Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.

Start with your Personal Details which should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. (You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you)
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Nationality is important only if you need to describe your residential status (e.g.citizens
  • Driver’s licence, including what type of licence you have (learners, restricted, full.)
  • Health: Jobs at airports require shift work and unusual working patterns, so airlines and handling agents require you to be in good health, and a full medical may form part of the recruitment 
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level. i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

NOTE: Don’t list your smoking status, marital status, or numbers of children – they are not relevant and take up valuable space and reading time!

Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills: Use the first page to ‘sell yourself’:

There is a current trend to use this area on the CV to summarise your key strengths, if possible linked to work experience. List your current & previous job roles on the left, with a corresponding list or short sentences of your key responsibilities & strengths to the right. A table format is best used here.

This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, strong points, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write a good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

Education History usually follows:

Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
Only include details of tertiary or secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential, unless they were exceptionally high.

Employment History follows next:

As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job. i.e. 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!

Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points.Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time, e.g. 2000 -2004.

Time out to raise a family should be briefly explained in your CV.

List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people Snowboardwho are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!
Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles (and your future employer might wonder if you turn up to work the day after a late night…)

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area.

Special Awards and Achievements fit well on at this stage – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25), at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!

Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.


Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

Checkout this list with some Top Tips for CV preparation:

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

There are a huge range of CV templates and ‘CV builders’ online to choose from if you prefer to use a pre-determined layout. Checkout this one here from the New Zealand Careers Service.
http://www2.careers.govt.nz/tools/cv4me/

STOP + THINK Activity
Check your current CV and use some time here to bring it up to date. If you don’t have one…now is the time to put one together as you can’t job hunt without one!
Make sure the CV reflects the ‘top tips’ included here.
Double check your content – does it flow chronologically (in date order, starting from the most recent thing you did) and work backwards
Make sure it looks good, and is totally error free!
Get a friend or family member to proof read it for you.



Email Etiquette

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.email graphic

Address the message appropriately. Use ‘Dear’ (Name of person) and close the e mail with ‘Yours sincerely’ and your full name.

Use the subject window effectively. People get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window (especially as viruses arrive without a subject line).

Do’s

  • Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important
  • Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to read
  • Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

  • Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!
  • Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.
  • And it’s worth repeating this one again – Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event. You will need to prepare so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, did you know? 

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • The person interviewing you may not have had training, and you may very well be better skilled at interviewing.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.
  • Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!


The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities.Cabin Crew Online SILVER: Many people want to become Flight Attendants. Complete this course and be ahead of the pack! In the lessons on this comprehensive SILVER course, and in the quizzes & assessment, you will learn about life as a Flight Attendant, tips on how to stand out at your interview with the airline, as well as excellent tips for an outstanding CV. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

During these activities assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.

You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

Some organisations hold ‘recruitment days’. At these days there may be a group interview followed by a one-on-one interview. If you are sucecssful at these interviews you may

move forward to the next stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formula!

The second stage may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. This may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a great career ahead of you!

Pre-interview preparation

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays.
  • Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & Grooming

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for an airline or airport position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironedlady on phone
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Makeup should be natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

If you are required to take documents/certificates etc with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.

Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

Find out as much as possible about the airline or handling agent you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest.

Typical information to research about airlines includes history of the airline, aircraft in the fleet, route network and special features of their services.

Nerves

It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.

To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the interviewer will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.

Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

During The Interview Process

Communication With People You Meet. From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruiter(s). Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.

On arrival, be friendly and courteous to everybody and anybody you meet – from the receptionist onwards! If you’re asked to wait to be seen, mentally prepare yourself and avoid nervous activities such as tidying your handbag/briefcase! Do not make cellphone calls – this sends all the wrong messages!

Don’t try to be someone you are not at interviews. Just be yourself – your best self on a good day!. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.guy on phone

Your body language will be vital during interviews. Maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruiters and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At many airline or airport interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Be an open communicator with all team members, and participate actively in discussions and exercises.
  • Make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the airline industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and airlines. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

  • Team Work
  • Communications
  • Customer Service
  • Airport Operations
  • The airline industry
  • Current Affairs
  • Airline Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewer may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions you may have so make sure you have thought through some good questions to ask about at the interview.

The questions you ask must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during the interview so far.

Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview!

  • How much is the salary?
  • When could I take some holiday?
  • How soon could I take a cheap flight?
  • What perks come with the job?
  • When will the next pay review be?

Checkout this list of ‘Don’t do this at the interview unless you don’t want the job’. If these seem extreme, you will be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

Interview No Nos_v2

And because the interview is so critical to your success, here are some more useful interview tips:

Maximise your Interview Opportunity

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time. You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

  • Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.
  • Speak clearly: Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous
  • Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately
  • Avoid jokes: Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect
  • Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future.

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight and don’t talk incessantly about yourself. 

After the interview

Remember to thank the interviewer for inviting you to attend an interview. Airline and airport staff work hard to organise interviews that give applicants the best opportunity to shine, and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.Hong Kong_airbridge

Remember that in some airlines the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.

Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as airlines rarely provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.
If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

 

Congratulations, this concludes your Online Course – Ground Crew!

Would you like to stand in your industry or at the interview? We recommend the following courses in addition to the one you have just completed:

  • Winning With Customers – fine tune your customer service skills
  • Cabin Crew Online – if you want to look at Flight Attending as one of your career options
  • Careers in Tourism and Travel – to broaden your knowledge of the travel and tourism industries

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around airlines, travel companies or airports, and these could lead into your dream job in the future!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can also help you with full courses. They are one of the Top Ten Company Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the aviation, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], IATA and Microsoft accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them on 0800 TOURISM [New Zealand 0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [website: www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on courses and programs that include training at campuses in Auckland City and Botany Town Centre, Auckland (New Zealand) and by Distance Online Learning. Some of our Distance Learning courses are available to people studying outside New Zealand. Or you could consider to come to New Zealand, and live here whilst you complete your studies at ITC! (international@itc.co.nz)

Ground Crew – Personal Presentation

PERSONAL PRESENTATION

Overviewairport cart_Frankfurt

Dressing appropriately for any job is a key part of the corporate business world today. It’s important not just to look your best at work, but also to project the right image for the company you work for.

Airlines have a strong ‘uniform culture’ for most of their staff, from baggage handlers to check-in staff, flight and cabin crews and airport ground staff.

The first airline uniforms were designed to be durable and practical, worn to inspire confidence in passengers, and always included hats and gloves.

Airline uniforms often reflect the military aviation background of many airlines, with plenty of buttons, details such as pockets and epaulets, and military style hats for the flight crew.

Over time airlines realised the value of having their crew dressed more fashionably, with more feminine lines for female uniforms. Famous clothing designers now design most airline uniforms, creating distinctive looks that reflect their brand and company. Elle MacPherson, for example, has recently designed uniforms for Virgin Blue, the Australian based airline.

Uniforms have also expanded and its no longer just a jacket and skirt with a scarf to accessorise! Airlines often have 20 pieces of uniform, and flight attendants may have, wraps, coats, aprons, inflight dresses, and warm and cold weather uniforms. Airport based staff may have a smaller range, but the requirement to wear the uniform well is just as important within an airport as on an aircraft.gulf_air uniform

Along with the uniform goes the requirement to maintain high personal presentation standards at all time. Airport based staff should always look well groomed, and evaluation of your appearance will form part of the interview process.

This chapter introduces you to the key requirements of working within a uniformed environment, and provides information and ideas on how to maintain the kind of corporate grooming standard required initially at your job interview, and later, throughout your working day.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify key requirements of airlines in relation to personal grooming standards
  • List the benefits of organisations establishing corporate presentation standards for staff
  • Identify appropriate and inappropriate grooming styles relevant to working in an airline environment

Introduction

All airlines and ground handling agents provide some kind of uniform and each organisation has its own clear rules and regulations around how the uniform should be worn.

Airlines and handling agents also have personal grooming ‘rules’ that stipulate clearly the do’s and don’ts of personal presentation. Some organisations are much stricter than others, but whatever the standards your role as an employee is to become familiar with those standards, and stick to them at all times!

You will be introduced to the organisations’ personal grooming standards during your Atlanta airport #3induction training, and some organisations devote several days to this particular topic.

During this chapter you will have to be your own judge as to whether you are either already following many of the personal grooming standards, and if not, what you need to do to reach those standards.

Your first ‘test’ will be at your job interview, where your personal presentation will be subjected to close scrutiny by the airline recruiters who will check you out from top to toe!

Let’s look first at general personal grooming standards that apply in most corporate workplaces, and in particular within airlines.

Personal Grooming

The airline industry is a ‘people’ industry, and regardless of which role you work in, you will be working with people – all day, every day.

These people include passengers of the airline or the airlines you represent, passengers of other airlines, airport staff, colleagues, hotel staff and guests, and a host of other people you’ll come into contact with in carrying out your job.

The Passenger Service Agent role is very much ‘front line’ which means that you will be dealing with people at close quarters and your personal appearance and grooming will be open to scrutiny.

Looking good and feeling good is self-perpetuating. If you feel good about your appearance you will project a sense of confidence and self esteem.
If you project a positive image, others will react positively towards you, leading to improved working relationships. This leads to increased performance, which in turn, gives you the motivation to want to look good and feel good!

Checkout this image for Top Tips for looking good at work, particularly in an airline environment:

Top Tips for Looking Good at Work

Take care of your clothes

  • Look after your clothes. Keep them clean and well ironed, and treat jackets or suits to a dry cleaners regularly so they retain their shape.
  • Don’t be careless about little things like missing buttons, loose hems, or hanging threads as they can destroy a look
  • Keep shoes well polished and repaired. Scuffed or dirty heels will do nothing for your image. Use shoe trees to keep shoes in shape
  • Be prepared! Keep a little sewing kit in your bag and if disaster strikes you can fix up a loose hem or replace a button and look as good as new.

Cleanliness

Bath or shower daily – or more often if needed! Airline and airport staff are expected to be sweet smelling at all times, so a shower prior to each duty is required, together with another one on completion of the work day.

Check your clothes for perspiration smells when you remove them and organise them to be washed or dry-cleaned before they are worn again.

Breath

Many of us enjoy rich or spicy foods – but no one enjoys the breath that goes with them! Use a breath spray, mouthwash or sugarless mints to keep your breath fresh.

Keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag for regular brushing. Airlines will usually ask that check-in staff avoid garlic or spicy foods immediately prior to working in order to avoid this problem.Cartoon upset person

There are some other personal presentation protocols in use with airlines and handling agents when recruiting staff, and these often include:

  • No visible tattoos for uniformed staff. A visible tattoo may actively prevent you getting a job with an airline or at the airport so think carefully before having one in a visible place!
  • No visible body piercings for cabin crew and check-in staff.

 

Ground Crew – Personal Presentation

PERSONAL PRESENTATION

Overviewairport cart_Frankfurt

Dressing appropriately for any job is a key part of the corporate business world today. It’s important not just to look your best at work, but also to project the right image for the company you work for.

Airlines have a strong ‘uniform culture’ for most of their staff, from baggage handlers to check-in staff, flight and cabin crews and airport ground staff.

The first airline uniforms were designed to be durable and practical, worn to inspire confidence in passengers, and always included hats and gloves.

Airline uniforms often reflect the military aviation background of many airlines, with plenty of buttons, details such as pockets and epaulets, and military style hats for the flight crew.

Over time airlines realised the value of having their crew dressed more fashionably, with more feminine lines for female uniforms. Famous clothing designers now design most airline uniforms, creating distinctive looks that reflect their brand and company. Elle MacPherson, for example, has recently designed uniforms for Virgin Blue, the Australian based airline.

Uniforms have also expanded and its no longer just a jacket and skirt with a scarf to accessorise! Airlines often have 20 pieces of uniform, and flight attendants may have, wraps, coats, aprons, inflight dresses, and warm and cold weather uniforms. Airport based staff may have a smaller range, but the requirement to wear the uniform well is just as important within an airport as on an aircraft.gulf_air uniform

Along with the uniform goes the requirement to maintain high personal presentation standards at all time. Airport based staff should always look well groomed, and evaluation of your appearance will form part of the interview process.

This chapter introduces you to the key requirements of working within a uniformed environment, and provides information and ideas on how to maintain the kind of corporate grooming standard required initially at your job interview, and later, throughout your working day.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify key requirements of airlines in relation to personal grooming standards
  • List the benefits of organisations establishing corporate presentation standards for staff
  • Identify appropriate and inappropriate grooming styles relevant to working in an airline environment

Introduction

All airlines and ground handling agents provide some kind of uniform and each organisation has its own clear rules and regulations around how the uniform should be worn.

Airlines and handling agents also have personal grooming ‘rules’ that stipulate clearly the do’s and don’ts of personal presentation. Some organisations are much stricter than others, but whatever the standards your role as an employee is to become familiar with those standards, and stick to them at all times!

You will be introduced to the organisations’ personal grooming standards during your Atlanta airport #3induction training, and some organisations devote several days to this particular topic.

During this chapter you will have to be your own judge as to whether you are either already following many of the personal grooming standards, and if not, what you need to do to reach those standards.

Your first ‘test’ will be at your job interview, where your personal presentation will be subjected to close scrutiny by the airline recruiters who will check you out from top to toe!

Let’s look first at general personal grooming standards that apply in most corporate workplaces, and in particular within airlines.

Personal Grooming

The airline industry is a ‘people’ industry, and regardless of which role you work in, you will be working with people – all day, every day.

These people include passengers of the airline or the airlines you represent, passengers of other airlines, airport staff, colleagues, hotel staff and guests, and a host of other people you’ll come into contact with in carrying out your job.

The Passenger Service Agent role is very much ‘front line’ which means that you will be dealing with people at close quarters and your personal appearance and grooming will be open to scrutiny.

Looking good and feeling good is self-perpetuating. If you feel good about your appearance you will project a sense of confidence and self esteem.
If you project a positive image, others will react positively towards you, leading to improved working relationships. This leads to increased performance, which in turn, gives you the motivation to want to look good and feel good!

Checkout this image for Top Tips for looking good at work, particularly in an airline environment:

Top Tips for Looking Good at Work

Take care of your clothes

  • Look after your clothes. Keep them clean and well ironed, and treat jackets or suits to a dry cleaners regularly so they retain their shape.
  • Don’t be careless about little things like missing buttons, loose hems, or hanging threads as they can destroy a look
  • Keep shoes well polished and repaired. Scuffed or dirty heels will do nothing for your image. Use shoe trees to keep shoes in shape
  • Be prepared! Keep a little sewing kit in your bag and if disaster strikes you can fix up a loose hem or replace a button and look as good as new.

Cleanliness

Bath or shower daily – or more often if needed! Airline and airport staff are expected to be sweet smelling at all times, so a shower prior to each duty is required, together with another one on completion of the work day.

Check your clothes for perspiration smells when you remove them and organise them to be washed or dry-cleaned before they are worn again.

Breath

Many of us enjoy rich or spicy foods – but no one enjoys the breath that goes with them! Use a breath spray, mouthwash or sugarless mints to keep your breath fresh.

Keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag for regular brushing. Airlines will usually ask that check-in staff avoid garlic or spicy foods immediately prior to working in order to avoid this problem.Cartoon upset person

There are some other personal presentation protocols in use with airlines and handling agents when recruiting staff, and these often include:

  • No visible tattoos for uniformed staff. A visible tattoo may actively prevent you getting a job with an airline or at the airport so think carefully before having one in a visible place!
  • No visible body piercings for cabin crew and check-in staff.

 

Ground Crew – Personal Presentation

PERSONAL PRESENTATION

Overviewairport cart_Frankfurt

Dressing appropriately for any job is a key part of the corporate business world today. It’s important not just to look your best at work, but also to project the right image for the company you work for.

Airlines have a strong ‘uniform culture’ for most of their staff, from baggage handlers to check-in staff, flight and cabin crews and airport ground staff.

The first airline uniforms were designed to be durable and practical, worn to inspire confidence in passengers, and always included hats and gloves.

Airline uniforms often reflect the military aviation background of many airlines, with plenty of buttons, details such as pockets and epaulets, and military style hats for the flight crew.

Over time airlines realised the value of having their crew dressed more fashionably, with more feminine lines for female uniforms. Famous clothing designers now design most airline uniforms, creating distinctive looks that reflect their brand and company. Elle MacPherson, for example, has recently designed uniforms for Virgin Blue, the Australian based airline.

Uniforms have also expanded and its no longer just a jacket and skirt with a scarf to accessorise! Airlines often have 20 pieces of uniform, and flight attendants may have, wraps, coats, aprons, inflight dresses, and warm and cold weather uniforms. Airport based staff may have a smaller range, but the requirement to wear the uniform well is just as important within an airport as on an aircraft.gulf_air uniform

Along with the uniform goes the requirement to maintain high personal presentation standards at all time. Airport based staff should always look well groomed, and evaluation of your appearance will form part of the interview process.

This chapter introduces you to the key requirements of working within a uniformed environment, and provides information and ideas on how to maintain the kind of corporate grooming standard required initially at your job interview, and later, throughout your working day.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify key requirements of airlines in relation to personal grooming standards
  • List the benefits of organisations establishing corporate presentation standards for staff
  • Identify appropriate and inappropriate grooming styles relevant to working in an airline environment

Introduction

All airlines and ground handling agents provide some kind of uniform and each organisation has its own clear rules and regulations around how the uniform should be worn.

Airlines and handling agents also have personal grooming ‘rules’ that stipulate clearly the do’s and don’ts of personal presentation. Some organisations are much stricter than others, but whatever the standards your role as an employee is to become familiar with those standards, and stick to them at all times!

You will be introduced to the organisations’ personal grooming standards during your Atlanta airport #3induction training, and some organisations devote several days to this particular topic.

During this chapter you will have to be your own judge as to whether you are either already following many of the personal grooming standards, and if not, what you need to do to reach those standards.

Your first ‘test’ will be at your job interview, where your personal presentation will be subjected to close scrutiny by the airline recruiters who will check you out from top to toe!

Let’s look first at general personal grooming standards that apply in most corporate workplaces, and in particular within airlines.

Personal Grooming

The airline industry is a ‘people’ industry, and regardless of which role you work in, you will be working with people – all day, every day.

These people include passengers of the airline or the airlines you represent, passengers of other airlines, airport staff, colleagues, hotel staff and guests, and a host of other people you’ll come into contact with in carrying out your job.

The Passenger Service Agent role is very much ‘front line’ which means that you will be dealing with people at close quarters and your personal appearance and grooming will be open to scrutiny.

Looking good and feeling good is self-perpetuating. If you feel good about your appearance you will project a sense of confidence and self esteem.
If you project a positive image, others will react positively towards you, leading to improved working relationships. This leads to increased performance, which in turn, gives you the motivation to want to look good and feel good!

Checkout this image for Top Tips for looking good at work, particularly in an airline environment:

Top Tips for Looking Good at Work

Take care of your clothes

  • Look after your clothes. Keep them clean and well ironed, and treat jackets or suits to a dry cleaners regularly so they retain their shape.
  • Don’t be careless about little things like missing buttons, loose hems, or hanging threads as they can destroy a look
  • Keep shoes well polished and repaired. Scuffed or dirty heels will do nothing for your image. Use shoe trees to keep shoes in shape
  • Be prepared! Keep a little sewing kit in your bag and if disaster strikes you can fix up a loose hem or replace a button and look as good as new.

Cleanliness

Bath or shower daily – or more often if needed! Airline and airport staff are expected to be sweet smelling at all times, so a shower prior to each duty is required, together with another one on completion of the work day.

Check your clothes for perspiration smells when you remove them and organise them to be washed or dry-cleaned before they are worn again.

Breath

Many of us enjoy rich or spicy foods – but no one enjoys the breath that goes with them! Use a breath spray, mouthwash or sugarless mints to keep your breath fresh.

Keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag for regular brushing. Airlines will usually ask that check-in staff avoid garlic or spicy foods immediately prior to working in order to avoid this problem.Cartoon upset person

There are some other personal presentation protocols in use with airlines and handling agents when recruiting staff, and these often include:

  • No visible tattoos for uniformed staff. A visible tattoo may actively prevent you getting a job with an airline or at the airport so think carefully before having one in a visible place!
  • No visible body piercings for cabin crew and check-in staff.

 

Ground Crew – Shift Work

SHIFT WORK

OVERVIEW

Many people in aviation work as per a roster or shift work: Flight Attendants, Check-in personnel, Customer Service Desk staff, Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, In-flight meal cooks, Duty Free retail staff, etc.Hostie with suitcase

Whether you like it or not, shift work affects your body and your social life! In this lesson, you learn how it affects people, and what they can do about it.

With most international airports running 24/7 operations, you are likely to work ‘shift work’ if you work in a job at the airport.

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.  So humans also have natural rhythms, which are regulated by a circadian clock in the brain. Over a 24 hour period the circadian clock regulates your sleep patterns; when you want to be awake; and many other functions.

Body temperatures change throughout a 24 hour period and are typically lowest around 4.00am and peak in the mid afternoon.

Circadian rhythms are important in determining human sleep patterns. The body’s master clock, or SCN, controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Since it is located just above the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain, the SCN receives information about incoming light. When there is less light—like at night—the SCN tells the brain to make more melatonin so you get drowsy.

Circadian rhythms are measured in minutes, hours or weeks. The circadian rhythms regulate your endocrine system, which regulates your hormone levels. Lack of restful sleep can also depress the immune system, leaving the shift worker prone to more colds, flu and other health problems. During sleep, activity in the urinary system decreases. This is normally repeated every 24 hours. If the circadian rhythms are interrupted, it can have major effect on your cardiovascular system. Your digestive and metabolic systems are governed by circadian rhythms mostly by night and are reduced at night.Clock bright green

Flight Attendants who travel across time zones are likely to suffer from jet lag. Jet lag occurs when people suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms. When you pass through different time zones, your body’s clock will be different from your wristwatch. For example, if you fly in an airplane from California to New York, you “lose” 3 hours of time. So when you wake up at 7.00 am, your body still thinks it is 4.00 am, making you feel groggy and disoriented. Your body’s clock will eventually reset itself, but this often takes a few days.

 

STOP + THINK Activity

Environmental Changes & Human Alertness

After reading the information regarding Circadian rhythms, which environmental changes do you think will affect human alertness? Please try to think of three changes which affect alertness. Think along the lines of what you see, hear, and feel.

 

STAGES OF SLEEP & BRAIN WAVES

For someone to wake up refreshed and well-rested, they ideally go through each of the following stages of sleep.

The Beginnings of Sleep

During the earliest phases of sleep, you are still relatively awake and alert. The brain produces what are known as beta waves, which are small and fast. As the brain begins to relax and slow down, slower waves known as alpha waves are produced. During this time when you are not quite asleep, you may experience strange and extremely vivid sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations. Common examples of this phenomenon include feeling like you are falling or hearing someone call your name.

Another very common event during this period is known as a myoclonic jerk. If you’ve ever startled suddenly for seemingly no reason at all, then you have experienced this odd phenomenon. While it may seem unusual, these myoclonic jerks are actually quite common. They are related to a relaxation of muscles.

Beta waves are the normal brainwaves of a person who is awake and alert. Alpha waves are also presented when you are awake but totally relaxed. This is also known to be a very creative state of mind.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the beginning of the sleep cycle, and is a relatively light stage of sleep. This stage can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. In Stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are very slow brain waves. This period of drowsiness or sleep lasts only a brief time (around 1-10 minutes). If you awaken someone during this stage, they might report that they weren’t really asleep. This stage occupies about 2-5% or a normal night’s sleep.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is the second stage of sleep and lasts for approximately 20 minutes. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as sleep spindles. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow. This stage also referred to a ‘baseline of sleep’ and takes up 45-60% of our sleep.

Stage 3SeaDream yacht club  cabin 2

Deep, slow brain waves known as delta waves begin to emerge during stage 3 sleep. This stage is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is sometimes referred to as delta sleep because of the slow brain waves known as delta waves that occur during this time. This stage is a deep sleep that lasts for approximately 20-30 minutes. Bed-wetting and sleepwalking are most likely to occur at the end of stage 4 sleep. Stage 3 and 4 are usually completed within the first two 90 minutes sleep cycles or within the first three hours of sleep.

Delta waves are those which are measured to check brain activity with EEGs. Disruptions in delta activity is seen in adults during states of intoxication and in those diagnosed with brain disease, or with neurological disorders such as dementia and schizophrenia.

Stage 5

Most dreaming occurs during the fifth stage of sleep, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is characterized by eye movement, increased respiration rate, higher heart rate and increased brain activity. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed. Dreaming occurs because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed, meaning we lose our ability to use our postural or skeletal muscles.

The Sequence of Sleep Stages

It is important to realize, however, that sleep does not progress through these stages in sequence. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, 3 and 4. After stage 4 sleep, stage 3 and then stage 2 are repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.

On average, we enter the REM stage approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle of REM sleep might last only a short amount of time, but each cycle becomes longer. REM sleep can last up to an hour as sleep progresses.

Causes & impact of fatigue

Why is it important to manage shift work well?

Shift work is one of the leading causes of fatigue. When people are tired they make mistakes and can put themselves and others in danger. Fatigue can also have a financial impact on a business.

Causes of workplace fatigue

Night work

Working at night has a greater impact than working the same number of hours in the daytime. Shift workers can lose 1-1.5 hours of sleep for each 24 hour period. So working more than three or four night shifts in a row is likely to cause a significant sleep debt.

Long work hours

Shifts that last longer than eight hours are considered to be extended shifts. Continuing sleep restriction can affect cardiovascular health, mental health, safety and productivity.

What can employers do?

• involve your employees

• work a safe numbers of hours

• allow enough recovery time between shifts

• train and educate staff

• provide good supervision when shifts are worked

• do high-risk tasks at safe times, or under special precautions

• monitor health where staff face significant hazards

• look out for staff who are not coping

• evaluate your arrangements from time to time

Employees should know:

• what to eat and when

• the impact of caffeine and alcohol on sleep

• how to make the most of their breaks

• how to use their recovery and rest time appropriately

• how to adjust their sleeping area to promote good sleep

• how to recognise fatigue

• getting to and from work safely

• the impact of exercise on fatigue

Employee legislative rights:

  • You have the right to refuse work if it is likely that work or those hours are going to cause fatigue, which might lead to a risk of serious harm
  • You have the right to participate in health and safety processes and training

Employee legislative responsibilities:

  • You should take all practicable steps to ensure safety while you are at work. This includes using suitable protective clothing and equipment provided by your employer
  • You need to ensure that no action, or in-action, of your behalf causes harm to anyone else at your workplace.

What are the possible impacts of fatigue?

  • It might increase the number of workplace accidents. Especially if work is physically demanding or repetitive, this can lead to fatigue and additional mistakes and/or accidents.
  • It might increase the number of commuting accidents. People, who have worked long hours, are more likely to be really tired when they get into their car to drive home. This applies especially if they have done monotonous work or work which requires a high level of attention.

Social Challenges

One of the consequences of working a shift roster is that you put extra demands on your time with family. The times when your family or friends want to socialise with you, might be the time you need to be asleep. It can really make life tricky.Carnival Dream Caliente dance club

Please think of three challenges that shift work will add to your life. Think along the lines of both family and social challenges.

 

 

STRATEGIES

Shift work can be really challenging. However, you can make it work with good planning, workable strategies and support from family and friends.

HEALTHY EATING STRATEGIES

It is important to develop a regular eating schedule depending on the shift you are doing. For example, night workers should eat lightly and nutritionally during the night. You could eat crackers and fruit instead of junk food & fizzy drinks during work breaks. A balanced and varied diet is important for shift workers (well, anyone really!). It also pays to drink lots of water, and avoid caffeine and chocolate.

FOOD AND DRINKS TO AVOID

Large/ heavy meals – shift workers can gain weight and it can also reduce alertness as body tries to digest food. Fatty foods – these types of food are not properly digested especially at night. Spicy or irritating foods – these type of foods causes chronic stomach problems. Caffeine – Heavy caffeine consumption increases the risk of developing ulcers. Alcohol – this can cause high blood pressure and other serious illnesses.Food pic

HEALTHY SLEEPING STRATEGIES

If possible, sleep in complete darkness even in daytime, so using ‘black out’ curtains is a good idea. Ideally keep the temperature in the room between 13 to 18 degrees Celsius, and definitely turn your phone off! Keep your naps less than 20 or 30 minutes or in increments of 90 minutes. Plan your naps in a safe environment and give yourself 10-15 minutes after a nap to clear your head of any grogginess before doing any dangerous work tasks.

HEALTHY EXERCISES

Apparently the best time for exercise is less than two hours before you go to sleep, or to work. A regular [daily] exercise program works best for your body, rather than an irregular, Gym on-board Allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribeanhigh-intensity visit to the gym once a month.

FAMILY TIME & SOCIALISING

To ensure your shift work means you still get to catch up with your family and friends, try to schedule at least one daily meal with the family. This will help to keep communication channels open. It also works well to socialise with other shift workers and their families. They know what you mean when your social diary is empty, but you still don’t have time!

Have a family calendar in a central place such as the kitchen. Use this calendar to note your shifts, and also to schedule events. Planning events generally means they actually happen! All these strategies will help to minimize the disruption that shift work can have on your social and family life.

Ground Crew – Shift Work

SHIFT WORK

OVERVIEW

Many people in aviation work as per a roster or shift work: Flight Attendants, Check-in personnel, Customer Service Desk staff, Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, In-flight meal cooks, Duty Free retail staff, etc.Hostie with suitcase

Whether you like it or not, shift work affects your body and your social life! In this lesson, you learn how it affects people, and what they can do about it.

With most international airports running 24/7 operations, you are likely to work ‘shift work’ if you work in a job at the airport.

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.  So humans also have natural rhythms, which are regulated by a circadian clock in the brain. Over a 24 hour period the circadian clock regulates your sleep patterns; when you want to be awake; and many other functions.

Body temperatures change throughout a 24 hour period and are typically lowest around 4.00am and peak in the mid afternoon.

Circadian rhythms are important in determining human sleep patterns. The body’s master clock, or SCN, controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Since it is located just above the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain, the SCN receives information about incoming light. When there is less light—like at night—the SCN tells the brain to make more melatonin so you get drowsy.

Circadian rhythms are measured in minutes, hours or weeks. The circadian rhythms regulate your endocrine system, which regulates your hormone levels. Lack of restful sleep can also depress the immune system, leaving the shift worker prone to more colds, flu and other health problems. During sleep, activity in the urinary system decreases. This is normally repeated every 24 hours. If the circadian rhythms are interrupted, it can have major effect on your cardiovascular system. Your digestive and metabolic systems are governed by circadian rhythms mostly by night and are reduced at night.Clock bright green

Flight Attendants who travel across time zones are likely to suffer from jet lag. Jet lag occurs when people suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms. When you pass through different time zones, your body’s clock will be different from your wristwatch. For example, if you fly in an airplane from California to New York, you “lose” 3 hours of time. So when you wake up at 7.00 am, your body still thinks it is 4.00 am, making you feel groggy and disoriented. Your body’s clock will eventually reset itself, but this often takes a few days.

 

STOP + THINK Activity

Environmental Changes & Human Alertness After reading the information regarding Circadian rhythms, which environmental changes do you think will affect human alertness? Please try to think of three changes which affect alertness. Think along the lines of what you see, hear, and feel.

 

STAGES OF SLEEP & BRAIN WAVES

For someone to wake up refreshed and well-rested, they ideally go through each of the following stages of sleep.

The Beginnings of Sleep

During the earliest phases of sleep, you are still relatively awake and alert. The brain produces what are known as beta waves, which are small and fast. As the brain begins to relax and slow down, slower waves known as alpha waves are produced. During this time when you are not quite asleep, you may experience strange and extremely vivid sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations. Common examples of this phenomenon include feeling like you are falling or hearing someone call your name.

Another very common event during this period is known as a myoclonic jerk. If you’ve ever startled suddenly for seemingly no reason at all, then you have experienced this odd phenomenon. While it may seem unusual, these myoclonic jerks are actually quite common. They are related to a relaxation of muscles.

Beta waves are the normal brainwaves of a person who is awake and alert. Alpha waves are also presented when you are awake but totally relaxed. This is also known to be a very creative state of mind.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the beginning of the sleep cycle, and is a relatively light stage of sleep. This stage can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. In Stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are very slow brain waves. This period of drowsiness or sleep lasts only a brief time (around 1-10 minutes). If you awaken someone during this stage, they might report that they weren’t really asleep. This stage occupies about 2-5% or a normal night’s sleep.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is the second stage of sleep and lasts for approximately 20 minutes. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as sleep spindles. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow. This stage also referred to a ‘baseline of sleep’ and takes up 45-60% of our sleep.

Stage 3SeaDream yacht club  cabin 2

Deep, slow brain waves known as delta waves begin to emerge during stage 3 sleep. This stage is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is sometimes referred to as delta sleep because of the slow brain waves known as delta waves that occur during this time. This stage is a deep sleep that lasts for approximately 20-30 minutes. Bed-wetting and sleepwalking are most likely to occur at the end of stage 4 sleep. Stage 3 and 4 are usually completed within the first two 90 minutes sleep cycles or within the first three hours of sleep.

Delta waves are those which are measured to check brain activity with EEGs. Disruptions in delta activity is seen in adults during states of intoxication and in those diagnosed with brain disease, or with neurological disorders such as dementia and schizophrenia.

Stage 5

Most dreaming occurs during the fifth stage of sleep, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is characterized by eye movement, increased respiration rate, higher heart rate and increased brain activity. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed. Dreaming occurs because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed, meaning we lose our ability to use our postural or skeletal muscles.

The Sequence of Sleep Stages

It is important to realize, however, that sleep does not progress through these stages in sequence. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, 3 and 4. After stage 4 sleep, stage 3 and then stage 2 are repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.

On average, we enter the REM stage approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle of REM sleep might last only a short amount of time, but each cycle becomes longer. REM sleep can last up to an hour as sleep progresses.

Causes & impact of fatigue

Why is it important to manage shift work well?

Shift work is one of the leading causes of fatigue. When people are tired they make mistakes and can put themselves and others in danger. Fatigue can also have a financial impact on a business.

Causes of workplace fatigue

Night work

Working at night has a greater impact than working the same number of hours in the daytime. Shift workers can lose 1-1.5 hours of sleep for each 24 hour period. So working more than three or four night shifts in a row is likely to cause a significant sleep debt.

Long work hours

Shifts that last longer than eight hours are considered to be extended shifts. Continuing sleep restriction can affect cardiovascular health, mental health, safety and productivity.

What can employers do?

• involve your employees

• work a safe numbers of hours

• allow enough recovery time between shifts

• train and educate staff

• provide good supervision when shifts are worked

• do high-risk tasks at safe times, or under special precautions

• monitor health where staff face significant hazards

• look out for staff who are not coping

• evaluate your arrangements from time to time

Employees should know:

• what to eat and when

• the impact of caffeine and alcohol on sleep

• how to make the most of their breaks

• how to use their recovery and rest time appropriately

• how to adjust their sleeping area to promote good sleep

• how to recognise fatigue

• getting to and from work safely

• the impact of exercise on fatigue

Employee legislative rights:

  • You have the right to refuse work if it is likely that work or those hours are going to cause fatigue, which might lead to a risk of serious harm
  • You have the right to participate in health and safety processes and training

Employee legislative responsibilities:

  • You should take all practicable steps to ensure safety while you are at work. This includes using suitable protective clothing and equipment provided by your employer
  • You need to ensure that no action, or in-action, of your behalf causes harm to anyone else at your workplace.

What are the possible impacts of fatigue?

  • It might increase the number of workplace accidents. Especially if work is physically demanding or repetitive, this can lead to fatigue and additional mistakes and/or accidents.
  • It might increase the number of commuting accidents. People, who have worked long hours, are more likely to be really tired when they get into their car to drive home. This applies especially if they have done monotonous work or work which requires a high level of attention.

Social Challenges

One of the consequences of working a shift roster is that you put extra demands on your time with family. The times when your family or friends want to socialise with you, might be the time you need to be asleep. It can really make life tricky.Carnival Dream Caliente dance club

Please think of three challenges that shift work will add to your life. Think along the lines of both family and social challenges.

 

 

STRATEGIES

Shift work can be really challenging. However, you can make it work with good planning, workable strategies and support from family and friends.

HEALTHY EATING STRATEGIES

It is important to develop a regular eating schedule depending on the shift you are doing. For example, night workers should eat lightly and nutritionally during the night. You could eat crackers and fruit instead of junk food & fizzy drinks during work breaks. A balanced and varied diet is important for shift workers (well, anyone really!). It also pays to drink lots of water, and avoid caffeine and chocolate.

FOOD AND DRINKS TO AVOID

Large/ heavy meals – shift workers can gain weight and it can also reduce alertness as body tries to digest food. Fatty foods – these types of food are not properly digested especially at night. Spicy or irritating foods – these type of foods causes chronic stomach problems. Caffeine – Heavy caffeine consumption increases the risk of developing ulcers. Alcohol – this can cause high blood pressure and other serious illnesses.Food pic

HEALTHY SLEEPING STRATEGIES

If possible, sleep in complete darkness even in daytime, so using ‘black out’ curtains is a good idea. Ideally keep the temperature in the room between 13 to 18 degrees Celsius, and definitely turn your phone off! Keep your naps less than 20 or 30 minutes or in increments of 90 minutes. Plan your naps in a safe environment and give yourself 10-15 minutes after a nap to clear your head of any grogginess before doing any dangerous work tasks.

HEALTHY EXERCISES

Apparently the best time for exercise is less than two hours before you go to sleep, or to work. A regular [daily] exercise program works best for your body, rather than an irregular, Gym on-board Allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribeanhigh-intensity visit to the gym once a month.

FAMILY TIME & SOCIALISING

To ensure your shift work means you still get to catch up with your family and friends, try to schedule at least one daily meal with the family. This will help to keep communication channels open. It also works well to socialise with other shift workers and their families. They know what you mean when your social diary is empty, but you still don’t have time!

Have a family calendar in a central place such as the kitchen. Use this calendar to note your shifts, and also to schedule events. Planning events generally means they actually happen! All these strategies will help to minimize the disruption that shift work can have on your social and family life.

Ground Crew – Shift Work

SHIFT WORK

OVERVIEW

Many people in aviation work as per a roster or shift work: Flight Attendants, Check-in personnel, Customer Service Desk staff, Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, In-flight meal cooks, Duty Free retail staff, etc.Hostie with suitcase

Whether you like it or not, shift work affects your body and your social life! In this lesson, you learn how it affects people, and what they can do about it.

With most international airports running 24/7 operations, you are likely to work ‘shift work’ if you work in a job at the airport.

Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.  So humans also have natural rhythms, which are regulated by a circadian clock in the brain. Over a 24 hour period the circadian clock regulates your sleep patterns; when you want to be awake; and many other functions.

Body temperatures change throughout a 24 hour period and are typically lowest around 4.00am and peak in the mid afternoon.

Circadian rhythms are important in determining human sleep patterns. The body’s master clock, or SCN, controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Since it is located just above the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain, the SCN receives information about incoming light. When there is less light—like at night—the SCN tells the brain to make more melatonin so you get drowsy.

Circadian rhythms are measured in minutes, hours or weeks. The circadian rhythms regulate your endocrine system, which regulates your hormone levels. Lack of restful sleep can also depress the immune system, leaving the shift worker prone to more colds, flu and other health problems. During sleep, activity in the urinary system decreases. This is normally repeated every 24 hours. If the circadian rhythms are interrupted, it can have major effect on your cardiovascular system. Your digestive and metabolic systems are governed by circadian rhythms mostly by night and are reduced at night.Clock bright green

Flight Attendants who travel across time zones are likely to suffer from jet lag. Jet lag occurs when people suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms. When you pass through different time zones, your body’s clock will be different from your wristwatch. For example, if you fly in an airplane from California to New York, you “lose” 3 hours of time. So when you wake up at 7.00 am, your body still thinks it is 4.00 am, making you feel groggy and disoriented. Your body’s clock will eventually reset itself, but this often takes a few days.

 

STOP + THINK Activity

Environmental Changes & Human Alertness

After reading the information regarding Circadian rhythms, which environmental changes do you think will affect human alertness? Please try to think of three changes which affect alertness. Think along the lines of what you see, hear, and feel.

 

STAGES OF SLEEP & BRAIN WAVES

For someone to wake up refreshed and well-rested, they ideally go through each of the following stages of sleep.

The Beginnings of Sleep

During the earliest phases of sleep, you are still relatively awake and alert. The brain produces what are known as beta waves, which are small and fast. As the brain begins to relax and slow down, slower waves known as alpha waves are produced. During this time when you are not quite asleep, you may experience strange and extremely vivid sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations. Common examples of this phenomenon include feeling like you are falling or hearing someone call your name.

Another very common event during this period is known as a myoclonic jerk. If you’ve ever startled suddenly for seemingly no reason at all, then you have experienced this odd phenomenon. While it may seem unusual, these myoclonic jerks are actually quite common. They are related to a relaxation of muscles.

Beta waves are the normal brainwaves of a person who is awake and alert. Alpha waves are also presented when you are awake but totally relaxed. This is also known to be a very creative state of mind.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is the beginning of the sleep cycle, and is a relatively light stage of sleep. This stage can be considered a transition period between wakefulness and sleep. In Stage 1, the brain produces high amplitude theta waves, which are very slow brain waves. This period of drowsiness or sleep lasts only a brief time (around 1-10 minutes). If you awaken someone during this stage, they might report that they weren’t really asleep. This stage occupies about 2-5% or a normal night’s sleep.

Stage 2

Stage 2 is the second stage of sleep and lasts for approximately 20 minutes. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity known as sleep spindles. Body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate begins to slow. This stage also referred to a ‘baseline of sleep’ and takes up 45-60% of our sleep.

Stage 3SeaDream yacht club  cabin 2

Deep, slow brain waves known as delta waves begin to emerge during stage 3 sleep. This stage is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep.

Stage 4

Stage 4 is sometimes referred to as delta sleep because of the slow brain waves known as delta waves that occur during this time. This stage is a deep sleep that lasts for approximately 20-30 minutes. Bed-wetting and sleepwalking are most likely to occur at the end of stage 4 sleep. Stage 3 and 4 are usually completed within the first two 90 minutes sleep cycles or within the first three hours of sleep.

Delta waves are those which are measured to check brain activity with EEGs. Disruptions in delta activity is seen in adults during states of intoxication and in those diagnosed with brain disease, or with neurological disorders such as dementia and schizophrenia.

Stage 5

Most dreaming occurs during the fifth stage of sleep, known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is characterized by eye movement, increased respiration rate, higher heart rate and increased brain activity. REM sleep is also referred to as paradoxical sleep because while the brain and other body systems become more active, muscles become more relaxed. Dreaming occurs because of increased brain activity, but voluntary muscles become paralyzed, meaning we lose our ability to use our postural or skeletal muscles.

The Sequence of Sleep Stages

It is important to realize, however, that sleep does not progress through these stages in sequence. Sleep begins in stage 1 and progresses into stages 2, 3 and 4. After stage 4 sleep, stage 3 and then stage 2 are repeated before entering REM sleep. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2. Sleep cycles through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night.

On average, we enter the REM stage approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle of REM sleep might last only a short amount of time, but each cycle becomes longer. REM sleep can last up to an hour as sleep progresses.

Causes & impact of fatigue

Why is it important to manage shift work well?

Shift work is one of the leading causes of fatigue. When people are tired they make mistakes and can put themselves and others in danger. Fatigue can also have a financial impact on a business.

Causes of workplace fatigue

Night work

Working at night has a greater impact than working the same number of hours in the daytime. Shift workers can lose 1-1.5 hours of sleep for each 24 hour period. So working more than three or four night shifts in a row is likely to cause a significant sleep debt.

Long work hours

Shifts that last longer than eight hours are considered to be extended shifts. Continuing sleep restriction can affect cardiovascular health, mental health, safety and productivity.

What can employers do?

• involve your employees

• work a safe numbers of hours

• allow enough recovery time between shifts

• train and educate staff

• provide good supervision when shifts are worked

• do high-risk tasks at safe times, or under special precautions

• monitor health where staff face significant hazards

• look out for staff who are not coping

• evaluate your arrangements from time to time

Employees should know:

• what to eat and when

• the impact of caffeine and alcohol on sleep

• how to make the most of their breaks

• how to use their recovery and rest time appropriately

• how to adjust their sleeping area to promote good sleep

• how to recognise fatigue

• getting to and from work safely

• the impact of exercise on fatigue

Employee legislative rights:

  • You have the right to refuse work if it is likely that work or those hours are going to cause fatigue, which might lead to a risk of serious harm
  • You have the right to participate in health and safety processes and training

Employee legislative responsibilities:

  • You should take all practicable steps to ensure safety while you are at work. This includes using suitable protective clothing and equipment provided by your employer
  • You need to ensure that no action, or in-action, of your behalf causes harm to anyone else at your workplace.

What are the possible impacts of fatigue?

  • It might increase the number of workplace accidents. Especially if work is physically demanding or repetitive, this can lead to fatigue and additional mistakes and/or accidents.
  • It might increase the number of commuting accidents. People, who have worked long hours, are more likely to be really tired when they get into their car to drive home. This applies especially if they have done monotonous work or work which requires a high level of attention.

Social Challenges

One of the consequences of working a shift roster is that you put extra demands on your time with family. The times when your family or friends want to socialise with you, might be the time you need to be asleep. It can really make life tricky.Carnival Dream Caliente dance club

Please think of three challenges that shift work will add to your life. Think along the lines of both family and social challenges.

 

 

STRATEGIES

Shift work can be really challenging. However, you can make it work with good planning, workable strategies and support from family and friends.

HEALTHY EATING STRATEGIES

It is important to develop a regular eating schedule depending on the shift you are doing. For example, night workers should eat lightly and nutritionally during the night. You could eat crackers and fruit instead of junk food & fizzy drinks during work breaks. A balanced and varied diet is important for shift workers (well, anyone really!). It also pays to drink lots of water, and avoid caffeine and chocolate.

FOOD AND DRINKS TO AVOID

Large/ heavy meals – shift workers can gain weight and it can also reduce alertness as body tries to digest food. Fatty foods – these types of food are not properly digested especially at night. Spicy or irritating foods – these type of foods causes chronic stomach problems. Caffeine – Heavy caffeine consumption increases the risk of developing ulcers. Alcohol – this can cause high blood pressure and other serious illnesses.Food pic

HEALTHY SLEEPING STRATEGIES

If possible, sleep in complete darkness even in daytime, so using ‘black out’ curtains is a good idea. Ideally keep the temperature in the room between 13 to 18 degrees Celsius, and definitely turn your phone off! Keep your naps less than 20 or 30 minutes or in increments of 90 minutes. Plan your naps in a safe environment and give yourself 10-15 minutes after a nap to clear your head of any grogginess before doing any dangerous work tasks.

HEALTHY EXERCISES

Apparently the best time for exercise is less than two hours before you go to sleep, or to work. A regular [daily] exercise program works best for your body, rather than an irregular, Gym on-board Allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribeanhigh-intensity visit to the gym once a month.

FAMILY TIME & SOCIALISING

To ensure your shift work means you still get to catch up with your family and friends, try to schedule at least one daily meal with the family. This will help to keep communication channels open. It also works well to socialise with other shift workers and their families. They know what you mean when your social diary is empty, but you still don’t have time!

Have a family calendar in a central place such as the kitchen. Use this calendar to note your shifts, and also to schedule events. Planning events generally means they actually happen! All these strategies will help to minimize the disruption that shift work can have on your social and family life.

Ground Crew – Airport Security

AIRPORT SECURITYpolice hat

Overview

Airports are high-security areas, with many airports now using armed police to patrol both within the airport terminals and the airport perimeter. The size of airports makes them very difficult to secure, and a key aspect of any airport security is the verification and checking of personnel, use of ID tags and maintenance of security landside and airside.

During this chapter you will learn about the basic security requirements of working in an airport, and will develop an understanding of both the need for high security and the need for alert and aware staff as part of the security mix.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify typical airport security measures at check-in
  • List three key security measures that airport ground staff are required to adopt at work
  • Identify the process for dealing with unattended baggage

Airports are often targeted by organisations that seek to disrupt air travel. As a result all airports around the world have well developed security measures in place to deal with a range of security threats.

Airport ground staff are trained to be alert to their surroundings and to report anything/anyone that appears to be suspicious. This could include observing unattended baggage or suspicious behaviours.

Staff are trained to report all concerns to the security police who are charged with maintaining airport security and will investigate the matter directly.

Under no circumstances are airport staff expected to deal with any security issues themselves. Rather they are the ‘first line’ in being the eyes and ears of the airport.

Airport ground staff have to enforce a series of security measures at different points in the airport passenger experience. Check-in is the first of these, so Passenger Service Agents are critical in this security process!

airport scanning image

Security at Check-in

  • At check-in, the agent must ensure that they have all the passengers travelling together in front of them, with their passports, before they begin the check-in process.
  • If one of the passengers is missing (parking the car, not yet arrived etc) the group must remain in the check-in queue until all their family/group are present.
  • This is a particularly important security step, and the agent should take time to check the passport against the person, and check the ticket details all match up, for EACH person.

Check the persons’ identity

  • Check that the name on the ticket and the name on the passport are exactly the sameUK passport photo page
  • Check that the photograph matches the physical passengers’ appearance
  • Check that any children travelling also have a passport, or are included in their parents’ passport


If necessary, ask passengers to remove hats and sunglasses while you make these checks. Immigration officers will also ask them to do this as it is difficult to check a persons’ appearance under a hat and sunglasses. Obviously this can be tricky if someone wears a scarf or face-covering for religious reasons.

Check the passengers’ documentation

  • Check that their passports are valid, and will be valid through the entire duration of their trip
  • Check requirements for visas, and check that the passenger has the correct visa

Security questions regarding baggage

A reminder that check-in staff are required to ask passengers about their baggage. These are important questions and form part of the security process at check-in.

The questions must be asked orally, and you must obtain an appropriate response from each of the passengers individually. Even passengers who have to baggage to check-in must confirm that:

  • They have packed their bags themselves
  • They have not accepted packages from others
  • They have not left their baggage unattended at any time

Graphic of aircraft plus family and bags

 

If there are language difficulties you should use a translated notice which passengers can read before giving you their response. Alternatively, you should consult with a colleague who speaks the relevant language.
At check in the questions must be asked orally, responses from each of the passengers. This applies to all passengers, even those with NO hold baggage.

 

Security at border controlDSC_0672

All airports have a controlled area where passengers pass from landside to airside, moving through security checks (x ray machines for people and bags, and body pat downs) and through immigration where they will present their passports and boarding cards.

The security area is usually manned by special airport security agency staff who ensure that all passengers, airport staff and flight crew go through the border control area appropriately.

The immigration area is staffed by members of the Immigration service who are trained specifically in passport control and who will access their computer alerts if passports are identified as invalid or in some other way flagged as ‘do not let this person travel.’

Security sign at airportSecurity at the boarding gate

As passengers prepare to board the aircraft they will go through a final check point staffed by airline staff or ground handling agents.

At this boarding gate the agent will ask passengers to present their passports and boarding cards. Agents must check:

  • The name on the passengers’ passport and the name on the boarding card are the same
  • The passengers’ passport photograph matches the person

Once a flight has departed the passenger manifest will be finalised. This is a list of all the people who have boarded the aircraft, showing their names, seat numbers and other ID information. The manifest is a key record held by the airline indefinitely as it confirms who travelled/when/where. This is also used in the rare and unfortunate situations when a plane crashes, is hijacked, or disappears.

ID security access tags

Staff working in airports are required to undergo security checks prior to being offered employment. Once the security clearance has been secured and they take up employment they are issued with a person ID tag that must be worn visibly at all times when at the airport or within the airport complex.

The airport security agency is responsible for making the security checks, obtaining clearance, and for issuing security tags.

ID tags identify the person, using photo ID, and specify the extent of clearance the person has within the airport. Some staff may only have security clearance for the landside area, while others may also have airside clearance. Other staff may work on the runway or ramp areas and may have clearance for runway access.

Passenger Service Agents will usually be given landside and airside clearance in order to provide a full service to passengers. The ID tags must be worn at all times, and must be clearly visible.

Dealing with unattended baggage

Airports make announcements regularly to remind passengers not to leave luggage unattended at any time. Despite that, baggage is sometimes left unattended, and as such, presents a security risk for airports.

Most items will be completely harmless, but nevertheless all items of unattended baggage should be dealt with by security staff. Airport staff should adopt the following principles if finding a piece of baggage unattended:

  • Do not touch or move it
  • Contact your duty manager, or security
  • Give the location, description, your name and contact detailsluggage
  • Follow instructions given to you by the security team
  • Do not use mobile phones or radios near any suspicious items

Generally speaking airports operate smoothly most of the time and security is largely about:

  • adhering to the rules
  • remaining alert and observant
  • making sure that the airside and landside areas are kept separate
  • ensuring that staff are security checked and adhere to the requirement to wear visible ID tags.

When security alerts do occur they will be handled by the security agency or police, and your role as a member of the airport ground crew is to follow instructions and report any security concerns.

Ground Crew – Airport Security

AIRPORT SECURITYpolice hat

Overview

Airports are high-security areas, with many airports now using armed police to patrol both within the airport terminals and the airport perimeter. The size of airports makes them very difficult to secure, and a key aspect of any airport security is the verification and checking of personnel, use of ID tags and maintenance of security landside and airside.

During this chapter you will learn about the basic security requirements of working in an airport, and will develop an understanding of both the need for high security and the need for alert and aware staff as part of the security mix.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify typical airport security measures at check-in
  • List three key security measures that airport ground staff are required to adopt at work
  • Identify the process for dealing with unattended baggage

Airports are often targeted by organisations that seek to disrupt air travel. As a result all airports around the world have well developed security measures in place to deal with a range of security threats.

Airport ground staff are trained to be alert to their surroundings and to report anything/anyone that appears to be suspicious. This could include observing unattended baggage or suspicious behaviours.

Staff are trained to report all concerns to the security police who are charged with maintaining airport security and will investigate the matter directly.

Under no circumstances are airport staff expected to deal with any security issues themselves. Rather they are the ‘first line’ in being the eyes and ears of the airport.

Airport ground staff have to enforce a series of security measures at different points in the airport passenger experience. Check-in is the first of these, so Passenger Service Agents are critical in this security process!

airport scanning image

Security at Check-in

  • At check-in, the agent must ensure that they have all the passengers travelling together in front of them, with their passports, before they begin the check-in process.
  • If one of the passengers is missing (parking the car, not yet arrived etc) the group must remain in the check-in queue until all their family/group are present.
  • This is a particularly important security step, and the agent should take time to check the passport against the person, and check the ticket details all match up, for EACH person.

Check the persons’ identity

  • Check that the name on the ticket and the name on the passport are exactly the sameUK passport photo page
  • Check that the photograph matches the physical passengers’ appearance
  • Check that any children travelling also have a passport, or are included in their parents’ passport


If necessary, ask passengers to remove hats and sunglasses while you make these checks. Immigration officers will also ask them to do this as it is difficult to check a persons’ appearance under a hat and sunglasses. Obviously this can be tricky if someone wears a scarf or face-covering for religious reasons.

Check the passengers’ documentation

  • Check that their passports are valid, and will be valid through the entire duration of their trip
  • Check requirements for visas, and check that the passenger has the correct visa

Security questions regarding baggage

A reminder that check-in staff are required to ask passengers about their baggage. These are important questions and form part of the security process at check-in.

The questions must be asked orally, and you must obtain an appropriate response from each of the passengers individually. Even passengers who have to baggage to check-in must confirm that:

  • They have packed their bags themselves
  • They have not accepted packages from others
  • They have not left their baggage unattended at any time

Graphic of aircraft plus family and bags

 

If there are language difficulties you should use a translated notice which passengers can read before giving you their response. Alternatively, you should consult with a colleague who speaks the relevant language.
At check in the questions must be asked orally, responses from each of the passengers. This applies to all passengers, even those with NO hold baggage.

 

Security at border controlDSC_0672

All airports have a controlled area where passengers pass from landside to airside, moving through security checks (x ray machines for people and bags, and body pat downs) and through immigration where they will present their passports and boarding cards.

The security area is usually manned by special airport security agency staff who ensure that all passengers, airport staff and flight crew go through the border control area appropriately.

The immigration area is staffed by members of the Immigration service who are trained specifically in passport control and who will access their computer alerts if passports are identified as invalid or in some other way flagged as ‘do not let this person travel.’

Security sign at airportSecurity at the boarding gate

As passengers prepare to board the aircraft they will go through a final check point staffed by airline staff or ground handling agents.

At this boarding gate the agent will ask passengers to present their passports and boarding cards. Agents must check:

  • The name on the passengers’ passport and the name on the boarding card are the same
  • The passengers’ passport photograph matches the person

Once a flight has departed the passenger manifest will be finalised. This is a list of all the people who have boarded the aircraft, showing their names, seat numbers and other ID information. The manifest is a key record held by the airline indefinitely as it confirms who travelled/when/where. This is also used in the rare and unfortunate situations when a plane crashes, is hijacked, or disappears.

ID security access tags

Staff working in airports are required to undergo security checks prior to being offered employment. Once the security clearance has been secured and they take up employment they are issued with a person ID tag that must be worn visibly at all times when at the airport or within the airport complex.

The airport security agency is responsible for making the security checks, obtaining clearance, and for issuing security tags.

ID tags identify the person, using photo ID, and specify the extent of clearance the person has within the airport. Some staff may only have security clearance for the landside area, while others may also have airside clearance. Other staff may work on the runway or ramp areas and may have clearance for runway access.

Passenger Service Agents will usually be given landside and airside clearance in order to provide a full service to passengers. The ID tags must be worn at all times, and must be clearly visible.

Dealing with unattended baggage

Airports make announcements regularly to remind passengers not to leave luggage unattended at any time. Despite that, baggage is sometimes left unattended, and as such, presents a security risk for airports.

Most items will be completely harmless, but nevertheless all items of unattended baggage should be dealt with by security staff. Airport staff should adopt the following principles if finding a piece of baggage unattended:

  • Do not touch or move it
  • Contact your duty manager, or security
  • Give the location, description, your name and contact detailsluggage
  • Follow instructions given to you by the security team
  • Do not use mobile phones or radios near any suspicious items

Generally speaking airports operate smoothly most of the time and security is largely about:

  • adhering to the rules
  • remaining alert and observant
  • making sure that the airside and landside areas are kept separate
  • ensuring that staff are security checked and adhere to the requirement to wear visible ID tags.

When security alerts do occur they will be handled by the security agency or police, and your role as a member of the airport ground crew is to follow instructions and report any security concerns.

Ground Crew – Airport Security

AIRPORT SECURITYpolice hat

Overview

Airports are high-security areas, with many airports now using armed police to patrol both within the airport terminals and the airport perimeter. The size of airports makes them very difficult to secure, and a key aspect of any airport security is the verification and checking of personnel, use of ID tags and maintenance of security landside and airside.

During this chapter you will learn about the basic security requirements of working in an airport, and will develop an understanding of both the need for high security and the need for alert and aware staff as part of the security mix.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify typical airport security measures at check-in
  • List three key security measures that airport ground staff are required to adopt at work
  • Identify the process for dealing with unattended baggage

Airports are often targeted by organisations that seek to disrupt air travel. As a result all airports around the world have well developed security measures in place to deal with a range of security threats.

Airport ground staff are trained to be alert to their surroundings and to report anything/anyone that appears to be suspicious. This could include observing unattended baggage or suspicious behaviours.

Staff are trained to report all concerns to the security police who are charged with maintaining airport security and will investigate the matter directly.

Under no circumstances are airport staff expected to deal with any security issues themselves. Rather they are the ‘first line’ in being the eyes and ears of the airport.

Airport ground staff have to enforce a series of security measures at different points in the airport passenger experience. Check-in is the first of these, so Passenger Service Agents are critical in this security process!

airport scanning image

Security at Check-in

  • At check-in, the agent must ensure that they have all the passengers travelling together in front of them, with their passports, before they begin the check-in process.
  • If one of the passengers is missing (parking the car, not yet arrived etc) the group must remain in the check-in queue until all their family/group are present.
  • This is a particularly important security step, and the agent should take time to check the passport against the person, and check the ticket details all match up, for EACH person.

Check the persons’ identity

  • Check that the name on the ticket and the name on the passport are exactly the sameUK passport photo page
  • Check that the photograph matches the physical passengers’ appearance
  • Check that any children travelling also have a passport, or are included in their parents’ passport


If necessary, ask passengers to remove hats and sunglasses while you make these checks. Immigration officers will also ask them to do this as it is difficult to check a persons’ appearance under a hat and sunglasses. Obviously this can be tricky if someone wears a scarf or face-covering for religious reasons.

Check the passengers’ documentation

  • Check that their passports are valid, and will be valid through the entire duration of their trip
  • Check requirements for visas, and check that the passenger has the correct visa

Security questions regarding baggage

A reminder that check-in staff are required to ask passengers about their baggage. These are important questions and form part of the security process at check-in.

The questions must be asked orally, and you must obtain an appropriate response from each of the passengers individually. Even passengers who have to baggage to check-in must confirm that:

  • They have packed their bags themselves
  • They have not accepted packages from others
  • They have not left their baggage unattended at any time

Graphic of aircraft plus family and bags

 

If there are language difficulties you should use a translated notice which passengers can read before giving you their response. Alternatively, you should consult with a colleague who speaks the relevant language.
At check in the questions must be asked orally, responses from each of the passengers. This applies to all passengers, even those with NO hold baggage.

 

Security at border controlDSC_0672

All airports have a controlled area where passengers pass from landside to airside, moving through security checks (x ray machines for people and bags, and body pat downs) and through immigration where they will present their passports and boarding cards.

The security area is usually manned by special airport security agency staff who ensure that all passengers, airport staff and flight crew go through the border control area appropriately.

The immigration area is staffed by members of the Immigration service who are trained specifically in passport control and who will access their computer alerts if passports are identified as invalid or in some other way flagged as ‘do not let this person travel.’

Security sign at airportSecurity at the boarding gate

As passengers prepare to board the aircraft they will go through a final check point staffed by airline staff or ground handling agents.

At this boarding gate the agent will ask passengers to present their passports and boarding cards. Agents must check:

  • The name on the passengers’ passport and the name on the boarding card are the same
  • The passengers’ passport photograph matches the person

Once a flight has departed the passenger manifest will be finalised. This is a list of all the people who have boarded the aircraft, showing their names, seat numbers and other ID information. The manifest is a key record held by the airline indefinitely as it confirms who travelled/when/where. This is also used in the rare and unfortunate situations when a plane crashes, is hijacked, or disappears.

ID security access tags

Staff working in airports are required to undergo security checks prior to being offered employment. Once the security clearance has been secured and they take up employment they are issued with a person ID tag that must be worn visibly at all times when at the airport or within the airport complex.

The airport security agency is responsible for making the security checks, obtaining clearance, and for issuing security tags.

ID tags identify the person, using photo ID, and specify the extent of clearance the person has within the airport. Some staff may only have security clearance for the landside area, while others may also have airside clearance. Other staff may work on the runway or ramp areas and may have clearance for runway access.

Passenger Service Agents will usually be given landside and airside clearance in order to provide a full service to passengers. The ID tags must be worn at all times, and must be clearly visible.

Dealing with unattended baggage

Airports make announcements regularly to remind passengers not to leave luggage unattended at any time. Despite that, baggage is sometimes left unattended, and as such, presents a security risk for airports.

Most items will be completely harmless, but nevertheless all items of unattended baggage should be dealt with by security staff. Airport staff should adopt the following principles if finding a piece of baggage unattended:

  • Do not touch or move it
  • Contact your duty manager, or security
  • Give the location, description, your name and contact detailsluggage
  • Follow instructions given to you by the security team
  • Do not use mobile phones or radios near any suspicious items

Generally speaking airports operate smoothly most of the time and security is largely about:

  • adhering to the rules
  • remaining alert and observant
  • making sure that the airside and landside areas are kept separate
  • ensuring that staff are security checked and adhere to the requirement to wear visible ID tags.

When security alerts do occur they will be handled by the security agency or police, and your role as a member of the airport ground crew is to follow instructions and report any security concerns.

Ground Crew – Service Attitudes & Handling Complaints

CUSTOMER SERVICE ATTITUDES

Learning Outcomeshappy girl skipping

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how attitudes drive behaviour
  • Choose to change your behaviour by modifying your attitudes
  • Identify assertiveness and adopt the assertive approach when necessary.

“It’s their attitude! They just don’t seem to care!”

How often do we feel, when we’re an unhappy customer, that the other person, or even their whole company, has the wrong attitude? On the other hand, if we get treated really well, we might recognise that they have a great attitude. 

But what do we mean? What is an attitude?

Behaviour

What we observe when we interact with someone else is their behaviour. We can see it and hear it:

  • what they say and how they say it – voice and body language; and
  • what they do, and how they do it – body language again.

What we cannot observe is the stuff inside – the thoughts and feelings that make up their attitudes. However we sometimes think we can, because we observe the behaviour, and then draw conclusions about their attitude.blue happy snowman

Usually we get it more or less right, because people are basically similar, and we know that our own thoughts and feelings can cause us to behave in a similar way. If we know the person, we also know how they’ve behaved in the past.

However sometimes we may be inaccurate in our conclusions. In customer service we must be careful not to jump to conclusions about our customers’ attitude. They may be similar people to us, but they’re not the same!

Attitudes

This stuff inside is attitude. It’s a mixture of regular and habitual thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs that we have acquired over our lifetime. These can be about anything we do, or encounter, and are broadly either positive or negative. They also determine how we look at things – optimistic or pessimistic; looking forward to it or dreading it; etc.

Checkout this image which identifies differing attitudes to customers:

Attitude chart

Our attitudes cause us to approach and react to things the way that we do.

Most of the time we’re on auto-pilot and our behaviour flows automatically from our attitudes. Researchers reckon we’re on autopilot 95% of the time!

The other 5% we think about what we’re doing and consciously control it. We can choose to follow the path that fits with our attitudes, (our ‘usual’ way of doing things), or it is possible for us to override that and do something different.

Attitude and Behaviour 

The links between attitude and behaviour are really important to excellence in customer service!

Firstly we need to recognise that when we’re on auto-pilot our attitudes may cause us to behave towards a customer in a less than excellent way! For example:

  • We may feel irritated by them for some reason, and so our communication, particularly our voice and expression may start to show impatience and frustration. They pick that up and start to feel bad about us.
  • We may feel pressed for time and start showing ‘hurry up’ signals, which they resent!
  • We may lack confidence in our own ability to provide what they need (technical information perhaps). Our voice and body language then starts to reflect this and our customer loses confidence in us.

Secondly, we need to be able to change our attitudes, and thus behaviour, when we do smiley tourist with pigeons on headrecognise it’s not the best for the situation. This is quite possible, but we do have to consciously monitor our own behaviour and be ready to change. And because it may be a shift away from our ‘usual’ way of doing things, it may take some effort!

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts therefore with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than just doing what someone told you to do! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience. This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills and knowledge, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others. Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember that through your behaviour, your attitude is showing all the time!

Attitude towards customers and customer service
Behaviour is produced by your attitude therefore is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others. When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people: Those who wish others ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude. Nothing else has higher priority. A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and it projects in everything you say and do. It reflects in your body language and voice tone, as well as in the words you choose.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results and feeling good is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Checkout this website with has some great additional reading on changing attitudes:

http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/how-to-change-your-attitude/

STOP + THINK Activity

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. 

Assertiveness

Many of our situations when dealing with customers require assertiveness. This is an alternative to being aggressive, submissive, or avoiding. If we let our emotions and attitudes kick in unchecked, we might say something offensive, roll over and give in to an unreasonable demand, or just quit – by asking someone else to handle it!

Assertiveness is an attitude we can adopt which leads to calm, steady, rational, controlled, but above all respectful behaviour – respectful of both ourselves (self-respect) and the other person. It can be tough, particularly when the other party is attacking us.

With complaints for example, people can get quite worked up, and really have a go at us. But it’s vital to keep our cool! In other words, we need to stay assertive.

The way to do this is to keep our emotions in check, and consciously use calm, controlled communication, especially voice tone and body language. It’s a bit of a tight-rope walk, a balancing act.

We should respect the customer and be fair to them, and respect ourselves, and the rights of our company to be treated fairly by them. So ask questions and acknowledge the points the person makes. But ensure that you make the points that you need to also. And avoid talking blame! In assertive mode you should be focused on seeking solutions – ones that are acceptable to both parties.

Checkout this excellent website with more on assertiveness, including online tests to assess you assertiveness levels, and how to develop assertiveness in your dealings with others.

www.mtstcil.org/skills/assert-intro.html

HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Learning Outcomespurple sad face

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how to adopt a positive attitude to complaints
  • Follow a six-step complaints process
  • Effectively refer complaints to others when necessary.

Even if we and our colleagues do everything right, our customers can still complain. Maybe their expectations are unreasonably high! So we still have to be able to handle complaints in an effective and professional manner.

Obviously if our company is at fault, it’s crucial that we handle the complaint well. Research has shown that if a customer does complain (unlike the 96% of dissatisfied customers who don’t!), it’s a great opportunity! What? An opportunity?

Yes, complaints are an opportunity because:

a) They tell us about things that our customers are unhappy with. We may not always be aware of these. Plus, the number of people who complain about a thing tells us how important it is to fix it.

b) If a complaint is handled well, we may also be able to keep that customer for the future. In fact some Air New Zealand research a few years back showed that a customer can become even more loyal, provided their complaint was well handled. When dealing with complaints, just like anything else, we need to exceed the customer’s expectations!

Feelings

How do you feel when you’re about to make a complaint about something?

STOP + THINK Activity

Think about three occasions when you have complained. How did you feel? 

No doubt your list included some of these:

Angry; confused; I’m in the right; frustrated; annoyed; wastes my time; won’t achieve anything; apprehensive; determined; aggressive; nervous; etc!

At the very least, customers are going to have to spend time pursuing their complaint – time they could be spending on something else.

So complaining customers can have a range of feelings, and if we’re dealing with them we need to watch out for these early on. It’s also quite common for people to work themselves up before complaining – perhaps because they expect it to be a challenging and unpleasant experience. The result of this is that they may seem much more emotional than the situation would appear to warrant!

Our Attitude

Then there’s our own feelings and attitudes.

Do you enjoy handling complaints? If you don’t, might that show? If they’re angry towards you, might you feel angry back? What if you feel resentful that you’re having to deal with the problem, when perhaps it wasn’t you that caused it in the first place?

How then might the complaining customer react to our feelings? If we have any kind of negative feelings about the complaint, or the complainer, they’ll show and almost certainly make the situation worse!

As we saw earlier however, we can manage and modify our attitudes as long as we’re aware of them. Never is this more important than when we’re handling a complaint. We must find a way of adopting a positive attitude.

Options for this could include:

  • It’s an opportunity – to find out what went wrong and put it right for the future
  • It’s an opportunity – to satisfy an unhappy customer and keep them dealing with us
  • It’s a professional challenge – an opportunity to test my customer service skills and get a good result
  • It’s a professional challenge – to solve a problem with a good solution.

And if the customer is aggressive or angry towards you, the key is to be assertive. Stay calm and in control, and don’t them get to you!

Complaints Processgirl using phone at work

When dealing with a complaint face-to-face or on the phone, there are some basic steps to go through.

 

1. Listen
Encourage the customer to explain their problem and concerns. Listen actively and give feedback to show that you understand. If they’re ‘worked up’, let them go on until they calm down.

2. Empathise
Accept and acknowledge their feelings. Show you’re genuinely concerned and want to resolve their problem. Some people worry that this might seem like agreeing too early that we’re at fault (before we’ve established what happened). Empathising is not the same as admitting blame. Statements such as “I hear what you’re saying”, “I can imagine what that felt like” mean you are listening, but don’t say that you did something wrong. However “I am really sorry that happened to you” is a great statement (and you should mean it!), and will often settle the complainants mood so they are easier to talk to.

3. Clarify
Ask questions to get more information about the problem and the customers concerns. Make sure you have a full picture of what happened and why it’s an issue for the customer.

4. Negotiate
Offer a solution; ask what they would like. Discuss options, be flexible and aim for a win:win. Stay assertive, respecting their requests, but not giving in if they’re unrealistic. Confirm agreements by summarising, and maybe in writing also.

5. Action
The worst result would be to agree a solution and then not implement it! You’d definitely lose the customer then. So take action. If others in your company need to be involved, make sure the solution is OK with them!

6. Follow up
If you handled the complaint right through, you should take responsibility for any promises made. You have to chase up colleagues if they needed to do something for you or the customer.

You should also get back to the customer afterwards to check that the solution worked for them. This confirms completion; confirms your continued interest in the customer; and confirms the customer’s satisfaction.

Referring Complaints to Others

Sometimes once we start handling a complaint we realise that we’re not the best person to deal with it. Perhaps we don’t have the expertise (a technical issue with another department for instance), or we don’t have the authority to agree to what the customer is asking for. In such cases it’s OK to pass the complaint on.

However, it’s not OK to pass it on just to give yourself an easier life! (People do!)

customer service cartoon

If we do pass it on though it’s important to do so in the right way:

  • Identify the right person to pass it on to. You do not want the customer to be passed on again!
  • Get all the information about it – taking the above process to Step 3 perhaps.
  • Keep the customer informed. Tell them what you’re doing and why it’ll be best for them. Don’t leave them on hold indefinitely!
  • Brief the person you’re passing the complaint to. Tell them the facts so far, plus any offers or promises you made or tried to get accepted. The idea is to avoid the new person going over all the same stuff again with the customer!
  • Follow up afterwards with your colleague and agree what your future role will be in relation to this complaint and this customer.

Complaints are Good!

Finally, complaints are good. That’s the attitude we need to be able to handle successfully. And they really are good. They:

  • Tell us where we could be doing better
  • Help reduce future complaints
  • Identify new opportunities
  • Help to lose fewer customers
  • Help measure the effectiveness or our organisation.


The way we treat our customers when they complain, whether internal or external, can make all the difference to their subsequent actions .

Customers will often stay with us, even when something can’t be fixed for them, just because they feel we’ve gone the extra mile in trying to sort it for them. And remember always – the customer has a choice!

Ground Crew – Service Attitudes & Handling Complaints

CUSTOMER SERVICE ATTITUDES

Learning Outcomeshappy girl skipping

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how attitudes drive behaviour
  • Choose to change your behaviour by modifying your attitudes
  • Identify assertiveness and adopt the assertive approach when necessary.

“It’s their attitude! They just don’t seem to care!”

How often do we feel, when we’re an unhappy customer, that the other person, or even their whole company, has the wrong attitude? On the other hand, if we get treated really well, we might recognise that they have a great attitude. 

But what do we mean? What is an attitude?

Behaviour

What we observe when we interact with someone else is their behaviour. We can see it and hear it:

  • what they say and how they say it – voice and body language; and
  • what they do, and how they do it – body language again.

What we cannot observe is the stuff inside – the thoughts and feelings that make up their attitudes. However we sometimes think we can, because we observe the behaviour, and then draw conclusions about their attitude.blue happy snowman

Usually we get it more or less right, because people are basically similar, and we know that our own thoughts and feelings can cause us to behave in a similar way. If we know the person, we also know how they’ve behaved in the past.

However sometimes we may be inaccurate in our conclusions. In customer service we must be careful not to jump to conclusions about our customers’ attitude. They may be similar people to us, but they’re not the same!

Attitudes

This stuff inside is attitude. It’s a mixture of regular and habitual thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs that we have acquired over our lifetime. These can be about anything we do, or encounter, and are broadly either positive or negative. They also determine how we look at things – optimistic or pessimistic; looking forward to it or dreading it; etc.

Checkout this image which identifies differing attitudes to customers:

Attitude chart

Our attitudes cause us to approach and react to things the way that we do.

Most of the time we’re on auto-pilot and our behaviour flows automatically from our attitudes. Researchers reckon we’re on autopilot 95% of the time!

The other 5% we think about what we’re doing and consciously control it. We can choose to follow the path that fits with our attitudes, (our ‘usual’ way of doing things), or it is possible for us to override that and do something different.

Attitude and Behaviour 

The links between attitude and behaviour are really important to excellence in customer service!

Firstly we need to recognise that when we’re on auto-pilot our attitudes may cause us to behave towards a customer in a less than excellent way! For example:

  • We may feel irritated by them for some reason, and so our communication, particularly our voice and expression may start to show impatience and frustration. They pick that up and start to feel bad about us.
  • We may feel pressed for time and start showing ‘hurry up’ signals, which they resent!
  • We may lack confidence in our own ability to provide what they need (technical information perhaps). Our voice and body language then starts to reflect this and our customer loses confidence in us.

Secondly, we need to be able to change our attitudes, and thus behaviour, when we do smiley tourist with pigeons on headrecognise it’s not the best for the situation. This is quite possible, but we do have to consciously monitor our own behaviour and be ready to change. And because it may be a shift away from our ‘usual’ way of doing things, it may take some effort!

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts therefore with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than just doing what someone told you to do! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience. This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills and knowledge, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others. Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember that through your behaviour, your attitude is showing all the time!

Attitude towards customers and customer service
Behaviour is produced by your attitude therefore is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others. When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people: Those who wish others ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude. Nothing else has higher priority. A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and it projects in everything you say and do. It reflects in your body language and voice tone, as well as in the words you choose.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results and feeling good is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Checkout this website with has some great additional reading on changing attitudes:

http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/how-to-change-your-attitude/

STOP + THINK Activity

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. 

Assertiveness

Many of our situations when dealing with customers require assertiveness. This is an alternative to being aggressive, submissive, or avoiding. If we let our emotions and attitudes kick in unchecked, we might say something offensive, roll over and give in to an unreasonable demand, or just quit – by asking someone else to handle it!

Assertiveness is an attitude we can adopt which leads to calm, steady, rational, controlled, but above all respectful behaviour – respectful of both ourselves (self-respect) and the other person. It can be tough, particularly when the other party is attacking us.

With complaints for example, people can get quite worked up, and really have a go at us. But it’s vital to keep our cool! In other words, we need to stay assertive.

The way to do this is to keep our emotions in check, and consciously use calm, controlled communication, especially voice tone and body language. It’s a bit of a tight-rope walk, a balancing act.

We should respect the customer and be fair to them, and respect ourselves, and the rights of our company to be treated fairly by them. So ask questions and acknowledge the points the person makes. But ensure that you make the points that you need to also. And avoid talking blame! In assertive mode you should be focused on seeking solutions – ones that are acceptable to both parties.

Checkout this excellent website with more on assertiveness, including online tests to assess you assertiveness levels, and how to develop assertiveness in your dealings with others.

www.mtstcil.org/skills/assert-intro.html

HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Learning Outcomespurple sad face

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how to adopt a positive attitude to complaints
  • Follow a six-step complaints process
  • Effectively refer complaints to others when necessary.

Even if we and our colleagues do everything right, our customers can still complain. Maybe their expectations are unreasonably high! So we still have to be able to handle complaints in an effective and professional manner.

Obviously if our company is at fault, it’s crucial that we handle the complaint well. Research has shown that if a customer does complain (unlike the 96% of dissatisfied customers who don’t!), it’s a great opportunity! What? An opportunity?

Yes, complaints are an opportunity because:

a) They tell us about things that our customers are unhappy with. We may not always be aware of these. Plus, the number of people who complain about a thing tells us how important it is to fix it.

b) If a complaint is handled well, we may also be able to keep that customer for the future. In fact some Air New Zealand research a few years back showed that a customer can become even more loyal, provided their complaint was well handled. When dealing with complaints, just like anything else, we need to exceed the customer’s expectations!

Feelings

How do you feel when you’re about to make a complaint about something?

STOP + THINK Activity

Think about three occasions when you have complained. How did you feel? 

No doubt your list included some of these:

Angry; confused; I’m in the right; frustrated; annoyed; wastes my time; won’t achieve anything; apprehensive; determined; aggressive; nervous; etc!

At the very least, customers are going to have to spend time pursuing their complaint – time they could be spending on something else.

So complaining customers can have a range of feelings, and if we’re dealing with them we need to watch out for these early on. It’s also quite common for people to work themselves up before complaining – perhaps because they expect it to be a challenging and unpleasant experience. The result of this is that they may seem much more emotional than the situation would appear to warrant!

Our Attitude

Then there’s our own feelings and attitudes.

Do you enjoy handling complaints? If you don’t, might that show? If they’re angry towards you, might you feel angry back? What if you feel resentful that you’re having to deal with the problem, when perhaps it wasn’t you that caused it in the first place?

How then might the complaining customer react to our feelings? If we have any kind of negative feelings about the complaint, or the complainer, they’ll show and almost certainly make the situation worse!

As we saw earlier however, we can manage and modify our attitudes as long as we’re aware of them. Never is this more important than when we’re handling a complaint. We must find a way of adopting a positive attitude.

Options for this could include:

  • It’s an opportunity – to find out what went wrong and put it right for the future
  • It’s an opportunity – to satisfy an unhappy customer and keep them dealing with us
  • It’s a professional challenge – an opportunity to test my customer service skills and get a good result
  • It’s a professional challenge – to solve a problem with a good solution.

And if the customer is aggressive or angry towards you, the key is to be assertive. Stay calm and in control, and don’t them get to you!

Complaints Processgirl using phone at work

When dealing with a complaint face-to-face or on the phone, there are some basic steps to go through.

 

1. Listen
Encourage the customer to explain their problem and concerns. Listen actively and give feedback to show that you understand. If they’re ‘worked up’, let them go on until they calm down.

2. Empathise
Accept and acknowledge their feelings. Show you’re genuinely concerned and want to resolve their problem. Some people worry that this might seem like agreeing too early that we’re at fault (before we’ve established what happened). Empathising is not the same as admitting blame. Statements such as “I hear what you’re saying”, “I can imagine what that felt like” mean you are listening, but don’t say that you did something wrong. However “I am really sorry that happened to you” is a great statement (and you should mean it!), and will often settle the complainants mood so they are easier to talk to.

3. Clarify
Ask questions to get more information about the problem and the customers concerns. Make sure you have a full picture of what happened and why it’s an issue for the customer.

4. Negotiate
Offer a solution; ask what they would like. Discuss options, be flexible and aim for a win:win. Stay assertive, respecting their requests, but not giving in if they’re unrealistic. Confirm agreements by summarising, and maybe in writing also.

5. Action
The worst result would be to agree a solution and then not implement it! You’d definitely lose the customer then. So take action. If others in your company need to be involved, make sure the solution is OK with them!

6. Follow up
If you handled the complaint right through, you should take responsibility for any promises made. You have to chase up colleagues if they needed to do something for you or the customer.

You should also get back to the customer afterwards to check that the solution worked for them. This confirms completion; confirms your continued interest in the customer; and confirms the customer’s satisfaction.

Referring Complaints to Others

Sometimes once we start handling a complaint we realise that we’re not the best person to deal with it. Perhaps we don’t have the expertise (a technical issue with another department for instance), or we don’t have the authority to agree to what the customer is asking for. In such cases it’s OK to pass the complaint on.

However, it’s not OK to pass it on just to give yourself an easier life! (People do!)

customer service cartoon

If we do pass it on though it’s important to do so in the right way:

  • Identify the right person to pass it on to. You do not want the customer to be passed on again!
  • Get all the information about it – taking the above process to Step 3 perhaps.
  • Keep the customer informed. Tell them what you’re doing and why it’ll be best for them. Don’t leave them on hold indefinitely!
  • Brief the person you’re passing the complaint to. Tell them the facts so far, plus any offers or promises you made or tried to get accepted. The idea is to avoid the new person going over all the same stuff again with the customer!
  • Follow up afterwards with your colleague and agree what your future role will be in relation to this complaint and this customer.

Complaints are Good!

Finally, complaints are good. That’s the attitude we need to be able to handle successfully. And they really are good. They:

  • Tell us where we could be doing better
  • Help reduce future complaints
  • Identify new opportunities
  • Help to lose fewer customers
  • Help measure the effectiveness or our organisation.


The way we treat our customers when they complain, whether internal or external, can make all the difference to their subsequent actions .

Customers will often stay with us, even when something can’t be fixed for them, just because they feel we’ve gone the extra mile in trying to sort it for them. And remember always – the customer has a choice!

Ground Crew – Service Attitudes & Handling Complaints

CUSTOMER SERVICE ATTITUDES

Learning Outcomeshappy girl skipping

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how attitudes drive behaviour
  • Choose to change your behaviour by modifying your attitudes
  • Identify assertiveness and adopt the assertive approach when necessary.

“It’s their attitude! They just don’t seem to care!”

How often do we feel, when we’re an unhappy customer, that the other person, or even their whole company, has the wrong attitude? On the other hand, if we get treated really well, we might recognise that they have a great attitude. 

But what do we mean? What is an attitude?

Behaviour

What we observe when we interact with someone else is their behaviour. We can see it and hear it:

  • what they say and how they say it – voice and body language; and
  • what they do, and how they do it – body language again.

What we cannot observe is the stuff inside – the thoughts and feelings that make up their attitudes. However we sometimes think we can, because we observe the behaviour, and then draw conclusions about their attitude.blue happy snowman

Usually we get it more or less right, because people are basically similar, and we know that our own thoughts and feelings can cause us to behave in a similar way. If we know the person, we also know how they’ve behaved in the past.

However sometimes we may be inaccurate in our conclusions. In customer service we must be careful not to jump to conclusions about our customers’ attitude. They may be similar people to us, but they’re not the same!

Attitudes

This stuff inside is attitude. It’s a mixture of regular and habitual thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs that we have acquired over our lifetime. These can be about anything we do, or encounter, and are broadly either positive or negative. They also determine how we look at things – optimistic or pessimistic; looking forward to it or dreading it; etc.

Checkout this image which identifies differing attitudes to customers:

Attitude chart

Our attitudes cause us to approach and react to things the way that we do.

Most of the time we’re on auto-pilot and our behaviour flows automatically from our attitudes. Researchers reckon we’re on autopilot 95% of the time!

The other 5% we think about what we’re doing and consciously control it. We can choose to follow the path that fits with our attitudes, (our ‘usual’ way of doing things), or it is possible for us to override that and do something different.

Attitude and Behaviour 

The links between attitude and behaviour are really important to excellence in customer service!

Firstly we need to recognise that when we’re on auto-pilot our attitudes may cause us to behave towards a customer in a less than excellent way! For example:

  • We may feel irritated by them for some reason, and so our communication, particularly our voice and expression may start to show impatience and frustration. They pick that up and start to feel bad about us.
  • We may feel pressed for time and start showing ‘hurry up’ signals, which they resent!
  • We may lack confidence in our own ability to provide what they need (technical information perhaps). Our voice and body language then starts to reflect this and our customer loses confidence in us.

Secondly, we need to be able to change our attitudes, and thus behaviour, when we do smiley tourist with pigeons on headrecognise it’s not the best for the situation. This is quite possible, but we do have to consciously monitor our own behaviour and be ready to change. And because it may be a shift away from our ‘usual’ way of doing things, it may take some effort!

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts therefore with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than just doing what someone told you to do! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience. This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills and knowledge, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others. Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember that through your behaviour, your attitude is showing all the time!

Attitude towards customers and customer service
Behaviour is produced by your attitude therefore is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others. When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people: Those who wish others ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude. Nothing else has higher priority. A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and it projects in everything you say and do. It reflects in your body language and voice tone, as well as in the words you choose.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results and feeling good is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Checkout this website with has some great additional reading on changing attitudes:

http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/how-to-change-your-attitude/

STOP + THINK Activity

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. 

Assertiveness

Many of our situations when dealing with customers require assertiveness. This is an alternative to being aggressive, submissive, or avoiding. If we let our emotions and attitudes kick in unchecked, we might say something offensive, roll over and give in to an unreasonable demand, or just quit – by asking someone else to handle it!

Assertiveness is an attitude we can adopt which leads to calm, steady, rational, controlled, but above all respectful behaviour – respectful of both ourselves (self-respect) and the other person. It can be tough, particularly when the other party is attacking us.

With complaints for example, people can get quite worked up, and really have a go at us. But it’s vital to keep our cool! In other words, we need to stay assertive.

The way to do this is to keep our emotions in check, and consciously use calm, controlled communication, especially voice tone and body language. It’s a bit of a tight-rope walk, a balancing act.

We should respect the customer and be fair to them, and respect ourselves, and the rights of our company to be treated fairly by them. So ask questions and acknowledge the points the person makes. But ensure that you make the points that you need to also. And avoid talking blame! In assertive mode you should be focused on seeking solutions – ones that are acceptable to both parties.

Checkout this excellent website with more on assertiveness, including online tests to assess you assertiveness levels, and how to develop assertiveness in your dealings with others.

www.mtstcil.org/skills/assert-intro.html

HANDLING COMPLAINTS

Learning Outcomespurple sad face

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe how to adopt a positive attitude to complaints
  • Follow a six-step complaints process
  • Effectively refer complaints to others when necessary.

Even if we and our colleagues do everything right, our customers can still complain. Maybe their expectations are unreasonably high! So we still have to be able to handle complaints in an effective and professional manner.

Obviously if our company is at fault, it’s crucial that we handle the complaint well. Research has shown that if a customer does complain (unlike the 96% of dissatisfied customers who don’t!), it’s a great opportunity! What? An opportunity?

Yes, complaints are an opportunity because:

a) They tell us about things that our customers are unhappy with. We may not always be aware of these. Plus, the number of people who complain about a thing tells us how important it is to fix it.

b) If a complaint is handled well, we may also be able to keep that customer for the future. In fact some Air New Zealand research a few years back showed that a customer can become even more loyal, provided their complaint was well handled. When dealing with complaints, just like anything else, we need to exceed the customer’s expectations!

Feelings

How do you feel when you’re about to make a complaint about something?

STOP + THINK Activity

Think about three occasions when you have complained. How did you feel? 

No doubt your list included some of these:

Angry; confused; I’m in the right; frustrated; annoyed; wastes my time; won’t achieve anything; apprehensive; determined; aggressive; nervous; etc!

At the very least, customers are going to have to spend time pursuing their complaint – time they could be spending on something else.

So complaining customers can have a range of feelings, and if we’re dealing with them we need to watch out for these early on. It’s also quite common for people to work themselves up before complaining – perhaps because they expect it to be a challenging and unpleasant experience. The result of this is that they may seem much more emotional than the situation would appear to warrant!

Our Attitude

Then there’s our own feelings and attitudes.

Do you enjoy handling complaints? If you don’t, might that show? If they’re angry towards you, might you feel angry back? What if you feel resentful that you’re having to deal with the problem, when perhaps it wasn’t you that caused it in the first place?

How then might the complaining customer react to our feelings? If we have any kind of negative feelings about the complaint, or the complainer, they’ll show and almost certainly make the situation worse!

As we saw earlier however, we can manage and modify our attitudes as long as we’re aware of them. Never is this more important than when we’re handling a complaint. We must find a way of adopting a positive attitude.

Options for this could include:

  • It’s an opportunity – to find out what went wrong and put it right for the future
  • It’s an opportunity – to satisfy an unhappy customer and keep them dealing with us
  • It’s a professional challenge – an opportunity to test my customer service skills and get a good result
  • It’s a professional challenge – to solve a problem with a good solution.

And if the customer is aggressive or angry towards you, the key is to be assertive. Stay calm and in control, and don’t them get to you!

Complaints Processgirl using phone at work

When dealing with a complaint face-to-face or on the phone, there are some basic steps to go through.

 

1. Listen
Encourage the customer to explain their problem and concerns. Listen actively and give feedback to show that you understand. If they’re ‘worked up’, let them go on until they calm down.

2. Empathise
Accept and acknowledge their feelings. Show you’re genuinely concerned and want to resolve their problem. Some people worry that this might seem like agreeing too early that we’re at fault (before we’ve established what happened). Empathising is not the same as admitting blame. Statements such as “I hear what you’re saying”, “I can imagine what that felt like” mean you are listening, but don’t say that you did something wrong. However “I am really sorry that happened to you” is a great statement (and you should mean it!), and will often settle the complainants mood so they are easier to talk to.

3. Clarify
Ask questions to get more information about the problem and the customers concerns. Make sure you have a full picture of what happened and why it’s an issue for the customer.

4. Negotiate
Offer a solution; ask what they would like. Discuss options, be flexible and aim for a win:win. Stay assertive, respecting their requests, but not giving in if they’re unrealistic. Confirm agreements by summarising, and maybe in writing also.

5. Action
The worst result would be to agree a solution and then not implement it! You’d definitely lose the customer then. So take action. If others in your company need to be involved, make sure the solution is OK with them!

6. Follow up
If you handled the complaint right through, you should take responsibility for any promises made. You have to chase up colleagues if they needed to do something for you or the customer.

You should also get back to the customer afterwards to check that the solution worked for them. This confirms completion; confirms your continued interest in the customer; and confirms the customer’s satisfaction.

Referring Complaints to Others

Sometimes once we start handling a complaint we realise that we’re not the best person to deal with it. Perhaps we don’t have the expertise (a technical issue with another department for instance), or we don’t have the authority to agree to what the customer is asking for. In such cases it’s OK to pass the complaint on.

However, it’s not OK to pass it on just to give yourself an easier life! (People do!)

customer service cartoon

If we do pass it on though it’s important to do so in the right way:

  • Identify the right person to pass it on to. You do not want the customer to be passed on again!
  • Get all the information about it – taking the above process to Step 3 perhaps.
  • Keep the customer informed. Tell them what you’re doing and why it’ll be best for them. Don’t leave them on hold indefinitely!
  • Brief the person you’re passing the complaint to. Tell them the facts so far, plus any offers or promises you made or tried to get accepted. The idea is to avoid the new person going over all the same stuff again with the customer!
  • Follow up afterwards with your colleague and agree what your future role will be in relation to this complaint and this customer.

Complaints are Good!

Finally, complaints are good. That’s the attitude we need to be able to handle successfully. And they really are good. They:

  • Tell us where we could be doing better
  • Help reduce future complaints
  • Identify new opportunities
  • Help to lose fewer customers
  • Help measure the effectiveness or our organisation.


The way we treat our customers when they complain, whether internal or external, can make all the difference to their subsequent actions .

Customers will often stay with us, even when something can’t be fixed for them, just because they feel we’ve gone the extra mile in trying to sort it for them. And remember always – the customer has a choice!

Ground Crew – Ticketing & Documentation

TICKETING & DOCUMENTATION

Overviewticket

Airline tickets are important travel documents for people travelling by air as they are confirmation of the flight details, and of the passengers’ name and contact details.

Traditional airline tickets were the only form of ticket available until the introduction of etickets.

In 2008 electronic tickets (or etickets) became mandatory and are now used by all commercial airlines around the world. The issuing of an electronic ticket now constitutes the final step of the sale of an airline seat. It represents the contract between the airline and the passenger.

Passenger Service Agents working in airports must be familiar with the key details held on tickets, and with the format in which information is displayed. Passengers often have questions about their flight, their ticket, or their onward and return journeys. Their ticket will be the key to answering their questions.

In this chapter we will give you a basic knowledge of the most commonly used types of ticket and learn how to decode the strings of numbers and letters they usually contain.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:auto checkin machine graphic

  • Identify the key characteristics of an e-ticket
  • List three benefits of e-tickets
  • Decode key information presented on airline tickets

An airline ticket is a document that may be issued by an airline or a travel agency, or produced by the passenger themselves on their printer at home. The ticket confirms that a person has purchased a seat on a particular flight on an aircraft.

Tickets are used or accessed at airport check-in to obtain a boarding pass. Many airlines will ask passengers to travel with a paper copy of their e-ticket both as a receipt of the purchase and also to use in any onward or return trips, especially on international flights.

Provided the passenger has their name, and a passport, they can travel around the world with almost no airline documentation at all as the check-in agents can access passengers’ bookings on their computer reservation systems.

Paper based tickets were originally issued on special self carbonated paper with multiple copies for airlines and the passenger. These tickets are no longer used by the major airlines of the world, as they were very expensive to produce and, if lost, difficult to reproduce. An e-ticket can simply be printed again from the confirmation email.

Other paper based tickets may look much like a boarding pass, printed on single copy card, containing a bar code, and a portion that can be detached at check-in. They are also known as an ‘ATB’ – Automated Ticket and Boarding Card. The largest portion of the ticket contains all the flight details and is called the ‘flight coupon’. The smaller detachable portion, called the ‘boarding pass’ contains all the boarding details. The flight coupon is kept by the check-in agent and the boarding pass returned to be used by the passenger to board the aircraft.

E-tickets airport check in

E-tickets feature the same information as a paper ticket but the ticket is stored in an airlines’ computer database instead of on a paper ticket held by the passenger.

It is an electronic record of the traveller’s airline reservation, containing information such as the time, date and place of the flight, airport, class of travel.

Etickets are designed to be paperless, but many travellers still print out their flight confirmation details on their home printer in order to have something to hand at check-in. Etickets have many advantages for airlines and passengers, including:

  • added security – etickets can’t be lost
  • convenience – they can be easily changed, accessed, printed
  • security – they can’t be stolen or sold
  • cost – cheaper for airlines to produce

Many people choose to keep a copy of their travel documents, such as travel insurance and itineraries, along with their etickets, on their laptop, tablet (iPad) or smart phone. They can be accessed in transit and even forwarded to family, friends or business associates, to confirm travel arrangements. As you can never lose an eticket there’s no problem replacing them, and no added costs airlines to replace paper tickets.

Travel agents much prefer etickets as they no longer need expensive ticket printers or the hassle of maintaining ticket stocks, reconciling sales and managing ticket stocks from a wide range of airlines.

Overall etickets have been an excellent innovation in airline travel and for the check-in agent are much easier to access and decipher than hand written or faded printer tickets. On a side note, using etickets saves about 50,000 trees per year in reduction in paper usage – so its a win/win all round!

Key Information on Airline Tickets

Regardless of the type of booking or ticket, the following information can be accessed and verified at check-in using the computer reservations or check-in systems in use by the airline or ground handling agent:

  • Passenger name
  • Departure date and time
  • Date of issue of the ticket
  • The journey routing (from departure airport to final arrival airport)
  • Arrival date and time
  • Airline
  • Flight number
  • Baggage allowance
  • Fare type and restrictions/rules
  • Validity of the ticket
  • Fare price and taxes paid

The information accessed by airline staff is often displayed as long strings of codes! Check-in staff are trained in de-coding the booking information and the exact codes may vary depending on the airline check-in system in use. We have included an example for you below, and have provided some links to good examples online.

Some airlines, including Air New Zealand, e-mail electronic tickets in pdf format to its’ passengers. These are very user friendly and easy to print out. Checkout the example in this image.

Air NZ eticket example page 1

It’s worth noting that the eticket a passenger receives from the airline looks very different to how the information is presented on the travel agent or airline computer screen!

Checkout the examples to see how different the information can look, depending on the airline.

Here is a good example of an online e-ticket from Viewtrip showing a multiple sector trip within the USA:

http://www.viewtrip.com/SampleETR.aspx

Here is an example of an online e-ticket from Northwest Airlines showing a multi sector (several legs) trip from Taipei to the USA and returning back to Taipei:

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_nw.htm

Note that these e-tickets/receipts/booking records contain a vast amount of information using up several screens. Some e-tickets for simpler journeys can be viewed on one screen/page.

Checkout this Japan Airlines e-ticket and see how much smaller it is than the Northwest Airlines example:

http://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/flow/r_eticket.html

This example from China Airlines shows the information in a less user-friendly format, but is much more similar to the screen displays used in airline computer systems.

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ci.htm

American Airlines use the same system as China Airlines, and this example shows a return trip Taipei – San Fransisco – Los Angeles – San Fransisco – Taipei

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ua.htm

When a travel agent makes an airline booking and takes payment for it, they will issue an online computer command to issue an eticket to the passenger. An auto message is sent to the airline’s computer system to inform them that a ticket is ready to be issued. If the booking is accurate, and has all the relevant information needed, the message is accepted and the ticket ‘issued’ on the computer system.

If the travel agent has made an error in the booking, such as putting in the wrong codes or missing some required information, the ticket-issue command is declined and the message returned to the travel agent to correct and resend.

Below is an example of an eticket shown on an airline’s computer screen. They can be printed in different formats, depending on the airline, but whatever the format they will always show this range of information.

Passengers will be sent the information in a format that they can understand, along with the ticket rules and conditions, the IATA conditions of contract, and any other useful information, such as extra rules around baggage.

E ticket example_blank_v2

Codes, Codes and more Codes!

The airline world is awash with codes, used for everything from types of aircraft to names of airports, and information used to make an airline booking can look pretty complicated at first glance.

Checked luggage labelPassenger Service Agents undergo in-house training with the airline or ground handling agency they work for, but in the meantime we include here an introduction to some of the main codes you’ll come across.

You’ve already seen that codes are used for cities and airports, and these always feature on etickets. In addition there are some popular ways of setting out the details of a journey that is understood by all the airline staff and travel agents who might need to access the booking along the way.

Using the eticket example from the previous page, check out this image to decipher some of the key information contained within the e-ticket.

De-coding of e-ticket example_v1

Note that not every piece of information has been decoded for you as any other information contained within the ticket is introduced in more advanced training programs provided by airlines and ground handling agents.

E ticket example with numbers_v2

Open up the image and work through the codes on the ticket above. You’ll see that at first glance this ticket just looks like an assortment of numbers and letters, but each line of information is a key part of the eticket and airline reservation.

One of the roles Passenger Service Agents carry out is to check passengers booking information on the computer, to identify the passenger and establish they are eligible to travel, to weigh and check their luggage, issue boarding cards and send them on their journey!

You will be fully trained in these processes once you are employed, so don’t worry about learning all the codes today!

What is important is to understand how the general process works, and to appreciate the important role played by the Passenger Service Agent.Sydney airport check in

As the first point of contact with the airline, and the origin of a passengers’ journey, you have the opportunity to establish excellent customer service, to be efficient and helpful, and to send the passengers on their way feeling confident and happy with the service you have provided!

 

Ground Crew – Ticketing & Documentation

TICKETING & DOCUMENTATION

Overviewticket

Airline tickets are important travel documents for people travelling by air as they are confirmation of the flight details, and of the passengers’ name and contact details.

Traditional airline tickets were the only form of ticket available until the introduction of etickets.

In 2008 electronic tickets (or etickets) became mandatory and are now used by all commercial airlines around the world. The issuing of an electronic ticket now constitutes the final step of the sale of an airline seat. It represents the contract between the airline and the passenger.

Passenger Service Agents working in airports must be familiar with the key details held on tickets, and with the format in which information is displayed. Passengers often have questions about their flight, their ticket, or their onward and return journeys. Their ticket will be the key to answering their questions.

In this chapter we will give you a basic knowledge of the most commonly used types of ticket and learn how to decode the strings of numbers and letters they usually contain.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:auto checkin machine graphic

  • Identify the key characteristics of an e-ticket
  • List three benefits of e-tickets
  • Decode key information presented on airline tickets

An airline ticket is a document that may be issued by an airline or a travel agency, or produced by the passenger themselves on their printer at home. The ticket confirms that a person has purchased a seat on a particular flight on an aircraft.

Tickets are used or accessed at airport check-in to obtain a boarding pass. Many airlines will ask passengers to travel with a paper copy of their e-ticket both as a receipt of the purchase and also to use in any onward or return trips, especially on international flights.

Provided the passenger has their name, and a passport, they can travel around the world with almost no airline documentation at all as the check-in agents can access passengers’ bookings on their computer reservation systems.

Paper based tickets were originally issued on special self carbonated paper with multiple copies for airlines and the passenger. These tickets are no longer used by the major airlines of the world, as they were very expensive to produce and, if lost, difficult to reproduce. An e-ticket can simply be printed again from the confirmation email.

Other paper based tickets may look much like a boarding pass, printed on single copy card, containing a bar code, and a portion that can be detached at check-in. They are also known as an ‘ATB’ – Automated Ticket and Boarding Card. The largest portion of the ticket contains all the flight details and is called the ‘flight coupon’. The smaller detachable portion, called the ‘boarding pass’ contains all the boarding details. The flight coupon is kept by the check-in agent and the boarding pass returned to be used by the passenger to board the aircraft.

E-tickets airport check in

E-tickets feature the same information as a paper ticket but the ticket is stored in an airlines’ computer database instead of on a paper ticket held by the passenger.

It is an electronic record of the traveller’s airline reservation, containing information such as the time, date and place of the flight, airport, class of travel.

Etickets are designed to be paperless, but many travellers still print out their flight confirmation details on their home printer in order to have something to hand at check-in. Etickets have many advantages for airlines and passengers, including:

  • added security – etickets can’t be lost
  • convenience – they can be easily changed, accessed, printed
  • security – they can’t be stolen or sold
  • cost – cheaper for airlines to produce

Many people choose to keep a copy of their travel documents, such as travel insurance and itineraries, along with their etickets, on their laptop, tablet (iPad) or smart phone. They can be accessed in transit and even forwarded to family, friends or business associates, to confirm travel arrangements. As you can never lose an eticket there’s no problem replacing them, and no added costs airlines to replace paper tickets.

Travel agents much prefer etickets as they no longer need expensive ticket printers or the hassle of maintaining ticket stocks, reconciling sales and managing ticket stocks from a wide range of airlines.

Overall etickets have been an excellent innovation in airline travel and for the check-in agent are much easier to access and decipher than hand written or faded printer tickets. On a side note, using etickets saves about 50,000 trees per year in reduction in paper usage – so its a win/win all round!

Key Information on Airline Tickets

Regardless of the type of booking or ticket, the following information can be accessed and verified at check-in using the computer reservations or check-in systems in use by the airline or ground handling agent:

  • Passenger name
  • Departure date and time
  • Date of issue of the ticket
  • The journey routing (from departure airport to final arrival airport)
  • Arrival date and time
  • Airline
  • Flight number
  • Baggage allowance
  • Fare type and restrictions/rules
  • Validity of the ticket
  • Fare price and taxes paid

The information accessed by airline staff is often displayed as long strings of codes! Check-in staff are trained in de-coding the booking information and the exact codes may vary depending on the airline check-in system in use. We have included an example for you below, and have provided some links to good examples online.

Some airlines, including Air New Zealand, e-mail electronic tickets in pdf format to its’ passengers. These are very user friendly and easy to print out. Checkout the example in this image.

Air NZ eticket example page 1

It’s worth noting that the eticket a passenger receives from the airline looks very different to how the information is presented on the travel agent or airline computer screen!

Checkout the examples to see how different the information can look, depending on the airline.

Here is a good example of an online e-ticket from Viewtrip showing a multiple sector trip within the USA:

http://www.viewtrip.com/SampleETR.aspx

Here is an example of an online e-ticket from Northwest Airlines showing a multi sector (several legs) trip from Taipei to the USA and returning back to Taipei:

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_nw.htm

Note that these e-tickets/receipts/booking records contain a vast amount of information using up several screens. Some e-tickets for simpler journeys can be viewed on one screen/page.

Checkout this Japan Airlines e-ticket and see how much smaller it is than the Northwest Airlines example:

http://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/flow/r_eticket.html

This example from China Airlines shows the information in a less user-friendly format, but is much more similar to the screen displays used in airline computer systems.

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ci.htm

American Airlines use the same system as China Airlines, and this example shows a return trip Taipei – San Fransisco – Los Angeles – San Fransisco – Taipei

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ua.htm

When a travel agent makes an airline booking and takes payment for it, they will issue an online computer command to issue an eticket to the passenger. An auto message is sent to the airline’s computer system to inform them that a ticket is ready to be issued. If the booking is accurate, and has all the relevant information needed, the message is accepted and the ticket ‘issued’ on the computer system.

If the travel agent has made an error in the booking, such as putting in the wrong codes or missing some required information, the ticket-issue command is declined and the message returned to the travel agent to correct and resend.

Below is an example of an eticket shown on an airline’s computer screen. They can be printed in different formats, depending on the airline, but whatever the format they will always show this range of information.

Passengers will be sent the information in a format that they can understand, along with the ticket rules and conditions, the IATA conditions of contract, and any other useful information, such as extra rules around baggage.

E ticket example_blank_v2

Codes, Codes and more Codes!

The airline world is awash with codes, used for everything from types of aircraft to names of airports, and information used to make an airline booking can look pretty complicated at first glance.

Checked luggage labelPassenger Service Agents undergo in-house training with the airline or ground handling agency they work for, but in the meantime we include here an introduction to some of the main codes you’ll come across.

You’ve already seen that codes are used for cities and airports, and these always feature on etickets. In addition there are some popular ways of setting out the details of a journey that is understood by all the airline staff and travel agents who might need to access the booking along the way.

Using the eticket example from the previous page, check out this image to decipher some of the key information contained within the e-ticket.

De-coding of e-ticket example_v1

Note that not every piece of information has been decoded for you as any other information contained within the ticket is introduced in more advanced training programs provided by airlines and ground handling agents.

E ticket example with numbers_v2

Open up the image and work through the codes on the ticket above. You’ll see that at first glance this ticket just looks like an assortment of numbers and letters, but each line of information is a key part of the eticket and airline reservation.

One of the roles Passenger Service Agents carry out is to check passengers booking information on the computer, to identify the passenger and establish they are eligible to travel, to weigh and check their luggage, issue boarding cards and send them on their journey!

You will be fully trained in these processes once you are employed, so don’t worry about learning all the codes today!

What is important is to understand how the general process works, and to appreciate the important role played by the Passenger Service Agent.Sydney airport check in

As the first point of contact with the airline, and the origin of a passengers’ journey, you have the opportunity to establish excellent customer service, to be efficient and helpful, and to send the passengers on their way feeling confident and happy with the service you have provided!

 

Ground Crew – Ticketing & Documentation

TICKETING & DOCUMENTATION

Overviewticket

Airline tickets are important travel documents for people travelling by air as they are confirmation of the flight details, and of the passengers’ name and contact details.

Traditional airline tickets were the only form of ticket available until the introduction of etickets.

In 2008 electronic tickets (or etickets) became mandatory and are now used by all commercial airlines around the world. The issuing of an electronic ticket now constitutes the final step of the sale of an airline seat. It represents the contract between the airline and the passenger.

Passenger Service Agents working in airports must be familiar with the key details held on tickets, and with the format in which information is displayed. Passengers often have questions about their flight, their ticket, or their onward and return journeys. Their ticket will be the key to answering their questions.

In this chapter we will give you a basic knowledge of the most commonly used types of ticket and learn how to decode the strings of numbers and letters they usually contain.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:auto checkin machine graphic

  • Identify the key characteristics of an e-ticket
  • List three benefits of e-tickets
  • Decode key information presented on airline tickets

An airline ticket is a document that may be issued by an airline or a travel agency, or produced by the passenger themselves on their printer at home. The ticket confirms that a person has purchased a seat on a particular flight on an aircraft.

Tickets are used or accessed at airport check-in to obtain a boarding pass. Many airlines will ask passengers to travel with a paper copy of their e-ticket both as a receipt of the purchase and also to use in any onward or return trips, especially on international flights.

Provided the passenger has their name, and a passport, they can travel around the world with almost no airline documentation at all as the check-in agents can access passengers’ bookings on their computer reservation systems.

Paper based tickets were originally issued on special self carbonated paper with multiple copies for airlines and the passenger. These tickets are no longer used by the major airlines of the world, as they were very expensive to produce and, if lost, difficult to reproduce. An e-ticket can simply be printed again from the confirmation email.

Other paper based tickets may look much like a boarding pass, printed on single copy card, containing a bar code, and a portion that can be detached at check-in. They are also known as an ‘ATB’ – Automated Ticket and Boarding Card. The largest portion of the ticket contains all the flight details and is called the ‘flight coupon’. The smaller detachable portion, called the ‘boarding pass’ contains all the boarding details. The flight coupon is kept by the check-in agent and the boarding pass returned to be used by the passenger to board the aircraft.

E-tickets airport check in

E-tickets feature the same information as a paper ticket but the ticket is stored in an airlines’ computer database instead of on a paper ticket held by the passenger.

It is an electronic record of the traveller’s airline reservation, containing information such as the time, date and place of the flight, airport, class of travel.

Etickets are designed to be paperless, but many travellers still print out their flight confirmation details on their home printer in order to have something to hand at check-in. Etickets have many advantages for airlines and passengers, including:

  • added security – etickets can’t be lost
  • convenience – they can be easily changed, accessed, printed
  • security – they can’t be stolen or sold
  • cost – cheaper for airlines to produce

Many people choose to keep a copy of their travel documents, such as travel insurance and itineraries, along with their etickets, on their laptop, tablet (iPad) or smart phone. They can be accessed in transit and even forwarded to family, friends or business associates, to confirm travel arrangements. As you can never lose an eticket there’s no problem replacing them, and no added costs airlines to replace paper tickets.

Travel agents much prefer etickets as they no longer need expensive ticket printers or the hassle of maintaining ticket stocks, reconciling sales and managing ticket stocks from a wide range of airlines.

Overall etickets have been an excellent innovation in airline travel and for the check-in agent are much easier to access and decipher than hand written or faded printer tickets. On a side note, using etickets saves about 50,000 trees per year in reduction in paper usage – so its a win/win all round!

Key Information on Airline Tickets

Regardless of the type of booking or ticket, the following information can be accessed and verified at check-in using the computer reservations or check-in systems in use by the airline or ground handling agent:

  • Passenger name
  • Departure date and time
  • Date of issue of the ticket
  • The journey routing (from departure airport to final arrival airport)
  • Arrival date and time
  • Airline
  • Flight number
  • Baggage allowance
  • Fare type and restrictions/rules
  • Validity of the ticket
  • Fare price and taxes paid

The information accessed by airline staff is often displayed as long strings of codes! Check-in staff are trained in de-coding the booking information and the exact codes may vary depending on the airline check-in system in use. We have included an example for you below, and have provided some links to good examples online.

Some airlines, including Air New Zealand, e-mail electronic tickets in pdf format to its’ passengers. These are very user friendly and easy to print out. Checkout the example in this image.

Air NZ eticket example page 1

It’s worth noting that the eticket a passenger receives from the airline looks very different to how the information is presented on the travel agent or airline computer screen!

Checkout the examples to see how different the information can look, depending on the airline.

Here is a good example of an online e-ticket from Viewtrip showing a multiple sector trip within the USA:

http://www.viewtrip.com/SampleETR.aspx

Here is an example of an online e-ticket from Northwest Airlines showing a multi sector (several legs) trip from Taipei to the USA and returning back to Taipei:

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_nw.htm

Note that these e-tickets/receipts/booking records contain a vast amount of information using up several screens. Some e-tickets for simpler journeys can be viewed on one screen/page.

Checkout this Japan Airlines e-ticket and see how much smaller it is than the Northwest Airlines example:

http://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/flow/r_eticket.html

This example from China Airlines shows the information in a less user-friendly format, but is much more similar to the screen displays used in airline computer systems.

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ci.htm

American Airlines use the same system as China Airlines, and this example shows a return trip Taipei – San Fransisco – Los Angeles – San Fransisco – Taipei

http://demo1.nkuht.edu.tw/~t0259/abt/e_tkt_ua.htm

When a travel agent makes an airline booking and takes payment for it, they will issue an online computer command to issue an eticket to the passenger. An auto message is sent to the airline’s computer system to inform them that a ticket is ready to be issued. If the booking is accurate, and has all the relevant information needed, the message is accepted and the ticket ‘issued’ on the computer system.

If the travel agent has made an error in the booking, such as putting in the wrong codes or missing some required information, the ticket-issue command is declined and the message returned to the travel agent to correct and resend.

Below is an example of an eticket shown on an airline’s computer screen. They can be printed in different formats, depending on the airline, but whatever the format they will always show this range of information.

Passengers will be sent the information in a format that they can understand, along with the ticket rules and conditions, the IATA conditions of contract, and any other useful information, such as extra rules around baggage.

E ticket example_blank_v2

Codes, Codes and more Codes!

The airline world is awash with codes, used for everything from types of aircraft to names of airports, and information used to make an airline booking can look pretty complicated at first glance.

Checked luggage labelPassenger Service Agents undergo in-house training with the airline or ground handling agency they work for, but in the meantime we include here an introduction to some of the main codes you’ll come across.

You’ve already seen that codes are used for cities and airports, and these always feature on etickets. In addition there are some popular ways of setting out the details of a journey that is understood by all the airline staff and travel agents who might need to access the booking along the way.

Using the eticket example from the previous page, check out this image to decipher some of the key information contained within the e-ticket.

De-coding of e-ticket example_v1

Note that not every piece of information has been decoded for you as any other information contained within the ticket is introduced in more advanced training programs provided by airlines and ground handling agents.

E ticket example with numbers_v2

Open up the image and work through the codes on the ticket above. You’ll see that at first glance this ticket just looks like an assortment of numbers and letters, but each line of information is a key part of the eticket and airline reservation.

One of the roles Passenger Service Agents carry out is to check passengers booking information on the computer, to identify the passenger and establish they are eligible to travel, to weigh and check their luggage, issue boarding cards and send them on their journey!

You will be fully trained in these processes once you are employed, so don’t worry about learning all the codes today!

What is important is to understand how the general process works, and to appreciate the important role played by the Passenger Service Agent.Sydney airport check in

As the first point of contact with the airline, and the origin of a passengers’ journey, you have the opportunity to establish excellent customer service, to be efficient and helpful, and to send the passengers on their way feeling confident and happy with the service you have provided!

 

Ground Crew – Passports & Visas at Check-in

PASSPORTS AND VISASPassport image

Overview

A passport is an easily recognized travel document that identifies you and authorizes travel. You need a passport to enter countries other than the one in which you are living, to exit countries, and to return back into the country.

As a passenger service agent checking of passports, understanding of how to read them, and visa related issues, will be a key part of your role at check-in. You will have access to reference sources that provide up to date information on passport and visa requirements as these change often, so the general principles of passports and visas will be addressed in this chapter.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Explain the prime function of a passport
  • Identify the key components of a passport
  • Identify the purpose of visas
  • Identify the reasons a Passenger Service Agent needs to see passenger passports and visas at check-in

PassportsPassport and Sunglasses

A passport is a small booklet containing your photo, name, personal details such as date and place of birth, country of residence, and plenty of blank pages which will be used for immigration officers to stamp as you enter and leave different countries. Passports are issued by government departments such as the UK Passport Office (for UK passports), the US State Department (for US passports) or the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (for NZ passports)

When passports are issued they have an expiry date, depending on the type of passport and the country it applies to. Most countries now supply a validity of only 5 year on passports to ensure up to date information is included in the most advanced types of passports.

Whilst a passport is issued to an individual person it will always remain the property of the government that issued it. You cannot transfer it to another person, may not alter it in any way, nor are you allowed to sell it!

It is important to look after your passport as replacing one can be tricky, involving a re-verification of your identity, cost and delay.

An interesting fact – since all British passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty, the Queen of England, the Queen herself does not require a passport in order to travel abroad!

Passports are internationally recognized as the prime travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. It is a request on the part of the issuing government officials of foreign governments to permit the bearer to travel in their country and to provide them all lawful help and protection.

A passport is required to travel internationally, and sometimes domestically, and is the key document required by airlines to confirm the identity of the travelling passenger.

passport at airportPassport application forms can be downloaded from the internet, picked up at Post Offices, and in most countries there are Passport Offices or Embassies where forms can be obtained.

Passports must be valid at the time of travel, and must continue to be valid for the duration of travel, and in some cases for a period after, such as 3 or 6 months after returning home. These ‘rules of entry’ are published online and in reference manuals used by airlines/travel agents/check-in agents and are referred to when flight bookings are made.

It is the passengers’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport when they book an overseas trip, and to bring it with them, in their hand luggage, to present to the airline at check-in. You’ll be amazed at how many people pack their passports in their baggage and have to unpack on the floor of the airport! A similar number of people forget to bring a passport entirely, or bring an expired one!

Airline Passenger Service Agents are required to verify the identity of passengers as they check-in for flights. Traditionally this related to international flights only, but in recent times airline security regulations have been strengthened to ensure that the identity of passengers is verified for all flights prior to departure (i.e. domestic and international).

The identity verification process applies even if passengers use automated check-in terminals at the airport as passports are scanned and details checked against the passenger’s ticket. Modern technology such as face recognition, retina scanning (eyes) or fingerprinting ensures that passenger identities are more accurately established.

Many countries are now issuing ‘smart’ passports embedded with an electronic chip that provide for higher levels of security with border officials, and these passport holders can move through immigration channels quickly at airports just by scanning their passport through electronic readers. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. Once the checks are made, the gates will open automatically for you to go through. This face recognition technology is used in many aspects of airport security.

Check out information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US-VISIT that describes the system in use in the USA using biometric technology to collect two fingerprints and a photograph as you go through immigration.

Further information is provided on this link to a pdf document: http:////www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/usvisit/usvisit_edu_10-fingerprint_consumer_friendly_content_1400_words.pdf

This is an image of a New Zealand e-passport with symbol at the bottom of the cover. New Zealand passports currently have 5 years validity:

NZ passport
This is an image of a UK (British) e- passport with symbol underneath the word passport:

UK passport

And this is an image of a UK passport – photo page and key ID information:

UK passport photo page

STOP + THINK Activity

Do you have a passport? If so, check out to see if it is a’smart’ passport with the embedded chip? If not, find your national passport processing centre and find out what you can about these new types of passports. How much do they cost? How long are they valid for? What benefits are there to you in having such a passport?

Visas

Some countries also require a ‘visa’ to enter and stay in the country. There may be separate requirements for people entering the country for tourism purposes (tourist visa) to those travelling with an intention to work in a country (business visa, or work visa).

Visa requirements also vary depending on the nationality of the person travelling. For example, New Zealand nationals don’t need a visa for Australia but South African nationals do need a visa. Many nationalities requiring a visa for Australia can obtain this visa through an online visa application and approval process.visas

The USA operates a unique ‘visa waiver’ scheme whereby nationals of certain countries do not need a visa and instead can complete an online application. This process provides the US Homeland authorities with enough information to identify the applicant prior to travel, and satisfy themselves of the status of the passenger.

The US online system, known as APIS (Advanced Passenger Information System) is a sophisticated database used to gather information prior to travel about intending travellers and to match it against other US databases to verify the persons’ identity.

This system also flags up people who have been denied access to the US previously, those who might be wanted for criminal activities, or who have been highlighted as representing a threat to the USA. If any ‘red flags’ are raised during an online application the US Homeland department will refuse the application for entry to the US.

A key aspect of this system is that it must take place prior to travel so airline passengers must already have secured approval to enter the US before they check-in for a flight destined for anywhere in the USA.

Intending travellers can access the free system online, using the ETSA (electronic system for authorisation) site at:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/

The issuing authority for visas is usually a branch of the country’s foreign ministry or a government department (e.g. U.S. State Department). The issuing authority will often request supporting documentation for a visa application, such as an invitation to visit the country, evidence of flight tickets, or confirmation that the applicant has enough funds to support themselves in the country during their stay.

Some countries require applicants to take out health insurance in order to visit there, and may require evidence of the applicants health status and vaccinations as part of the visa application process.

Developing countries frequently demand strong evidence of passengers’ intent to return to their home country as part of their visa process (e.g. exit visa). When a passenger checks-in at the airport for an international flight the Passenger Service Agent will firstly access the passengers’ flight booking on their computer system.

Passengers’ information is all stored in a Passenger and Name Record, known as a PNR. Flight bookings, when confirmed, automatically generate a PNR number that becomes the key reference number for any future activity on the booking, including check-in. Furthermore some countries will require hotel bookings to be confirmed and documented before a traveller can apply for a visa, which will then be issued exactly as per those hotel bookings (i.e. they cannot change the dates, nor can they go and stay in a different hotel).

Check-in agents are trained to always ask to see passports and visas at the beginning of the check-in process, and will firstly check the validity of passports for each travelling passenger. They will also check to see if visas are required for the flight, and for the individual passport holder. If visas are required the agent will verify the validity of the visa.

Visas may take the form of a stamp in the passport, or may be a paper visa that has been stuck into the passport, taking up an entire page. These ‘loose leaf’ visas are used by countries which might have political disagreements with other countries. For many years entry visas to Israel were issued as a loose leaf visa, so that after this trip no evidence (i.e. visa or entry stamp) was included on a passport of this journey to Israel.Map of Eastern Mediterranean

Airline computer systems contain a wealth of reference material, including up to date passport and visa requirements, so agents can access the information and check requirements without leaving the check-in desk.

Having established the validity of passports and visas, the agent can then proceed to check-in the passengers on the computer system.

CHECK-IN

This process confirms that the passengers are checked in for the flight and enables the agent to proceed to seat allocations. In some cases the passenger may have requested specific seating on the flight, or the computer system itself will have auto selected some seats.

At this stage an agent may look for improved seating for the passenger, or may be able to upgrade passengers depending on their status (if they are members of an airlines’ frequent flyer programs, are a VIP, or when Economy class is overbooked and there are seats left in Business class).

Boarding cardOnce the seat selection has been completed the agent can print boarding cards to give to the passenger on completion of check-in.

The check-in process includes the weighing and tagging of all baggage. Checked baggage is the larger luggage pieces that go in the hold of the aircraft, and all airlines have restrictions in place, either weight or quantity of luggage. The check-in agent will weigh the baggage and provided it is within the allowed quota will print out baggage tags to put on each piece of luggage, with tag receipts stuck on the boarding cards prior to handing to the passenger.

The agent will also keep an eye on how much hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft, and may also weigh the hand luggage to ensure it meets the airline regulations.

Passengers with overweight or over-sized luggage will be asked to either reduce the luggage by moving to one side and repacking, or to pay excess baggage to the airline service desk.

If a flight is operating under its capacity (with fewer passengers) check-in agents may be given authority to permit excess baggage at no cost, but this is a very discretionary matter and not the norm.

Checked-in passengers eventually make their way through security towards the departure area (airside) and will go through further passport and visa checks at the immigration desks.auto checkin machine graphic

Immigration officials will scrutinise the passports and visas of all passengers, and depending on the location/country of this activity will use additional tools to cross check the identity of the person (i.e. retina scanning, finger printing, face recognition, or photos).

Immigration will also check passengers against lists of ‘wanted’ people, people who have years of outstanding student loans or fines, and against lists of children who may not be taken out of the country without an accompanying parent and/or written permission of both parents.

Checkout this site detailing the entry procedures on arrival into the UK where they use IRIS (iris recognition immigration system) at many of their airports and border points.

https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

The site explains the IRIS system:
”IRIS makes use of the fact that the pattern of the iris in each person’s eye (the coloured part of the eye) is unique. A registered passenger looks into a special camera at the IRIS barrier in the immigration arrival hall, and the system compares their iris pattern with others stored in a secure database. If the pattern matches the corresponding one on the database and the registration is still valid, the passenger can immediately enter the UK.”

You can see that security is paramount when checking in passengers for flights! The check-in agent is the first security check and whilst other checks are made it is vital that agents:

  • ask the right security questions
  • listen to the passengers answers
  • verify their identity through their passport
  • establish their right to travel via the passport and visa

STOP + THINK

Checkout the visa requirements for your own country of residence. What nationalities, if any, require a visa? How can you apply for one? What does it cost? Are there different types of visas? How long do they last?

There is a huge range of online reference sites providing up to date information on AIrportpassport and visa requirements for differing nationalities and countries around the world.

Checkout some of these sites to become familiar with the type of information available:

Visachecker – a New Zealand based site

http://www.visachecker.co.nz/

Passports and Visas.com – a US based site:

http://www.passportsandvisas.com/

Ground Crew – Passports & Visas at Check-in

PASSPORTS AND VISASPassport image

Overview

A passport is an easily recognized travel document that identifies you and authorizes travel. You need a passport to enter countries other than the one in which you are living, to exit countries, and to return back into the country.

As a passenger service agent checking of passports, understanding of how to read them, and visa related issues, will be a key part of your role at check-in. You will have access to reference sources that provide up to date information on passport and visa requirements as these change often, so the general principles of passports and visas will be addressed in this chapter.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Explain the prime function of a passport
  • Identify the key components of a passport
  • Identify the purpose of visas
  • Identify the reasons a Passenger Service Agent needs to see passenger passports and visas at check-in

PassportsPassport and Sunglasses

A passport is a small booklet containing your photo, name, personal details such as date and place of birth, country of residence, and plenty of blank pages which will be used for immigration officers to stamp as you enter and leave different countries. Passports are issued by government departments such as the UK Passport Office (for UK passports), the US State Department (for US passports) or the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (for NZ passports)

When passports are issued they have an expiry date, depending on the type of passport and the country it applies to. Most countries now supply a validity of only 5 year on passports to ensure up to date information is included in the most advanced types of passports.

Whilst a passport is issued to an individual person it will always remain the property of the government that issued it. You cannot transfer it to another person, may not alter it in any way, nor are you allowed to sell it!

It is important to look after your passport as replacing one can be tricky, involving a re-verification of your identity, cost and delay.

An interesting fact – since all British passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty, the Queen of England, the Queen herself does not require a passport in order to travel abroad!

Passports are internationally recognized as the prime travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. It is a request on the part of the issuing government officials of foreign governments to permit the bearer to travel in their country and to provide them all lawful help and protection.

A passport is required to travel internationally, and sometimes domestically, and is the key document required by airlines to confirm the identity of the travelling passenger.

passport at airportPassport application forms can be downloaded from the internet, picked up at Post Offices, and in most countries there are Passport Offices or Embassies where forms can be obtained.

Passports must be valid at the time of travel, and must continue to be valid for the duration of travel, and in some cases for a period after, such as 3 or 6 months after returning home. These ‘rules of entry’ are published online and in reference manuals used by airlines/travel agents/check-in agents and are referred to when flight bookings are made.

It is the passengers’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport when they book an overseas trip, and to bring it with them, in their hand luggage, to present to the airline at check-in. You’ll be amazed at how many people pack their passports in their baggage and have to unpack on the floor of the airport! A similar number of people forget to bring a passport entirely, or bring an expired one!

Airline Passenger Service Agents are required to verify the identity of passengers as they check-in for flights. Traditionally this related to international flights only, but in recent times airline security regulations have been strengthened to ensure that the identity of passengers is verified for all flights prior to departure (i.e. domestic and international).

The identity verification process applies even if passengers use automated check-in terminals at the airport as passports are scanned and details checked against the passenger’s ticket. Modern technology such as face recognition, retina scanning (eyes) or fingerprinting ensures that passenger identities are more accurately established.

Many countries are now issuing ‘smart’ passports embedded with an electronic chip that provide for higher levels of security with border officials, and these passport holders can move through immigration channels quickly at airports just by scanning their passport through electronic readers. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. Once the checks are made, the gates will open automatically for you to go through. This face recognition technology is used in many aspects of airport security.

Check out information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US-VISIT that describes the system in use in the USA using biometric technology to collect two fingerprints and a photograph as you go through immigration.

Further information is provided on this link to a pdf document: http:////www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/usvisit/usvisit_edu_10-fingerprint_consumer_friendly_content_1400_words.pdf

This is an image of a New Zealand e-passport with symbol at the bottom of the cover. New Zealand passports currently have 5 years validity:

NZ passport
This is an image of a UK (British) e- passport with symbol underneath the word passport:

UK passport

And this is an image of a UK passport – photo page and key ID information:

UK passport photo page

STOP + THINK Activity

Do you have a passport? If so, check out to see if it is a’smart’ passport with the embedded chip? If not, find your national passport processing centre and find out what you can about these new types of passports. How much do they cost? How long are they valid for? What benefits are there to you in having such a passport?

Visas

Some countries also require a ‘visa’ to enter and stay in the country. There may be separate requirements for people entering the country for tourism purposes (tourist visa) to those travelling with an intention to work in a country (business visa, or work visa).

Visa requirements also vary depending on the nationality of the person travelling. For example, New Zealand nationals don’t need a visa for Australia but South African nationals do need a visa. Many nationalities requiring a visa for Australia can obtain this visa through an online visa application and approval process.visas

The USA operates a unique ‘visa waiver’ scheme whereby nationals of certain countries do not need a visa and instead can complete an online application. This process provides the US Homeland authorities with enough information to identify the applicant prior to travel, and satisfy themselves of the status of the passenger.

The US online system, known as APIS (Advanced Passenger Information System) is a sophisticated database used to gather information prior to travel about intending travellers and to match it against other US databases to verify the persons’ identity.

This system also flags up people who have been denied access to the US previously, those who might be wanted for criminal activities, or who have been highlighted as representing a threat to the USA. If any ‘red flags’ are raised during an online application the US Homeland department will refuse the application for entry to the US.

A key aspect of this system is that it must take place prior to travel so airline passengers must already have secured approval to enter the US before they check-in for a flight destined for anywhere in the USA.

Intending travellers can access the free system online, using the ETSA (electronic system for authorisation) site at:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/

The issuing authority for visas is usually a branch of the country’s foreign ministry or a government department (e.g. U.S. State Department). The issuing authority will often request supporting documentation for a visa application, such as an invitation to visit the country, evidence of flight tickets, or confirmation that the applicant has enough funds to support themselves in the country during their stay.

Some countries require applicants to take out health insurance in order to visit there, and may require evidence of the applicants health status and vaccinations as part of the visa application process.

Developing countries frequently demand strong evidence of passengers’ intent to return to their home country as part of their visa process (e.g. exit visa). When a passenger checks-in at the airport for an international flight the Passenger Service Agent will firstly access the passengers’ flight booking on their computer system.

Passengers’ information is all stored in a Passenger and Name Record, known as a PNR. Flight bookings, when confirmed, automatically generate a PNR number that becomes the key reference number for any future activity on the booking, including check-in. Furthermore some countries will require hotel bookings to be confirmed and documented before a traveller can apply for a visa, which will then be issued exactly as per those hotel bookings (i.e. they cannot change the dates, nor can they go and stay in a different hotel).

Check-in agents are trained to always ask to see passports and visas at the beginning of the check-in process, and will firstly check the validity of passports for each travelling passenger. They will also check to see if visas are required for the flight, and for the individual passport holder. If visas are required the agent will verify the validity of the visa.

Visas may take the form of a stamp in the passport, or may be a paper visa that has been stuck into the passport, taking up an entire page. These ‘loose leaf’ visas are used by countries which might have political disagreements with other countries. For many years entry visas to Israel were issued as a loose leaf visa, so that after this trip no evidence (i.e. visa or entry stamp) was included on a passport of this journey to Israel.Map of Eastern Mediterranean

Airline computer systems contain a wealth of reference material, including up to date passport and visa requirements, so agents can access the information and check requirements without leaving the check-in desk.

Having established the validity of passports and visas, the agent can then proceed to check-in the passengers on the computer system.

CHECK-IN

This process confirms that the passengers are checked in for the flight and enables the agent to proceed to seat allocations. In some cases the passenger may have requested specific seating on the flight, or the computer system itself will have auto selected some seats.

At this stage an agent may look for improved seating for the passenger, or may be able to upgrade passengers depending on their status (if they are members of an airlines’ frequent flyer programs, are a VIP, or when Economy class is overbooked and there are seats left in Business class).

Boarding cardOnce the seat selection has been completed the agent can print boarding cards to give to the passenger on completion of check-in.

The check-in process includes the weighing and tagging of all baggage. Checked baggage is the larger luggage pieces that go in the hold of the aircraft, and all airlines have restrictions in place, either weight or quantity of luggage. The check-in agent will weigh the baggage and provided it is within the allowed quota will print out baggage tags to put on each piece of luggage, with tag receipts stuck on the boarding cards prior to handing to the passenger.

The agent will also keep an eye on how much hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft, and may also weigh the hand luggage to ensure it meets the airline regulations.

Passengers with overweight or over-sized luggage will be asked to either reduce the luggage by moving to one side and repacking, or to pay excess baggage to the airline service desk.

If a flight is operating under its capacity (with fewer passengers) check-in agents may be given authority to permit excess baggage at no cost, but this is a very discretionary matter and not the norm.

Checked-in passengers eventually make their way through security towards the departure area (airside) and will go through further passport and visa checks at the immigration desks.auto checkin machine graphic

Immigration officials will scrutinise the passports and visas of all passengers, and depending on the location/country of this activity will use additional tools to cross check the identity of the person (i.e. retina scanning, finger printing, face recognition, or photos).

Immigration will also check passengers against lists of ‘wanted’ people, people who have years of outstanding student loans or fines, and against lists of children who may not be taken out of the country without an accompanying parent and/or written permission of both parents.

Checkout this site detailing the entry procedures on arrival into the UK where they use IRIS (iris recognition immigration system) at many of their airports and border points.

https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

The site explains the IRIS system:
”IRIS makes use of the fact that the pattern of the iris in each person’s eye (the coloured part of the eye) is unique. A registered passenger looks into a special camera at the IRIS barrier in the immigration arrival hall, and the system compares their iris pattern with others stored in a secure database. If the pattern matches the corresponding one on the database and the registration is still valid, the passenger can immediately enter the UK.”

You can see that security is paramount when checking in passengers for flights! The check-in agent is the first security check and whilst other checks are made it is vital that agents:

  • ask the right security questions
  • listen to the passengers answers
  • verify their identity through their passport
  • establish their right to travel via the passport and visa

STOP + THINK

Checkout the visa requirements for your own country of residence. What nationalities, if any, require a visa? How can you apply for one? What does it cost? Are there different types of visas? How long do they last?

There is a huge range of online reference sites providing up to date information on AIrportpassport and visa requirements for differing nationalities and countries around the world.

Checkout some of these sites to become familiar with the type of information available:

Visachecker – a New Zealand based site

http://www.visachecker.co.nz/

Passports and Visas.com – a US based site:

http://www.passportsandvisas.com/

Ground Crew – Passports & Visas at Check-in

PASSPORTS AND VISASPassport image

Overview

A passport is an easily recognized travel document that identifies you and authorizes travel. You need a passport to enter countries other than the one in which you are living, to exit countries, and to return back into the country.

As a passenger service agent checking of passports, understanding of how to read them, and visa related issues, will be a key part of your role at check-in. You will have access to reference sources that provide up to date information on passport and visa requirements as these change often, so the general principles of passports and visas will be addressed in this chapter.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Explain the prime function of a passport
  • Identify the key components of a passport
  • Identify the purpose of visas
  • Identify the reasons a Passenger Service Agent needs to see passenger passports and visas at check-in

PassportsPassport and Sunglasses

A passport is a small booklet containing your photo, name, personal details such as date and place of birth, country of residence, and plenty of blank pages which will be used for immigration officers to stamp as you enter and leave different countries. Passports are issued by government departments such as the UK Passport Office (for UK passports), the US State Department (for US passports) or the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (for NZ passports)

When passports are issued they have an expiry date, depending on the type of passport and the country it applies to. Most countries now supply a validity of only 5 year on passports to ensure up to date information is included in the most advanced types of passports.

Whilst a passport is issued to an individual person it will always remain the property of the government that issued it. You cannot transfer it to another person, may not alter it in any way, nor are you allowed to sell it!

It is important to look after your passport as replacing one can be tricky, involving a re-verification of your identity, cost and delay.

An interesting fact – since all British passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty, the Queen of England, the Queen herself does not require a passport in order to travel abroad!

Passports are internationally recognized as the prime travel document attesting to the identity and nationality of the bearer. It is a request on the part of the issuing government officials of foreign governments to permit the bearer to travel in their country and to provide them all lawful help and protection.

A passport is required to travel internationally, and sometimes domestically, and is the key document required by airlines to confirm the identity of the travelling passenger.

passport at airportPassport application forms can be downloaded from the internet, picked up at Post Offices, and in most countries there are Passport Offices or Embassies where forms can be obtained.

Passports must be valid at the time of travel, and must continue to be valid for the duration of travel, and in some cases for a period after, such as 3 or 6 months after returning home. These ‘rules of entry’ are published online and in reference manuals used by airlines/travel agents/check-in agents and are referred to when flight bookings are made.

It is the passengers’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport when they book an overseas trip, and to bring it with them, in their hand luggage, to present to the airline at check-in. You’ll be amazed at how many people pack their passports in their baggage and have to unpack on the floor of the airport! A similar number of people forget to bring a passport entirely, or bring an expired one!

Airline Passenger Service Agents are required to verify the identity of passengers as they check-in for flights. Traditionally this related to international flights only, but in recent times airline security regulations have been strengthened to ensure that the identity of passengers is verified for all flights prior to departure (i.e. domestic and international).

The identity verification process applies even if passengers use automated check-in terminals at the airport as passports are scanned and details checked against the passenger’s ticket. Modern technology such as face recognition, retina scanning (eyes) or fingerprinting ensures that passenger identities are more accurately established.

Many countries are now issuing ‘smart’ passports embedded with an electronic chip that provide for higher levels of security with border officials, and these passport holders can move through immigration channels quickly at airports just by scanning their passport through electronic readers. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare your face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in your passport. Once the checks are made, the gates will open automatically for you to go through. This face recognition technology is used in many aspects of airport security.

Check out information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US-VISIT that describes the system in use in the USA using biometric technology to collect two fingerprints and a photograph as you go through immigration.

Further information is provided on this link to a pdf document: http:////www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/usvisit/usvisit_edu_10-fingerprint_consumer_friendly_content_1400_words.pdf

This is an image of a New Zealand e-passport with symbol at the bottom of the cover. New Zealand passports currently have 5 years validity:

NZ passport
This is an image of a UK (British) e- passport with symbol underneath the word passport:

UK passport

And this is an image of a UK passport – photo page and key ID information:

UK passport photo page

STOP + THINK Activity

Do you have a passport? If so, check out to see if it is a’smart’ passport with the embedded chip? If not, find your national passport processing centre and find out what you can about these new types of passports. How much do they cost? How long are they valid for? What benefits are there to you in having such a passport?

Visas

Some countries also require a ‘visa’ to enter and stay in the country. There may be separate requirements for people entering the country for tourism purposes (tourist visa) to those travelling with an intention to work in a country (business visa, or work visa).

Visa requirements also vary depending on the nationality of the person travelling. For example, New Zealand nationals don’t need a visa for Australia but South African nationals do need a visa. Many nationalities requiring a visa for Australia can obtain this visa through an online visa application and approval process.visas

The USA operates a unique ‘visa waiver’ scheme whereby nationals of certain countries do not need a visa and instead can complete an online application. This process provides the US Homeland authorities with enough information to identify the applicant prior to travel, and satisfy themselves of the status of the passenger.

The US online system, known as APIS (Advanced Passenger Information System) is a sophisticated database used to gather information prior to travel about intending travellers and to match it against other US databases to verify the persons’ identity.

This system also flags up people who have been denied access to the US previously, those who might be wanted for criminal activities, or who have been highlighted as representing a threat to the USA. If any ‘red flags’ are raised during an online application the US Homeland department will refuse the application for entry to the US.

A key aspect of this system is that it must take place prior to travel so airline passengers must already have secured approval to enter the US before they check-in for a flight destined for anywhere in the USA.

Intending travellers can access the free system online, using the ETSA (electronic system for authorisation) site at:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/

The issuing authority for visas is usually a branch of the country’s foreign ministry or a government department (e.g. U.S. State Department). The issuing authority will often request supporting documentation for a visa application, such as an invitation to visit the country, evidence of flight tickets, or confirmation that the applicant has enough funds to support themselves in the country during their stay.

Some countries require applicants to take out health insurance in order to visit there, and may require evidence of the applicants health status and vaccinations as part of the visa application process.

Developing countries frequently demand strong evidence of passengers’ intent to return to their home country as part of their visa process (e.g. exit visa). When a passenger checks-in at the airport for an international flight the Passenger Service Agent will firstly access the passengers’ flight booking on their computer system.

Passengers’ information is all stored in a Passenger and Name Record, known as a PNR. Flight bookings, when confirmed, automatically generate a PNR number that becomes the key reference number for any future activity on the booking, including check-in. Furthermore some countries will require hotel bookings to be confirmed and documented before a traveller can apply for a visa, which will then be issued exactly as per those hotel bookings (i.e. they cannot change the dates, nor can they go and stay in a different hotel).

Check-in agents are trained to always ask to see passports and visas at the beginning of the check-in process, and will firstly check the validity of passports for each travelling passenger. They will also check to see if visas are required for the flight, and for the individual passport holder. If visas are required the agent will verify the validity of the visa.

Visas may take the form of a stamp in the passport, or may be a paper visa that has been stuck into the passport, taking up an entire page. These ‘loose leaf’ visas are used by countries which might have political disagreements with other countries. For many years entry visas to Israel were issued as a loose leaf visa, so that after this trip no evidence (i.e. visa or entry stamp) was included on a passport of this journey to Israel.Map of Eastern Mediterranean

Airline computer systems contain a wealth of reference material, including up to date passport and visa requirements, so agents can access the information and check requirements without leaving the check-in desk.

Having established the validity of passports and visas, the agent can then proceed to check-in the passengers on the computer system.

CHECK-IN

This process confirms that the passengers are checked in for the flight and enables the agent to proceed to seat allocations. In some cases the passenger may have requested specific seating on the flight, or the computer system itself will have auto selected some seats.

At this stage an agent may look for improved seating for the passenger, or may be able to upgrade passengers depending on their status (if they are members of an airlines’ frequent flyer programs, are a VIP, or when Economy class is overbooked and there are seats left in Business class).

Boarding cardOnce the seat selection has been completed the agent can print boarding cards to give to the passenger on completion of check-in.

The check-in process includes the weighing and tagging of all baggage. Checked baggage is the larger luggage pieces that go in the hold of the aircraft, and all airlines have restrictions in place, either weight or quantity of luggage. The check-in agent will weigh the baggage and provided it is within the allowed quota will print out baggage tags to put on each piece of luggage, with tag receipts stuck on the boarding cards prior to handing to the passenger.

The agent will also keep an eye on how much hand luggage is being taken onto the aircraft, and may also weigh the hand luggage to ensure it meets the airline regulations.

Passengers with overweight or over-sized luggage will be asked to either reduce the luggage by moving to one side and repacking, or to pay excess baggage to the airline service desk.

If a flight is operating under its capacity (with fewer passengers) check-in agents may be given authority to permit excess baggage at no cost, but this is a very discretionary matter and not the norm.

Checked-in passengers eventually make their way through security towards the departure area (airside) and will go through further passport and visa checks at the immigration desks.auto checkin machine graphic

Immigration officials will scrutinise the passports and visas of all passengers, and depending on the location/country of this activity will use additional tools to cross check the identity of the person (i.e. retina scanning, finger printing, face recognition, or photos).

Immigration will also check passengers against lists of ‘wanted’ people, people who have years of outstanding student loans or fines, and against lists of children who may not be taken out of the country without an accompanying parent and/or written permission of both parents.

Checkout this site detailing the entry procedures on arrival into the UK where they use IRIS (iris recognition immigration system) at many of their airports and border points.

https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

The site explains the IRIS system:
”IRIS makes use of the fact that the pattern of the iris in each person’s eye (the coloured part of the eye) is unique. A registered passenger looks into a special camera at the IRIS barrier in the immigration arrival hall, and the system compares their iris pattern with others stored in a secure database. If the pattern matches the corresponding one on the database and the registration is still valid, the passenger can immediately enter the UK.”

You can see that security is paramount when checking in passengers for flights! The check-in agent is the first security check and whilst other checks are made it is vital that agents:

  • ask the right security questions
  • listen to the passengers answers
  • verify their identity through their passport
  • establish their right to travel via the passport and visa

STOP + THINK

Checkout the visa requirements for your own country of residence. What nationalities, if any, require a visa? How can you apply for one? What does it cost? Are there different types of visas? How long do they last?

There is a huge range of online reference sites providing up to date information on AIrportpassport and visa requirements for differing nationalities and countries around the world.

Checkout some of these sites to become familiar with the type of information available:

Visachecker – a New Zealand based site

http://www.visachecker.co.nz/

Passports and Visas.com – a US based site:

http://www.passportsandvisas.com/

Ground Crew – Listening Skills

LISTENING SKILLSBald Man Wearing Headphones

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should use them in that proportion!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life. Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function.

Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing = 9%questioning curly head
Reading = 16%
Talking = 30% 
Listening = 45%

Unfortunately – few people are really good listeners. Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same thing as hearing! Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort. Listening is quite different – it involves creating meaning for ourselves out of what we hear, and unlike hearing is a process. Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen. Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits’ in this  image, consider each one and then decide if you have any of them. Ask a friend if they think you have! Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few, so make some notes on your bad listening habits and what you can do to change them! 

Poor listening

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops us listening actively, and how we can improve.

BARRIERS TO ACTIVE LISTENING

Thinking time – Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak. In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.Communications barrier graphic

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak. Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander. This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Midler,Bette Middler

”That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think about me!”

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about ourselves, or about a similar situation we found ourselves in.

You may even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may fall into the habit of ‘capping’! Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case. So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘”Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me!” During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for your chance to speak?”

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker. Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said. We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

  • room too hot; too cold
  • chair too hard; too softBarrier arrow
  • noise (e.g. telephone)
  • lighting too bright; too dim
  • draughts
  • poor ventilation; stuffy atmosphere
  • smells; perfume
  • interruptions
  • distractions – external, such as a fly buzzing round; or internal, such as a random out-of-the-blue thought!



Feedback

In the previous lesson we discussed how important feedback is. So when we’re the receiver we should volunteer good quality feedback so the sender knows how we’ve interpreted their message. That means when it’s our turn to speak, we don’t just make our next point, but we refer to what they’ve just said first.

When seeking to give customers excellence, this also has the important benefit of acknowledging what they’ve said, and showing that we’re paying attention and taking them seriously. It in effect pays them a compliment, and it’s great for building rapport.

However, you can’t properly refer to what they’ve just said unless you were genuinely listening! So giving feedback has one other extremely important benefit! To be able to do it at all, you have to listen actively!cartoon about speech

So here’s another golden rule.

“To be a good listener, always be ready to give feedback”


Questioning

To satisfy customers we need to provide what the customer wants, and for excellence we need to exceed their expectations. But we need to know first what those wants and expectations are! A lot of our communication therefore involves finding out about their wants and expectations, and this means asking questions.

questions graphic

We also, as we have seen above, need to get feedback from them. We need to know if we’ve been understood the way we intended; and whether the things we offer, or do for them, meet their requirements. And we need to know if they agree or disagree with the ideas and propositions we put to them.

So questions are an essential part of our communication process. However our questions are not always effective! Sometimes we don’t phrase our questions very well, and as a result we don’t get very useful answers!

Unfortunately we are ‘on auto-pilot’ 95% of the time, and our questions often just role off the tongue without enough thought!

The most common mistake is to use a ‘closed’ question when an ‘open’ one would be better. This is because we naturally use closed questions 80% of the time, and they tend to be easier to formulate.

Closed Questions

These are questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They use questioning words like: ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘should’, ‘do’, ‘are’, etc. So they’re great if you just want a ‘yes or no’ answer.

“Will you take a window seat and centre seat in row 16 sir?’

Open Questions

These cannot be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So they tend to get more information. The information may be a single word, as in:

“What’s your name sir?” ……. “Mr Simpson”
You can also ask two questions together, provided you are good at listening:

”When will the other passengers be checking in? Or are they checking in separately?”

Open questions use the following seven questioning words:

Who, what, where, when, how, why, and which.

What’s the ‘Right’ Question? 

The common mistake is to ask a closed question when an open one would be better and would give you more information, as in:

“Don’t you just love the new Air New Zealand uniforms?”question mark
“Yes”.

Not only does this get less information form the person, but it’s really about your idea, your thinking, and not theirs! It’s actually just asking if they agree with you – which is fine if that’s what you want to do. The problem comes if we ask our question this way (on auto-pilot) when we really do want to know what they think!

The key therefore, as with all communication is to be clear in your mind what you are trying to achieve – in this case what you want to find out. Then you need to choose the best form of question for that – the most appropriate structure and choice of words.

“What do you think of the new uniform?”


 

Ground Crew – Listening Skills

LISTENING SKILLSBald Man Wearing Headphones

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should use them in that proportion!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life. Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function.

Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing = 9%questioning curly head
Reading = 16%
Talking = 30% 
Listening = 45%

Unfortunately – few people are really good listeners. Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same thing as hearing! Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort. Listening is quite different – it involves creating meaning for ourselves out of what we hear, and unlike hearing is a process. Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen. Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits’ in this  image, consider each one and then decide if you have any of them. Ask a friend if they think you have! Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few, so make some notes on your bad listening habits and what you can do to change them! 

Poor listening

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops us listening actively, and how we can improve.

BARRIERS TO ACTIVE LISTENING

Thinking time – Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak. In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.Communications barrier graphic

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak. Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander. This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Midler,Bette Middler

”That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think about me!”

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about ourselves, or about a similar situation we found ourselves in.

You may even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may fall into the habit of ‘capping’! Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case. So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘”Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me!” During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for your chance to speak?”

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker. Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said. We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

  • room too hot; too cold
  • chair too hard; too softBarrier arrow
  • noise (e.g. telephone)
  • lighting too bright; too dim
  • draughts
  • poor ventilation; stuffy atmosphere
  • smells; perfume
  • interruptions
  • distractions – external, such as a fly buzzing round; or internal, such as a random out-of-the-blue thought!



Feedback

In the previous lesson we discussed how important feedback is. So when we’re the receiver we should volunteer good quality feedback so the sender knows how we’ve interpreted their message. That means when it’s our turn to speak, we don’t just make our next point, but we refer to what they’ve just said first.

When seeking to give customers excellence, this also has the important benefit of acknowledging what they’ve said, and showing that we’re paying attention and taking them seriously. It in effect pays them a compliment, and it’s great for building rapport.

However, you can’t properly refer to what they’ve just said unless you were genuinely listening! So giving feedback has one other extremely important benefit! To be able to do it at all, you have to listen actively!cartoon about speech

So here’s another golden rule.

“To be a good listener, always be ready to give feedback”


Questioning

To satisfy customers we need to provide what the customer wants, and for excellence we need to exceed their expectations. But we need to know first what those wants and expectations are! A lot of our communication therefore involves finding out about their wants and expectations, and this means asking questions.

questions graphic

We also, as we have seen above, need to get feedback from them. We need to know if we’ve been understood the way we intended; and whether the things we offer, or do for them, meet their requirements. And we need to know if they agree or disagree with the ideas and propositions we put to them.

So questions are an essential part of our communication process. However our questions are not always effective! Sometimes we don’t phrase our questions very well, and as a result we don’t get very useful answers!

Unfortunately we are ‘on auto-pilot’ 95% of the time, and our questions often just role off the tongue without enough thought!

The most common mistake is to use a ‘closed’ question when an ‘open’ one would be better. This is because we naturally use closed questions 80% of the time, and they tend to be easier to formulate.

Closed Questions

These are questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They use questioning words like: ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘should’, ‘do’, ‘are’, etc. So they’re great if you just want a ‘yes or no’ answer.

“Will you take a window seat and centre seat in row 16 sir?’

Open Questions

These cannot be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So they tend to get more information. The information may be a single word, as in:

“What’s your name sir?” ……. “Mr Simpson”
You can also ask two questions together, provided you are good at listening:

”When will the other passengers be checking in? Or are they checking in separately?”

Open questions use the following seven questioning words:

Who, what, where, when, how, why, and which.

What’s the ‘Right’ Question? 

The common mistake is to ask a closed question when an open one would be better and would give you more information, as in:

“Don’t you just love the new Air New Zealand uniforms?”question mark
“Yes”.

Not only does this get less information form the person, but it’s really about your idea, your thinking, and not theirs! It’s actually just asking if they agree with you – which is fine if that’s what you want to do. The problem comes if we ask our question this way (on auto-pilot) when we really do want to know what they think!

The key therefore, as with all communication is to be clear in your mind what you are trying to achieve – in this case what you want to find out. Then you need to choose the best form of question for that – the most appropriate structure and choice of words.

“What do you think of the new uniform?”


 

Ground Crew – Listening Skills

LISTENING SKILLSBald Man Wearing Headphones

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should use them in that proportion!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life. Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function.

Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing = 9%questioning curly head
Reading = 16%
Talking = 30% 
Listening = 45%

Unfortunately – few people are really good listeners. Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same thing as hearing! Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort. Listening is quite different – it involves creating meaning for ourselves out of what we hear, and unlike hearing is a process. Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen. Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits’ in this  image, consider each one and then decide if you have any of them. Ask a friend if they think you have! Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few, so make some notes on your bad listening habits and what you can do to change them! 

Poor listening

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops us listening actively, and how we can improve.

BARRIERS TO ACTIVE LISTENING

Thinking time – Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak. In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.Communications barrier graphic

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak. Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander. This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Midler,Bette Middler

”That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think about me!”

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about ourselves, or about a similar situation we found ourselves in.

You may even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may fall into the habit of ‘capping’! Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case. So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘”Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me!” During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for your chance to speak?”

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker. Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said. We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

  • room too hot; too cold
  • chair too hard; too softBarrier arrow
  • noise (e.g. telephone)
  • lighting too bright; too dim
  • draughts
  • poor ventilation; stuffy atmosphere
  • smells; perfume
  • interruptions
  • distractions – external, such as a fly buzzing round; or internal, such as a random out-of-the-blue thought!



Feedback

In the previous lesson we discussed how important feedback is. So when we’re the receiver we should volunteer good quality feedback so the sender knows how we’ve interpreted their message. That means when it’s our turn to speak, we don’t just make our next point, but we refer to what they’ve just said first.

When seeking to give customers excellence, this also has the important benefit of acknowledging what they’ve said, and showing that we’re paying attention and taking them seriously. It in effect pays them a compliment, and it’s great for building rapport.

However, you can’t properly refer to what they’ve just said unless you were genuinely listening! So giving feedback has one other extremely important benefit! To be able to do it at all, you have to listen actively!cartoon about speech

So here’s another golden rule.

“To be a good listener, always be ready to give feedback”


Questioning

To satisfy customers we need to provide what the customer wants, and for excellence we need to exceed their expectations. But we need to know first what those wants and expectations are! A lot of our communication therefore involves finding out about their wants and expectations, and this means asking questions.

questions graphic

We also, as we have seen above, need to get feedback from them. We need to know if we’ve been understood the way we intended; and whether the things we offer, or do for them, meet their requirements. And we need to know if they agree or disagree with the ideas and propositions we put to them.

So questions are an essential part of our communication process. However our questions are not always effective! Sometimes we don’t phrase our questions very well, and as a result we don’t get very useful answers!

Unfortunately we are ‘on auto-pilot’ 95% of the time, and our questions often just role off the tongue without enough thought!

The most common mistake is to use a ‘closed’ question when an ‘open’ one would be better. This is because we naturally use closed questions 80% of the time, and they tend to be easier to formulate.

Closed Questions

These are questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They use questioning words like: ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘should’, ‘do’, ‘are’, etc. So they’re great if you just want a ‘yes or no’ answer.

“Will you take a window seat and centre seat in row 16 sir?’

Open Questions

These cannot be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. So they tend to get more information. The information may be a single word, as in:

“What’s your name sir?” ……. “Mr Simpson”
You can also ask two questions together, provided you are good at listening:

”When will the other passengers be checking in? Or are they checking in separately?”

Open questions use the following seven questioning words:

Who, what, where, when, how, why, and which.

What’s the ‘Right’ Question? 

The common mistake is to ask a closed question when an open one would be better and would give you more information, as in:

“Don’t you just love the new Air New Zealand uniforms?”question mark
“Yes”.

Not only does this get less information form the person, but it’s really about your idea, your thinking, and not theirs! It’s actually just asking if they agree with you – which is fine if that’s what you want to do. The problem comes if we ask our question this way (on auto-pilot) when we really do want to know what they think!

The key therefore, as with all communication is to be clear in your mind what you are trying to achieve – in this case what you want to find out. Then you need to choose the best form of question for that – the most appropriate structure and choice of words.

“What do you think of the new uniform?”


 

Ground Crew – Passenger Handling

PASSENGER HANDLING – Communicating with Customers

OverviewPassenger at check in

As a Passenger Service Agent you will play a major part in representing the airline to the passengers who are travelling with you, and part of that is about delivering excellent customer service. Every passenger you deal with is a valued customer who has made a choice to use your airline rather than another, and it’s important to never forget that!

As delivering great customer service comes from the way you communicate with the customers the first section in this Passenger Handling chapter is all about communications.

Being able to communicate effectively with your customers, whatever role you hold, will be key to your success! Airlines and airport employers look for staff who have good rapport with people, and who recognise the value of being a competent communicator. If you work as a Passenger Service Agent you will come across people from all walks of life in your daily work, from the colleagues you work with, to the senior managers and other airport staff, through to the most important people in your organisation – your customers!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the basic process of communication between people
  • Identify three components of face-to-face communication
  • Identify important considerations when choosing words
  • Use effective ways to clarify misunderstandings
  • Recognise and be able to modify key aspects of your voice tone and body language
  • Identify and overcome a range of barriers to effective communication
  • Apply the key principles of effective listening
  • Apply the key principles of effective questioning

How we communicate with customers is a key part of giving great customer service. There are a lot of possible reasons for communication. For example we may need to:

Cartoon two people communicating

  • build rapport with our customers – show that we’re friendly and professional
  • inspire confidence in our abilities to do a good job for the customer
  • find out exactly what our customers want
  • confirm that we understand them and what’s important to them
  • resolve issues or complaints

To do this there are many different facets to communication. We can all talk; but precisely what we say, and how we say it, is critical to our success as a customer service provider. And if we choose to, we can all get better at it. We can practise our communication skills; and also the judgments we need to make about what to say, and how to say it, in each situation.

The main skills and judgments include:

  • Presenting information
  • Asking questions
  • Listening
  • Giving feedback so they know we understand them

Above all, projecting the right attitude by using the right voice tone and body language.

These ‘non-verbal’ elements are often the most critical! When assessing a person’s attitude people take most notice of voice tone and body language. In fact we can often tell a person’s attitude just by looking at them! And when they speak, we can tell even more by how they sound.

This chapter looks at the various components and applications of communication to customer service situations.

Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this SILVER course, quizzes & assessment, do just that! You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Communication Process

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why sometimes it doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way process…. and cannot take place if there is nobody to communicate with! Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students, a customer service professional needs customers!!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

The ‘message’ being transmitted may be factual information, ideas, thoughts or feelings.

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and RECEIVING them? So both people in any communication have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“You each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Check this Communications Model, as it explains visually how the communication process works:

Communications Model

STOP + THINK Activity: 

Think of a communications example where all of the stages of the Communication Model applied. Make notes about what happened at each stage. 

Sending

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate. They need to formulate the message in their head and then deliver it. If they are initiating the communication exchange, they may also choose the communication channel – written (words only), phone (words plus voice tone), or face-to-face (words plus voice plus body language).

The key for the sender is to be clear on what they want to say and why; and then choose words (and voice tone/body language) that are most likely to be understood by the receiver.

Receiving

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant. Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from that of the sender! Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but….. ‘ or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’. These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Interference

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference’. Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended. Interference could include noise, Communications barrier graphiclanguage problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.

 

Feedback

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver should offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, it can take many forms. A frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the head! – these are all forms of feedback. Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, and whether is being understood the way you intended – or not.

When a communication is really important, the receiver should give feedback in words – a summary perhaps of the key points. In important situations, like air traffic control, the protocol is that the receiver will echo the message word for word! Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

When you are the sender, and the message is important, if the receiver doesn’t naturally offer feedback, you should ask for it.

Feedback is a message back to the sender, and is also therefore subject to interference. So sometimes we may even need feedback on the feedback! The cycle should continue until the sender is confident that the receiver understands the message the way that they, the sender, intended!

Once this happens, the communication cycle is complete!

The Communication Cake!

When people use spoken language to communicate, they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body and face are doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word (especially in face-to-face communication) is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication. This ‘cake’ is a chart which shows that on average, 55% of meaning lies in the body language; 38% in the voice tone; and just 7% in the choice of words!

Checkout this chart that shows these percentages:

Communication pie chart

Choosing the right words

Even though the ‘cake’ says only 7% of the meaning lies in the choice of words, the words are still critical. It is the words that convey the facts and the detail. In this day and age of electronic communication (email, text, SMS, twitter) the words you use a very very important, even more so because no tone of voice or body language accompanies these electronic messages.

The golden rule is to be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand. And think first about what you want to get across. Engage the brain before opening the mouth!

However sometimes the ideas we have in our mind cannot be easily put into words. These ideas may include feelings and attitudes which are not easy for others to understand.

Also we all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language. But it’s just as difficult if the people we are talking to, in the same language, interpret our words differently from us for some reason.positive person graphic

Some typical word problems:

  1. jargon or technical terms we do not know
  2. long words we’ve never heard of
  3. slang or swearing which we don’t like

Language Style

We use different styles of language for different situations. Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work!

So never use slang words or ‘street’ language with customers – it’s just not professional. Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace. Never swear in front of a customer, or in fact anywhere when at work. You never know who might hear, and you don’t want to offend anyone.

This chart shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between:

Language styles

Jargon, long words, and slang

Try to avoid using jargon or technical terms that customers may not know. However, jargon can be very useful since it is usually shorter and quicker. So if you do choose to use jargon, just make sure that the other person understands it.

Also it may be tempting to use long words. Even when speaking the same native language, you may have a better range of vocabulary than your receiver does.

The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are! It’s not necessary to use long words, or a lot of words, – just use the right words-.

The precipitation within the Iberian Peninsular descends predominantly upon the extensive uninterrupted horizontal land form.Talking & listening graphic

(The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain)!

Remember the golden rule: Be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand.

Misunderstandings

If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again! Or even worse, say it louder! If they misunderstood you first time they probably will the second! So either get them to tell you, through feedback, what it is they understand so far. This’ll tell you where you need to do some more explaining. Or, if you do choose to repeat the whole message, try explaining it differently – in different words.

Don’t blame the receiver of the message if they don’t understand! It could be your responsibility for not explaining it clearly, or for not choosing words that they can understand. The first thing you should do if you suspect you’ve been misunderstood is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you select words which:

  1. convey the exact meaning?
  2. indicate the appropriate emotion?
  3. suit the formality level of the situation?
  4. Did you choose words which they could understand and accept?

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still find that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone.

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. In the communication ‘cake’ above, we saw that 38% of the meaning is carried by the tone. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.Cartoon man with sign

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions.

For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure.

Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative. Generally we should vary our pitch as we speak, in a way that suits the topic. The alternative – a steady even pitch, can-be-very-dull-and-boring!

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you. However speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.gold loudspeaker

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice, particularly on the phone. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording.

Body language

 ‘Words may lie but the body seldom does!’

To communicate effectively with customers we need to understand the language our body speaks so that we can:

  • use it effectively to help others understand what we are saying
  • recognise it in others, so that we can more accurately interpret what they are telling us

All information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 80% of the information that reaches our brains. About 14% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 6%.Dalmation

The communication ‘cake’ shows that 55% of the meaning in communication is visual. The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use. Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel, which may or may not be helpful!

Here are the main elements of body language (including facial expression) that we need to be aware of:

Posture

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body. It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves, raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you. They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner. Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.smiley monkey

People feeling superior and arrogant may cross their legs openly (ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other) and lean back with their hands clasped at the back of their head.

Facial expressions

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other species on this planet! As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.

The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive. Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signify surprise, but raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure. There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eye contact

Eye contact is very important to customer relationships. If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense, we might appear aggressive and make the client feel uncomfortable. If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression. Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression.

However, eye contact can vary greatly between cultures.

We are effectively saying, is ‘ I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself. I am looking forward to our transaction!’

Checkout these websites for further insights about body language:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_communication

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described above as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication.

Non-Verbal Communication

As we saw earlier in this chapter, our voice tone and body language convey a lot. For clear communication this needs to ‘match’ what our words are saying. When it does it reinforces our message. When it doesn’t it can be very confusing.

For example if your manager said in a quiet, dull voice, with a flat facial expression, “After lunch I’ve got something really exciting for you”, what would you believe? We’d probably be suspicious and confused!strange dog expression

Why does this happen? Well sometimes we let our underlying emotions prevail, even when we’re communicating on something different. So a contact centre consultant may just have finished a call with an angry and abusive caller who insulted them. On the next call their voice is shaky and weak, projecting a lack of confidence. The new caller then quickly becomes uncertain whether the consultant can help them, irrespective of the words the consultant uses!

Personal issues

If we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to listen effectively to others. From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to listen effectively.

If you have no interest in what is being said, boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Premature Evaluation!… or jumping to conclusions! You may think you know what’s coming next…. and then not bother to listen to the rest of the message.

Culture

Often our non-verbal communication can cause barriers between people from different cultures. Some gestures have different meanings. For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the Pacific Islands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.Mexican doll

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication. Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact. Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact. However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture, religion or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication. This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications. In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

 

STOP + THINK Activity:

Think of two recent communications you were part of that didn’t go very well. One with an ‘external’ customer, (a customer of the company you work for) and one with an ‘internal’ customer (a colleague who works within the business you work for).

  • What was the situation?
  • What barriers to communication were present?
  • What was the outcome?



Ground Crew – Passenger Handling

PASSENGER HANDLING – Communicating with Customers

OverviewPassenger at check in

As a Passenger Service Agent you will play a major part in representing the airline to the passengers who are travelling with you, and part of that is about delivering excellent customer service. Every passenger you deal with is a valued customer who has made a choice to use your airline rather than another, and it’s important to never forget that!

As delivering great customer service comes from the way you communicate with the customers the first section in this Passenger Handling chapter is all about communications.

Being able to communicate effectively with your customers, whatever role you hold, will be key to your success! Airlines and airport employers look for staff who have good rapport with people, and who recognise the value of being a competent communicator. If you work as a Passenger Service Agent you will come across people from all walks of life in your daily work, from the colleagues you work with, to the senior managers and other airport staff, through to the most important people in your organisation – your customers!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the basic process of communication between people
  • Identify three components of face-to-face communication
  • Identify important considerations when choosing words
  • Use effective ways to clarify misunderstandings
  • Recognise and be able to modify key aspects of your voice tone and body language
  • Identify and overcome a range of barriers to effective communication
  • Apply the key principles of effective listening
  • Apply the key principles of effective questioning

How we communicate with customers is a key part of giving great customer service. There are a lot of possible reasons for communication. For example we may need to:

Cartoon two people communicating

  • build rapport with our customers – show that we’re friendly and professional
  • inspire confidence in our abilities to do a good job for the customer
  • find out exactly what our customers want
  • confirm that we understand them and what’s important to them
  • resolve issues or complaints

To do this there are many different facets to communication. We can all talk; but precisely what we say, and how we say it, is critical to our success as a customer service provider. And if we choose to, we can all get better at it. We can practise our communication skills; and also the judgments we need to make about what to say, and how to say it, in each situation.

The main skills and judgments include:

  • Presenting information
  • Asking questions
  • Listening
  • Giving feedback so they know we understand them

Above all, projecting the right attitude by using the right voice tone and body language.

These ‘non-verbal’ elements are often the most critical! When assessing a person’s attitude people take most notice of voice tone and body language. In fact we can often tell a person’s attitude just by looking at them! And when they speak, we can tell even more by how they sound.

This chapter looks at the various components and applications of communication to customer service situations.

Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this SILVER course, quizzes & assessment, do just that! You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Communication Process

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why sometimes it doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way process…. and cannot take place if there is nobody to communicate with! Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students, a customer service professional needs customers!!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

The ‘message’ being transmitted may be factual information, ideas, thoughts or feelings.

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and RECEIVING them? So both people in any communication have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“You each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Check this Communications Model, as it explains visually how the communication process works:

Communications Model

STOP + THINK Activity: 

Think of a communications example where all of the stages of the Communication Model applied. Make notes about what happened at each stage. 

Sending

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate. They need to formulate the message in their head and then deliver it. If they are initiating the communication exchange, they may also choose the communication channel – written (words only), phone (words plus voice tone), or face-to-face (words plus voice plus body language).

The key for the sender is to be clear on what they want to say and why; and then choose words (and voice tone/body language) that are most likely to be understood by the receiver.

Receiving

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant. Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from that of the sender! Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but….. ‘ or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’. These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Interference

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference’. Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended. Interference could include noise, Communications barrier graphiclanguage problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.

 

Feedback

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver should offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, it can take many forms. A frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the head! – these are all forms of feedback. Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, and whether is being understood the way you intended – or not.

When a communication is really important, the receiver should give feedback in words – a summary perhaps of the key points. In important situations, like air traffic control, the protocol is that the receiver will echo the message word for word! Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

When you are the sender, and the message is important, if the receiver doesn’t naturally offer feedback, you should ask for it.

Feedback is a message back to the sender, and is also therefore subject to interference. So sometimes we may even need feedback on the feedback! The cycle should continue until the sender is confident that the receiver understands the message the way that they, the sender, intended!

Once this happens, the communication cycle is complete!

The Communication Cake!

When people use spoken language to communicate, they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body and face are doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word (especially in face-to-face communication) is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication. This ‘cake’ is a chart which shows that on average, 55% of meaning lies in the body language; 38% in the voice tone; and just 7% in the choice of words!

Checkout this chart that shows these percentages:

Communication pie chart

Choosing the right words

Even though the ‘cake’ says only 7% of the meaning lies in the choice of words, the words are still critical. It is the words that convey the facts and the detail. In this day and age of electronic communication (email, text, SMS, twitter) the words you use a very very important, even more so because no tone of voice or body language accompanies these electronic messages.

The golden rule is to be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand. And think first about what you want to get across. Engage the brain before opening the mouth!

However sometimes the ideas we have in our mind cannot be easily put into words. These ideas may include feelings and attitudes which are not easy for others to understand.

Also we all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language. But it’s just as difficult if the people we are talking to, in the same language, interpret our words differently from us for some reason.positive person graphic

Some typical word problems:

  1. jargon or technical terms we do not know
  2. long words we’ve never heard of
  3. slang or swearing which we don’t like

Language Style

We use different styles of language for different situations. Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work!

So never use slang words or ‘street’ language with customers – it’s just not professional. Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace. Never swear in front of a customer, or in fact anywhere when at work. You never know who might hear, and you don’t want to offend anyone.

This chart shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between:

Language styles

Jargon, long words, and slang

Try to avoid using jargon or technical terms that customers may not know. However, jargon can be very useful since it is usually shorter and quicker. So if you do choose to use jargon, just make sure that the other person understands it.

Also it may be tempting to use long words. Even when speaking the same native language, you may have a better range of vocabulary than your receiver does.

The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are! It’s not necessary to use long words, or a lot of words, – just use the right words-.

The precipitation within the Iberian Peninsular descends predominantly upon the extensive uninterrupted horizontal land form.Talking & listening graphic

(The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain)!

Remember the golden rule: Be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand.

Misunderstandings

If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again! Or even worse, say it louder! If they misunderstood you first time they probably will the second! So either get them to tell you, through feedback, what it is they understand so far. This’ll tell you where you need to do some more explaining. Or, if you do choose to repeat the whole message, try explaining it differently – in different words.

Don’t blame the receiver of the message if they don’t understand! It could be your responsibility for not explaining it clearly, or for not choosing words that they can understand. The first thing you should do if you suspect you’ve been misunderstood is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you select words which:

  1. convey the exact meaning?
  2. indicate the appropriate emotion?
  3. suit the formality level of the situation?
  4. Did you choose words which they could understand and accept?

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still find that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone.

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. In the communication ‘cake’ above, we saw that 38% of the meaning is carried by the tone. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.Cartoon man with sign

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions.

For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure.

Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative. Generally we should vary our pitch as we speak, in a way that suits the topic. The alternative – a steady even pitch, can-be-very-dull-and-boring!

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you. However speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.gold loudspeaker

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice, particularly on the phone. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording.

Body language

 ‘Words may lie but the body seldom does!’

To communicate effectively with customers we need to understand the language our body speaks so that we can:

  • use it effectively to help others understand what we are saying
  • recognise it in others, so that we can more accurately interpret what they are telling us

All information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 80% of the information that reaches our brains. About 14% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 6%.Dalmation

The communication ‘cake’ shows that 55% of the meaning in communication is visual. The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use. Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel, which may or may not be helpful!

Here are the main elements of body language (including facial expression) that we need to be aware of:

Posture

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body. It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves, raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you. They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner. Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.smiley monkey

People feeling superior and arrogant may cross their legs openly (ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other) and lean back with their hands clasped at the back of their head.

Facial expressions

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other species on this planet! As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.

The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive. Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signify surprise, but raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure. There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eye contact

Eye contact is very important to customer relationships. If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense, we might appear aggressive and make the client feel uncomfortable. If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression. Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression.

However, eye contact can vary greatly between cultures.

We are effectively saying, is ‘ I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself. I am looking forward to our transaction!’

Checkout these websites for further insights about body language:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_communication

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described above as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication.

Non-Verbal Communication

As we saw earlier in this chapter, our voice tone and body language convey a lot. For clear communication this needs to ‘match’ what our words are saying. When it does it reinforces our message. When it doesn’t it can be very confusing.

For example if your manager said in a quiet, dull voice, with a flat facial expression, “After lunch I’ve got something really exciting for you”, what would you believe? We’d probably be suspicious and confused!strange dog expression

Why does this happen? Well sometimes we let our underlying emotions prevail, even when we’re communicating on something different. So a contact centre consultant may just have finished a call with an angry and abusive caller who insulted them. On the next call their voice is shaky and weak, projecting a lack of confidence. The new caller then quickly becomes uncertain whether the consultant can help them, irrespective of the words the consultant uses!

Personal issues

If we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to listen effectively to others. From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to listen effectively.

If you have no interest in what is being said, boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Premature Evaluation!… or jumping to conclusions! You may think you know what’s coming next…. and then not bother to listen to the rest of the message.

Culture

Often our non-verbal communication can cause barriers between people from different cultures. Some gestures have different meanings. For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the Pacific Islands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.Mexican doll

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication. Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact. Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact. However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture, religion or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication. This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications. In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

 

STOP + THINK Activity:

Think of two recent communications you were part of that didn’t go very well. One with an ‘external’ customer, (a customer of the company you work for) and one with an ‘internal’ customer (a colleague who works within the business you work for).

  • What was the situation?
  • What barriers to communication were present?
  • What was the outcome?



Ground Crew – Passenger Handling

PASSENGER HANDLING – Communicating with Customers

OverviewPassenger at check in

As a Passenger Service Agent you will play a major part in representing the airline to the passengers who are travelling with you, and part of that is about delivering excellent customer service. Every passenger you deal with is a valued customer who has made a choice to use your airline rather than another, and it’s important to never forget that!

As delivering great customer service comes from the way you communicate with the customers the first section in this Passenger Handling chapter is all about communications.

Being able to communicate effectively with your customers, whatever role you hold, will be key to your success! Airlines and airport employers look for staff who have good rapport with people, and who recognise the value of being a competent communicator. If you work as a Passenger Service Agent you will come across people from all walks of life in your daily work, from the colleagues you work with, to the senior managers and other airport staff, through to the most important people in your organisation – your customers!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this section of the chapter you will be able to:

  • Describe the basic process of communication between people
  • Identify three components of face-to-face communication
  • Identify important considerations when choosing words
  • Use effective ways to clarify misunderstandings
  • Recognise and be able to modify key aspects of your voice tone and body language
  • Identify and overcome a range of barriers to effective communication
  • Apply the key principles of effective listening
  • Apply the key principles of effective questioning

How we communicate with customers is a key part of giving great customer service. There are a lot of possible reasons for communication. For example we may need to:

Cartoon two people communicating

  • build rapport with our customers – show that we’re friendly and professional
  • inspire confidence in our abilities to do a good job for the customer
  • find out exactly what our customers want
  • confirm that we understand them and what’s important to them
  • resolve issues or complaints

To do this there are many different facets to communication. We can all talk; but precisely what we say, and how we say it, is critical to our success as a customer service provider. And if we choose to, we can all get better at it. We can practise our communication skills; and also the judgments we need to make about what to say, and how to say it, in each situation.

The main skills and judgments include:

  • Presenting information
  • Asking questions
  • Listening
  • Giving feedback so they know we understand them

Above all, projecting the right attitude by using the right voice tone and body language.

These ‘non-verbal’ elements are often the most critical! When assessing a person’s attitude people take most notice of voice tone and body language. In fact we can often tell a person’s attitude just by looking at them! And when they speak, we can tell even more by how they sound.

This chapter looks at the various components and applications of communication to customer service situations.

Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this SILVER course, quizzes & assessment, do just that! You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Communication Process

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why sometimes it doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way process…. and cannot take place if there is nobody to communicate with! Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students, a customer service professional needs customers!!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

The ‘message’ being transmitted may be factual information, ideas, thoughts or feelings.

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and RECEIVING them? So both people in any communication have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“You each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Check this Communications Model, as it explains visually how the communication process works:

Communications Model

STOP + THINK Activity: 

Think of a communications example where all of the stages of the Communication Model applied. Make notes about what happened at each stage. 

Sending

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate. They need to formulate the message in their head and then deliver it. If they are initiating the communication exchange, they may also choose the communication channel – written (words only), phone (words plus voice tone), or face-to-face (words plus voice plus body language).

The key for the sender is to be clear on what they want to say and why; and then choose words (and voice tone/body language) that are most likely to be understood by the receiver.

Receiving

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant. Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from that of the sender! Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but….. ‘ or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’. These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Interference

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference’. Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended. Interference could include noise, Communications barrier graphiclanguage problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.

 

Feedback

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver should offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, it can take many forms. A frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the head! – these are all forms of feedback. Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, and whether is being understood the way you intended – or not.

When a communication is really important, the receiver should give feedback in words – a summary perhaps of the key points. In important situations, like air traffic control, the protocol is that the receiver will echo the message word for word! Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

When you are the sender, and the message is important, if the receiver doesn’t naturally offer feedback, you should ask for it.

Feedback is a message back to the sender, and is also therefore subject to interference. So sometimes we may even need feedback on the feedback! The cycle should continue until the sender is confident that the receiver understands the message the way that they, the sender, intended!

Once this happens, the communication cycle is complete!

The Communication Cake!

When people use spoken language to communicate, they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body and face are doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word (especially in face-to-face communication) is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication. This ‘cake’ is a chart which shows that on average, 55% of meaning lies in the body language; 38% in the voice tone; and just 7% in the choice of words!

Checkout this chart that shows these percentages:

Communication pie chart

Choosing the right words

Even though the ‘cake’ says only 7% of the meaning lies in the choice of words, the words are still critical. It is the words that convey the facts and the detail. In this day and age of electronic communication (email, text, SMS, twitter) the words you use a very very important, even more so because no tone of voice or body language accompanies these electronic messages.

The golden rule is to be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand. And think first about what you want to get across. Engage the brain before opening the mouth!

However sometimes the ideas we have in our mind cannot be easily put into words. These ideas may include feelings and attitudes which are not easy for others to understand.

Also we all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language. But it’s just as difficult if the people we are talking to, in the same language, interpret our words differently from us for some reason.positive person graphic

Some typical word problems:

  1. jargon or technical terms we do not know
  2. long words we’ve never heard of
  3. slang or swearing which we don’t like

Language Style

We use different styles of language for different situations. Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work!

So never use slang words or ‘street’ language with customers – it’s just not professional. Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace. Never swear in front of a customer, or in fact anywhere when at work. You never know who might hear, and you don’t want to offend anyone.

This chart shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between:

Language styles

Jargon, long words, and slang

Try to avoid using jargon or technical terms that customers may not know. However, jargon can be very useful since it is usually shorter and quicker. So if you do choose to use jargon, just make sure that the other person understands it.

Also it may be tempting to use long words. Even when speaking the same native language, you may have a better range of vocabulary than your receiver does.

The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are! It’s not necessary to use long words, or a lot of words, – just use the right words-.

The precipitation within the Iberian Peninsular descends predominantly upon the extensive uninterrupted horizontal land form.Talking & listening graphic

(The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain)!

Remember the golden rule: Be sure that you choose words that the other person will understand.

Misunderstandings

If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again! Or even worse, say it louder! If they misunderstood you first time they probably will the second! So either get them to tell you, through feedback, what it is they understand so far. This’ll tell you where you need to do some more explaining. Or, if you do choose to repeat the whole message, try explaining it differently – in different words.

Don’t blame the receiver of the message if they don’t understand! It could be your responsibility for not explaining it clearly, or for not choosing words that they can understand. The first thing you should do if you suspect you’ve been misunderstood is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you select words which:

  1. convey the exact meaning?
  2. indicate the appropriate emotion?
  3. suit the formality level of the situation?
  4. Did you choose words which they could understand and accept?

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still find that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone.

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. In the communication ‘cake’ above, we saw that 38% of the meaning is carried by the tone. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.Cartoon man with sign

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions.

For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure.

Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative. Generally we should vary our pitch as we speak, in a way that suits the topic. The alternative – a steady even pitch, can-be-very-dull-and-boring!

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you. However speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.gold loudspeaker

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice, particularly on the phone. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

STOP + THINK Activity:

Record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording.

Body language

 ‘Words may lie but the body seldom does!’

To communicate effectively with customers we need to understand the language our body speaks so that we can:

  • use it effectively to help others understand what we are saying
  • recognise it in others, so that we can more accurately interpret what they are telling us

All information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 80% of the information that reaches our brains. About 14% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 6%.Dalmation

The communication ‘cake’ shows that 55% of the meaning in communication is visual. The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use. Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel, which may or may not be helpful!

Here are the main elements of body language (including facial expression) that we need to be aware of:

Posture

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body. It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves, raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you. They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner. Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.smiley monkey

People feeling superior and arrogant may cross their legs openly (ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other) and lean back with their hands clasped at the back of their head.

Facial expressions

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other species on this planet! As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.

The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive. Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signify surprise, but raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure. There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eye contact

Eye contact is very important to customer relationships. If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense, we might appear aggressive and make the client feel uncomfortable. If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression. Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression.

However, eye contact can vary greatly between cultures.

We are effectively saying, is ‘ I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself. I am looking forward to our transaction!’

Checkout these websites for further insights about body language:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_communication

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described above as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication.

Non-Verbal Communication

As we saw earlier in this chapter, our voice tone and body language convey a lot. For clear communication this needs to ‘match’ what our words are saying. When it does it reinforces our message. When it doesn’t it can be very confusing.

For example if your manager said in a quiet, dull voice, with a flat facial expression, “After lunch I’ve got something really exciting for you”, what would you believe? We’d probably be suspicious and confused!strange dog expression

Why does this happen? Well sometimes we let our underlying emotions prevail, even when we’re communicating on something different. So a contact centre consultant may just have finished a call with an angry and abusive caller who insulted them. On the next call their voice is shaky and weak, projecting a lack of confidence. The new caller then quickly becomes uncertain whether the consultant can help them, irrespective of the words the consultant uses!

Personal issues

If we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to listen effectively to others. From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to listen effectively.

If you have no interest in what is being said, boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Premature Evaluation!… or jumping to conclusions! You may think you know what’s coming next…. and then not bother to listen to the rest of the message.

Culture

Often our non-verbal communication can cause barriers between people from different cultures. Some gestures have different meanings. For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the Pacific Islands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.Mexican doll

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication. Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact. Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact. However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture, religion or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication. This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications. In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

 

STOP + THINK Activity:

Think of two recent communications you were part of that didn’t go very well. One with an ‘external’ customer, (a customer of the company you work for) and one with an ‘internal’ customer (a colleague who works within the business you work for).

  • What was the situation?
  • What barriers to communication were present?
  • What was the outcome?



Ground Crew – Ground Staff Role

GROUND STAFF ROLEITCNOV2010-111

Overview

Airlines employ people to work for them at airports in which they operate to provide a range of services to the airlines and its passengers.

These airline staff may include:

  • Ramp AgentsSydney Airports T1 Terminal
  • Passenger Service Agents
  • Boarding Gate Agents
  • Ticketing Agents
  • Flight Dispatchers
  • Baggage Handlers
  • Aircraft Mechanics

 

This chapter deals specifically with the work of the Passenger Service Agents or Customer Service Agents. They may work landside or airside, and have a prime responsibility to handle all check-in transactions with the passengers. They are generally referred to as ‘ground staff’ or ‘ground crew’ in order to differentiate them from airline staff who work on board the aircraft (called ‘air crew’ or ‘cabin crew’).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify the definition of a ground handling agent
  • Identify the key functions of a Passenger Service Agent
  • List the key requirements of Passenger Service Agents

Passenger Service Agents are employed by an airline or a ground handling agency contracted by an airline to manage services on their behalf. Ground handling agents provide the same kind of services as airline staff. Most passengers will notice no difference except the uniform will not be an airline uniform.

Menzies Aviation is a good example of a worldwide ground handling agency. They operate at more than 136 stations (airports) in 29 countries, with a worldwide staff of more than 17,000. They have contracts with more than 500 airlines delivering 800,000 flights annually.
(www.menziesaviation.com/)

The Passenger Service Agent key role is to ensure that passengers and baggage board the correct aircraft at the right time. This involves preparing and opening check-in desks in line with airline requirements, greeting passengers, dealing with passenger enquiries, checking tickets and passports, issuing seat numbers, boarding passes and luggage labels, asking security questions and preparing paper work for customs.

luggage

They may also help with lost luggage, delayed flights and missing connections, escorting unaccompanied minors, helping disabled passengers, and generally ensuring that all the passengers, and baggage, get to the right place, at the right time!

Agents also weigh passenger luggage and calculate any excess baggage charges.

Most Passenger Service Agents work at the check-in desk and also at the boarding/flight gate, where they will make passenger announcements and check boarding passes and passports.

The boom in the aviation industry has expanded opportunities for people interested in an airline career but who do not want to become a flight attendant. Airports are exciting and busy places, and provide stimulating and varied work environments with no two days the same!

Airline ground staff are also engaged in ‘trouble shooting.’ Helping lost passengers or passengers who have lost their documentation, are late for check-in, have missed their flight, have too much baggage, or who just need help generally, maybe because they are really nervous about the flying.

This involves a wide variety of customer service responsibilities including providing information, offering assistance at check in and at the gate, and ensuring that passengers are able to board and disembark their flights with minimum hassle.Boarding card

Airports can be stressful environments and ground staff need to be calm and reassuring with passengers, crucial in ensuring that their passage through airports is as pleasant as possible.

The Job

Check-in

For many passengers their first point of physical contact with the airline they are travelling with is at check-in. This makes it critical that the check-in agent/passenger service agent creates a good impression, regardless of whether they are employed by the airline or by a ground handling agent.

Check-in processes have changed significantly in recent years, and technology is advancing so rapidly that its hard to keep up! Passengers can now check-in from their computer or even their smartphone before they arrive at the airport. They can print out a boarding card and luggage tag and on arrival at the airport just need to use the ‘bag drop’ to put their luggage on the conveyor belt. No queues, no worrying about seat allocations – no worries!

Counter-free check-in is now available at many airports worldwide with airlines providing terminals for passengers to do their own check-in, weigh their own bag and print out tags and boarding cards. These terminal areas still employ ground staff who monitor the terminals ready to offer help as required.

Some passengers still prefer a helpful hand from the check-in agent, or have a complication in their booking that requires a more traditional style of check-in. Complex international journeys involving multi-sector trips, groups of passengers travelling together or travellers to certain countries will still need to use a conventional check-in counter.

If passengers need to change a ticket or journey, cancel a passenger or alter their booking in any way they will need to see a customer service agent at an airline counter (not at the check-in counter).

Document Checking

In all cases, whether the passenger checks-in online, at an airport terminal, or through a conventional check-in counter, they need to present these essential travel documentation:

  • A valid flight ticket or e-ticketPassport and Sunglasses
  • A valid passport or equivalent ID document

Sometimes passengers and journey types will also require:

  • A visa for travel
  • A work permit

Security Questioning

Passengers who check-in at desks and online are asked the following security questions:

  • Have you packed your bags personally?
  • Could anyone have interfered with your baggage?
  • Have you been given anything to take on board?

The passenger must correctly answer all three questions in order for the check-in processquestion mark to continue. If the passengers’ answers do not meet the ‘correct’ requirements the check-in agent will question the passenger further. If the check-in agent is still not satisfied with the replies the passenger is referred to the aviation security agents who will x-ray the luggage, search the luggage, and further question the passenger in order to determine if the passenger will be permitted to travel.

These security questions are designed to filter out those passengers who may be, either knowingly or unknowingly, involved in something which may threaten the safety of themselves and others.

Baggage

Check-in agents play a major role in the organising and appropriate documenting of airline passenger baggage as it is at check-in that it is sorted into checked and unchecked baggage, and processed through the baggage handling system.

Baggage that is checked in and will be loaded into the aircrafts’ hold is known as ‘checked baggage’. It is weighed and a luggage tag attached to it that provides details of the flight, Indian lady with lots of luggagethe passengers booking information, and destination. Such baggage is restricted to either a certain weight, dimension or quantity (see the ‘Baggage’ chapter for more information).

The check-in agent’s role is to weigh the items, determine the baggage allowance and apply the allowance according to the airline rules. If the passenger’s total baggage exceeds the weight they are allowed free of charge the agent will calculate the excess baggage charges.

Once weight and/or excess baggage charges have been determined the details are then recorded on the flight coupon of the passenger’s ticket. It is important that the correct weight is recorded on the ticket as it may be required for insurance purposes if the baggage is lost or damaged.

Before the checked baggage is removed from the scales it is labelled with a destination label. The flight number and destination are either computer printed or hand written on the baggage label.

Baggage that the passenger intends to carry with them onto the aircraft is known as unchecked baggage, carry-on or hand baggage. Airline rules vary on what they class as unchecked baggage, and the amount also differs depending on the type of fare or ticket the passenger has purchased. Generally speaking it must be small enough to be carried onto the aircraft by the passenger and put either in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of them. Most airlines limit hand luggage to 5 or 7 kgs.

Due to heightened security restrictions now in force with airlines the unchecked baggage must not contain any gels or liquids over 100 ml capacity. These items must be in a clear plastic bag and are screened separately by aviation security when the passenger makes their way through to the departure area.

Once baggage has left the check-in area via the conveyor belts it is transported to the main baggage hall of the airport where baggage handlers sort it and load it either onto large baggage carts or conveyor belts ready for transfer onto the aircraft.

auto checkin machine graphic

STOP + THINK Activity

Check out information relating to your nearest international airport:

Are any ground handling agents employed there? If so, what is the name of the company? How many staff do they employ? Which airline(s) do they represent?

What check-in systems are currently in use at the airport:
Are they using traditional serviced check-in counters or self-service check-in?
Is there any difference between the domestic and international check-in procedures?

What is the current restriction of carrying liquids and gels from this airport to both domestic and international destinations? Are the rules the same for both types of journeys?

Issuing Boarding Cards

Once a check-in agent has established the passenger’s identity, eligibility to fly, confirmed the reservation and checked in the baggage, the process is complete. At this stage the agent will print out and issue flight boarding cards and ticket tag receipts. The agent will also give the passengers instructions on how to proceed to the departure lounge and update them on flight delays or changes to schedule.

Ticketing

Some Passenger Service Agents may receive additional training and join the airline ticketing team at an airport. This work requires detailed knowledge of air ticketing, associated computer systems, and the rules around cancellations, changes to travel arrangements, upgrades, or any changes that fundamentally change the original ticketreservation.

This is a different role to the check-in role and these agents are primarily concerned with ticketing and collection of additional charges associated with the passengers’ changes to travel arrangements.

Meeting & Greeting passengers

Airline ground crew or the handling agent meet all flights that arrive at an airport. As the flight arrives the assigned staff member waits at the aircraft door to be visible as the door opens and the passengers start to disembark. This is an important service for airlines as the greeting person is on hand to help with disabled passengers, unaccompanied minors, unplanned for emergencies, and also to help direct passengers to connecting flights.

Gate Checks

Passenger Service Agents also work in the gate lounge in the airside area of airports. Their role in the gate lounge is to:

  • Prepare the passengers for boarding in order to meet the aircraft allocated departure time
  • Deal with any last minute seat changes and upgrades
  • Helping organise pushchairs and other large unchecked baggage for transfer to the hold
  • Conduct further security checks

The security checks include:

  • Checking the passenger manifest to ensure all passengers are checked in and in the lounge
  • Checking the boarding cards and detaching the airline portion for reconciliation later
  • Checking the passports against the passengers’ physical appearance as they board

Note: For security reasons many airports feature additional security checks, including cabin crew checking each passenger’s boarding card on boarding the aircraft. This is to ensure that no wrong passenger is accepted on a flight, and that the boarding cards are applicable to the date and flight in question. This measure has been implemented as a means of cross checking the procedures on the ground and to minimise any security incidents.

airport scanning image

The gate lounge crew handle all passenger announcements in the gate lounge, help passengers with arrangements in the event of delays, and stay with the passengers until they have boarded and the flight has departed.

Airline Lounges

Many airlines provide a lounge for their premium or frequent flyer passengers. The lounges are usually situated airside and are a haven from the hustle and bustle of a busy airport! They may also feature bathrooms, showers, sleeping cubicles and a range of amenities suited to the long haul travellers.

Airlines provide members of their frequent flyer programmes with complimentary food and drink, newspapers, internet access etc. The lounges are managed by airline ground staff who greet passengers as they arrive and deal with any enquiries they may have. This is often a place in which decisions are made around upgrading passengers to a higher class of service, and the lounge staff will help passengers requesting an upgrade.

As well as ensuring that the needs of the passengers are met, the lounge attendants are responsible for ensuring that passengers are alerted to the boarding of their flights, and in some cases physically escort the passengers through airport short cuts directly to the aircraft.

VIP sign

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout your nearest international airport:

  • Are there any airport/frequent flyer lounges located at the airport?
  • If so, which airlines have lounges at the airport?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are the restrictions on using the airline lounges?

Requirements to be a Passenger Service Agent

Working at an airport provides an exciting work environment but one that requires staff to have a good range of people skills along with a strong interest in air travel.

You may need to prepare for long or irregular hours since flights often arrive or depart at odd hours. Passengers who are experiencing delays or who have encountered other adverse situations may be angry and you’ll need patience and a strong sense of customer service to diffuse conflicts.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time using computers, communicating with other airline or airport departments, troubleshooting ticketing or check-in terminals, and dealing with passengers who may be stressed or anxious.

Whilst airlines and ground handling agents differ in their exact requirements, in general you will need:

  • A pleasant, confident and helpful manner
  • To enjoy working with the public
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • The ability to deal with difficult situations tactfully and diplomatically
  • To be flexible – able to respond quickly to changing priorities and work
  • To be happy working unsociable hours
  • Confident with technology
  • To be a good team player
  • A smart appearance

In addition airlines look for people who may have studied travel or tourism either at school or at a tertiary level, or who are experienced air travellers.customer service cartoon

Having experience in customer service jobs could give you a huge advantage in applying for airline or airport roles. Experience in the travel or tourism industries can give you an edge if you’re hoping to work for an airline, so gaining related customer service experience could be a good start.

Fluency in foreign languages can be useful in many career fields, but it is particularly handy in the airline world. Passengers arrive from anywhere in the world so being able to communicate in more than one language can make you stand out.

Training

Airlines and other airport based employers usually run their own structured training programmes, which last between four and eight weeks.

Training covers basic procedures, familiarisation with the airport, security training, emergency and evacuation procedures, how to use the public address system and also a manual handling course, which specifically trains you in how to lift heavy items and push wheelchairs.

The training will also cover the specific check-in system in use by the airline or ground handling agent. This training will include air fares and ticketing training along with training on passport and visa requirements for air travellers.

Completion of pre-employment training will stand you in good stead both at application and interview stage!


Ground Crew – Ground Staff Role

GROUND STAFF ROLEITCNOV2010-111

Overview

Airlines employ people to work for them at airports in which they operate to provide a range of services to the airlines and its passengers.

These airline staff may include:

  • Ramp AgentsSydney Airports T1 Terminal
  • Passenger Service Agents
  • Boarding Gate Agents
  • Ticketing Agents
  • Flight Dispatchers
  • Baggage Handlers
  • Aircraft Mechanics

 

This chapter deals specifically with the work of the Passenger Service Agents or Customer Service Agents. They may work landside or airside, and have a prime responsibility to handle all check-in transactions with the passengers. They are generally referred to as ‘ground staff’ or ‘ground crew’ in order to differentiate them from airline staff who work on board the aircraft (called ‘air crew’ or ‘cabin crew’).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify the definition of a ground handling agent
  • Identify the key functions of a Passenger Service Agent
  • List the key requirements of Passenger Service Agents

Passenger Service Agents are employed by an airline or a ground handling agency contracted by an airline to manage services on their behalf. Ground handling agents provide the same kind of services as airline staff. Most passengers will notice no difference except the uniform will not be an airline uniform.

Menzies Aviation is a good example of a worldwide ground handling agency. They operate at more than 136 stations (airports) in 29 countries, with a worldwide staff of more than 17,000. They have contracts with more than 500 airlines delivering 800,000 flights annually.
(www.menziesaviation.com/)

The Passenger Service Agent key role is to ensure that passengers and baggage board the correct aircraft at the right time. This involves preparing and opening check-in desks in line with airline requirements, greeting passengers, dealing with passenger enquiries, checking tickets and passports, issuing seat numbers, boarding passes and luggage labels, asking security questions and preparing paper work for customs.

luggage

They may also help with lost luggage, delayed flights and missing connections, escorting unaccompanied minors, helping disabled passengers, and generally ensuring that all the passengers, and baggage, get to the right place, at the right time!

Agents also weigh passenger luggage and calculate any excess baggage charges.

Most Passenger Service Agents work at the check-in desk and also at the boarding/flight gate, where they will make passenger announcements and check boarding passes and passports.

The boom in the aviation industry has expanded opportunities for people interested in an airline career but who do not want to become a flight attendant. Airports are exciting and busy places, and provide stimulating and varied work environments with no two days the same!

Airline ground staff are also engaged in ‘trouble shooting.’ Helping lost passengers or passengers who have lost their documentation, are late for check-in, have missed their flight, have too much baggage, or who just need help generally, maybe because they are really nervous about the flying.

This involves a wide variety of customer service responsibilities including providing information, offering assistance at check in and at the gate, and ensuring that passengers are able to board and disembark their flights with minimum hassle.Boarding card

Airports can be stressful environments and ground staff need to be calm and reassuring with passengers, crucial in ensuring that their passage through airports is as pleasant as possible.

The Job

Check-in

For many passengers their first point of physical contact with the airline they are travelling with is at check-in. This makes it critical that the check-in agent/passenger service agent creates a good impression, regardless of whether they are employed by the airline or by a ground handling agent.

Check-in processes have changed significantly in recent years, and technology is advancing so rapidly that its hard to keep up! Passengers can now check-in from their computer or even their smartphone before they arrive at the airport. They can print out a boarding card and luggage tag and on arrival at the airport just need to use the ‘bag drop’ to put their luggage on the conveyor belt. No queues, no worrying about seat allocations – no worries!

Counter-free check-in is now available at many airports worldwide with airlines providing terminals for passengers to do their own check-in, weigh their own bag and print out tags and boarding cards. These terminal areas still employ ground staff who monitor the terminals ready to offer help as required.

Some passengers still prefer a helpful hand from the check-in agent, or have a complication in their booking that requires a more traditional style of check-in. Complex international journeys involving multi-sector trips, groups of passengers travelling together or travellers to certain countries will still need to use a conventional check-in counter.

If passengers need to change a ticket or journey, cancel a passenger or alter their booking in any way they will need to see a customer service agent at an airline counter (not at the check-in counter).

Document Checking

In all cases, whether the passenger checks-in online, at an airport terminal, or through a conventional check-in counter, they need to present these essential travel documentation:

  • A valid flight ticket or e-ticketPassport and Sunglasses
  • A valid passport or equivalent ID document

Sometimes passengers and journey types will also require:

  • A visa for travel
  • A work permit

Security Questioning

Passengers who check-in at desks and online are asked the following security questions:

  • Have you packed your bags personally?
  • Could anyone have interfered with your baggage?
  • Have you been given anything to take on board?

The passenger must correctly answer all three questions in order for the check-in processquestion mark to continue. If the passengers’ answers do not meet the ‘correct’ requirements the check-in agent will question the passenger further. If the check-in agent is still not satisfied with the replies the passenger is referred to the aviation security agents who will x-ray the luggage, search the luggage, and further question the passenger in order to determine if the passenger will be permitted to travel.

These security questions are designed to filter out those passengers who may be, either knowingly or unknowingly, involved in something which may threaten the safety of themselves and others.

Baggage

Check-in agents play a major role in the organising and appropriate documenting of airline passenger baggage as it is at check-in that it is sorted into checked and unchecked baggage, and processed through the baggage handling system.

Baggage that is checked in and will be loaded into the aircrafts’ hold is known as ‘checked baggage’. It is weighed and a luggage tag attached to it that provides details of the flight, Indian lady with lots of luggagethe passengers booking information, and destination. Such baggage is restricted to either a certain weight, dimension or quantity (see the ‘Baggage’ chapter for more information).

The check-in agent’s role is to weigh the items, determine the baggage allowance and apply the allowance according to the airline rules. If the passenger’s total baggage exceeds the weight they are allowed free of charge the agent will calculate the excess baggage charges.

Once weight and/or excess baggage charges have been determined the details are then recorded on the flight coupon of the passenger’s ticket. It is important that the correct weight is recorded on the ticket as it may be required for insurance purposes if the baggage is lost or damaged.

Before the checked baggage is removed from the scales it is labelled with a destination label. The flight number and destination are either computer printed or hand written on the baggage label.

Baggage that the passenger intends to carry with them onto the aircraft is known as unchecked baggage, carry-on or hand baggage. Airline rules vary on what they class as unchecked baggage, and the amount also differs depending on the type of fare or ticket the passenger has purchased. Generally speaking it must be small enough to be carried onto the aircraft by the passenger and put either in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of them. Most airlines limit hand luggage to 5 or 7 kgs.

Due to heightened security restrictions now in force with airlines the unchecked baggage must not contain any gels or liquids over 100 ml capacity. These items must be in a clear plastic bag and are screened separately by aviation security when the passenger makes their way through to the departure area.

Once baggage has left the check-in area via the conveyor belts it is transported to the main baggage hall of the airport where baggage handlers sort it and load it either onto large baggage carts or conveyor belts ready for transfer onto the aircraft.

auto checkin machine graphic

STOP + THINK Activity

Check out information relating to your nearest international airport:

Are any ground handling agents employed there? If so, what is the name of the company? How many staff do they employ? Which airline(s) do they represent?

What check-in systems are currently in use at the airport:
Are they using traditional serviced check-in counters or self-service check-in?
Is there any difference between the domestic and international check-in procedures?

What is the current restriction of carrying liquids and gels from this airport to both domestic and international destinations? Are the rules the same for both types of journeys?

Issuing Boarding Cards

Once a check-in agent has established the passenger’s identity, eligibility to fly, confirmed the reservation and checked in the baggage, the process is complete. At this stage the agent will print out and issue flight boarding cards and ticket tag receipts. The agent will also give the passengers instructions on how to proceed to the departure lounge and update them on flight delays or changes to schedule.

Ticketing

Some Passenger Service Agents may receive additional training and join the airline ticketing team at an airport. This work requires detailed knowledge of air ticketing, associated computer systems, and the rules around cancellations, changes to travel arrangements, upgrades, or any changes that fundamentally change the original ticketreservation.

This is a different role to the check-in role and these agents are primarily concerned with ticketing and collection of additional charges associated with the passengers’ changes to travel arrangements.

Meeting & Greeting passengers

Airline ground crew or the handling agent meet all flights that arrive at an airport. As the flight arrives the assigned staff member waits at the aircraft door to be visible as the door opens and the passengers start to disembark. This is an important service for airlines as the greeting person is on hand to help with disabled passengers, unaccompanied minors, unplanned for emergencies, and also to help direct passengers to connecting flights.

Gate Checks

Passenger Service Agents also work in the gate lounge in the airside area of airports. Their role in the gate lounge is to:

  • Prepare the passengers for boarding in order to meet the aircraft allocated departure time
  • Deal with any last minute seat changes and upgrades
  • Helping organise pushchairs and other large unchecked baggage for transfer to the hold
  • Conduct further security checks

The security checks include:

  • Checking the passenger manifest to ensure all passengers are checked in and in the lounge
  • Checking the boarding cards and detaching the airline portion for reconciliation later
  • Checking the passports against the passengers’ physical appearance as they board

Note: For security reasons many airports feature additional security checks, including cabin crew checking each passenger’s boarding card on boarding the aircraft. This is to ensure that no wrong passenger is accepted on a flight, and that the boarding cards are applicable to the date and flight in question. This measure has been implemented as a means of cross checking the procedures on the ground and to minimise any security incidents.

airport scanning image

The gate lounge crew handle all passenger announcements in the gate lounge, help passengers with arrangements in the event of delays, and stay with the passengers until they have boarded and the flight has departed.

Airline Lounges

Many airlines provide a lounge for their premium or frequent flyer passengers. The lounges are usually situated airside and are a haven from the hustle and bustle of a busy airport! They may also feature bathrooms, showers, sleeping cubicles and a range of amenities suited to the long haul travellers.

Airlines provide members of their frequent flyer programmes with complimentary food and drink, newspapers, internet access etc. The lounges are managed by airline ground staff who greet passengers as they arrive and deal with any enquiries they may have. This is often a place in which decisions are made around upgrading passengers to a higher class of service, and the lounge staff will help passengers requesting an upgrade.

As well as ensuring that the needs of the passengers are met, the lounge attendants are responsible for ensuring that passengers are alerted to the boarding of their flights, and in some cases physically escort the passengers through airport short cuts directly to the aircraft.

VIP sign

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout your nearest international airport:

  • Are there any airport/frequent flyer lounges located at the airport?
  • If so, which airlines have lounges at the airport?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are the restrictions on using the airline lounges?

Requirements to be a Passenger Service Agent

Working at an airport provides an exciting work environment but one that requires staff to have a good range of people skills along with a strong interest in air travel.

You may need to prepare for long or irregular hours since flights often arrive or depart at odd hours. Passengers who are experiencing delays or who have encountered other adverse situations may be angry and you’ll need patience and a strong sense of customer service to diffuse conflicts.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time using computers, communicating with other airline or airport departments, troubleshooting ticketing or check-in terminals, and dealing with passengers who may be stressed or anxious.

Whilst airlines and ground handling agents differ in their exact requirements, in general you will need:

  • A pleasant, confident and helpful manner
  • To enjoy working with the public
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • The ability to deal with difficult situations tactfully and diplomatically
  • To be flexible – able to respond quickly to changing priorities and work
  • To be happy working unsociable hours
  • Confident with technology
  • To be a good team player
  • A smart appearance

In addition airlines look for people who may have studied travel or tourism either at school or at a tertiary level, or who are experienced air travellers.customer service cartoon

Having experience in customer service jobs could give you a huge advantage in applying for airline or airport roles. Experience in the travel or tourism industries can give you an edge if you’re hoping to work for an airline, so gaining related customer service experience could be a good start.

Fluency in foreign languages can be useful in many career fields, but it is particularly handy in the airline world. Passengers arrive from anywhere in the world so being able to communicate in more than one language can make you stand out.

Training

Airlines and other airport based employers usually run their own structured training programmes, which last between four and eight weeks.

Training covers basic procedures, familiarisation with the airport, security training, emergency and evacuation procedures, how to use the public address system and also a manual handling course, which specifically trains you in how to lift heavy items and push wheelchairs.

The training will also cover the specific check-in system in use by the airline or ground handling agent. This training will include air fares and ticketing training along with training on passport and visa requirements for air travellers.

Completion of pre-employment training will stand you in good stead both at application and interview stage!


Ground Crew – Ground Staff Role

GROUND STAFF ROLEITCNOV2010-111

Overview

Airlines employ people to work for them at airports in which they operate to provide a range of services to the airlines and its passengers.

These airline staff may include:

  • Ramp AgentsSydney Airports T1 Terminal
  • Passenger Service Agents
  • Boarding Gate Agents
  • Ticketing Agents
  • Flight Dispatchers
  • Baggage Handlers
  • Aircraft Mechanics

 

This chapter deals specifically with the work of the Passenger Service Agents or Customer Service Agents. They may work landside or airside, and have a prime responsibility to handle all check-in transactions with the passengers. They are generally referred to as ‘ground staff’ or ‘ground crew’ in order to differentiate them from airline staff who work on board the aircraft (called ‘air crew’ or ‘cabin crew’).

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify the definition of a ground handling agent
  • Identify the key functions of a Passenger Service Agent
  • List the key requirements of Passenger Service Agents

Passenger Service Agents are employed by an airline or a ground handling agency contracted by an airline to manage services on their behalf. Ground handling agents provide the same kind of services as airline staff. Most passengers will notice no difference except the uniform will not be an airline uniform.

Menzies Aviation is a good example of a worldwide ground handling agency. They operate at more than 136 stations (airports) in 29 countries, with a worldwide staff of more than 17,000. They have contracts with more than 500 airlines delivering 800,000 flights annually.
(www.menziesaviation.com/)

The Passenger Service Agent key role is to ensure that passengers and baggage board the correct aircraft at the right time. This involves preparing and opening check-in desks in line with airline requirements, greeting passengers, dealing with passenger enquiries, checking tickets and passports, issuing seat numbers, boarding passes and luggage labels, asking security questions and preparing paper work for customs.

luggage

They may also help with lost luggage, delayed flights and missing connections, escorting unaccompanied minors, helping disabled passengers, and generally ensuring that all the passengers, and baggage, get to the right place, at the right time!

Agents also weigh passenger luggage and calculate any excess baggage charges.

Most Passenger Service Agents work at the check-in desk and also at the boarding/flight gate, where they will make passenger announcements and check boarding passes and passports.

The boom in the aviation industry has expanded opportunities for people interested in an airline career but who do not want to become a flight attendant. Airports are exciting and busy places, and provide stimulating and varied work environments with no two days the same!

Airline ground staff are also engaged in ‘trouble shooting.’ Helping lost passengers or passengers who have lost their documentation, are late for check-in, have missed their flight, have too much baggage, or who just need help generally, maybe because they are really nervous about the flying.

This involves a wide variety of customer service responsibilities including providing information, offering assistance at check in and at the gate, and ensuring that passengers are able to board and disembark their flights with minimum hassle.Boarding card

Airports can be stressful environments and ground staff need to be calm and reassuring with passengers, crucial in ensuring that their passage through airports is as pleasant as possible.

The Job

Check-in

For many passengers their first point of physical contact with the airline they are travelling with is at check-in. This makes it critical that the check-in agent/passenger service agent creates a good impression, regardless of whether they are employed by the airline or by a ground handling agent.

Check-in processes have changed significantly in recent years, and technology is advancing so rapidly that its hard to keep up! Passengers can now check-in from their computer or even their smartphone before they arrive at the airport. They can print out a boarding card and luggage tag and on arrival at the airport just need to use the ‘bag drop’ to put their luggage on the conveyor belt. No queues, no worrying about seat allocations – no worries!

Counter-free check-in is now available at many airports worldwide with airlines providing terminals for passengers to do their own check-in, weigh their own bag and print out tags and boarding cards. These terminal areas still employ ground staff who monitor the terminals ready to offer help as required.

Some passengers still prefer a helpful hand from the check-in agent, or have a complication in their booking that requires a more traditional style of check-in. Complex international journeys involving multi-sector trips, groups of passengers travelling together or travellers to certain countries will still need to use a conventional check-in counter.

If passengers need to change a ticket or journey, cancel a passenger or alter their booking in any way they will need to see a customer service agent at an airline counter (not at the check-in counter).

Document Checking

In all cases, whether the passenger checks-in online, at an airport terminal, or through a conventional check-in counter, they need to present these essential travel documentation:

  • A valid flight ticket or e-ticketPassport and Sunglasses
  • A valid passport or equivalent ID document

Sometimes passengers and journey types will also require:

  • A visa for travel
  • A work permit

Security Questioning

Passengers who check-in at desks and online are asked the following security questions:

  • Have you packed your bags personally?
  • Could anyone have interfered with your baggage?
  • Have you been given anything to take on board?

The passenger must correctly answer all three questions in order for the check-in processquestion mark to continue. If the passengers’ answers do not meet the ‘correct’ requirements the check-in agent will question the passenger further. If the check-in agent is still not satisfied with the replies the passenger is referred to the aviation security agents who will x-ray the luggage, search the luggage, and further question the passenger in order to determine if the passenger will be permitted to travel.

These security questions are designed to filter out those passengers who may be, either knowingly or unknowingly, involved in something which may threaten the safety of themselves and others.

Baggage

Check-in agents play a major role in the organising and appropriate documenting of airline passenger baggage as it is at check-in that it is sorted into checked and unchecked baggage, and processed through the baggage handling system.

Baggage that is checked in and will be loaded into the aircrafts’ hold is known as ‘checked baggage’. It is weighed and a luggage tag attached to it that provides details of the flight, Indian lady with lots of luggagethe passengers booking information, and destination. Such baggage is restricted to either a certain weight, dimension or quantity (see the ‘Baggage’ chapter for more information).

The check-in agent’s role is to weigh the items, determine the baggage allowance and apply the allowance according to the airline rules. If the passenger’s total baggage exceeds the weight they are allowed free of charge the agent will calculate the excess baggage charges.

Once weight and/or excess baggage charges have been determined the details are then recorded on the flight coupon of the passenger’s ticket. It is important that the correct weight is recorded on the ticket as it may be required for insurance purposes if the baggage is lost or damaged.

Before the checked baggage is removed from the scales it is labelled with a destination label. The flight number and destination are either computer printed or hand written on the baggage label.

Baggage that the passenger intends to carry with them onto the aircraft is known as unchecked baggage, carry-on or hand baggage. Airline rules vary on what they class as unchecked baggage, and the amount also differs depending on the type of fare or ticket the passenger has purchased. Generally speaking it must be small enough to be carried onto the aircraft by the passenger and put either in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of them. Most airlines limit hand luggage to 5 or 7 kgs.

Due to heightened security restrictions now in force with airlines the unchecked baggage must not contain any gels or liquids over 100 ml capacity. These items must be in a clear plastic bag and are screened separately by aviation security when the passenger makes their way through to the departure area.

Once baggage has left the check-in area via the conveyor belts it is transported to the main baggage hall of the airport where baggage handlers sort it and load it either onto large baggage carts or conveyor belts ready for transfer onto the aircraft.

auto checkin machine graphic

STOP + THINK Activity

Check out information relating to your nearest international airport:

Are any ground handling agents employed there? If so, what is the name of the company? How many staff do they employ? Which airline(s) do they represent?

What check-in systems are currently in use at the airport:
Are they using traditional serviced check-in counters or self-service check-in?
Is there any difference between the domestic and international check-in procedures?

What is the current restriction of carrying liquids and gels from this airport to both domestic and international destinations? Are the rules the same for both types of journeys?

Issuing Boarding Cards

Once a check-in agent has established the passenger’s identity, eligibility to fly, confirmed the reservation and checked in the baggage, the process is complete. At this stage the agent will print out and issue flight boarding cards and ticket tag receipts. The agent will also give the passengers instructions on how to proceed to the departure lounge and update them on flight delays or changes to schedule.

Ticketing

Some Passenger Service Agents may receive additional training and join the airline ticketing team at an airport. This work requires detailed knowledge of air ticketing, associated computer systems, and the rules around cancellations, changes to travel arrangements, upgrades, or any changes that fundamentally change the original ticketreservation.

This is a different role to the check-in role and these agents are primarily concerned with ticketing and collection of additional charges associated with the passengers’ changes to travel arrangements.

Meeting & Greeting passengers

Airline ground crew or the handling agent meet all flights that arrive at an airport. As the flight arrives the assigned staff member waits at the aircraft door to be visible as the door opens and the passengers start to disembark. This is an important service for airlines as the greeting person is on hand to help with disabled passengers, unaccompanied minors, unplanned for emergencies, and also to help direct passengers to connecting flights.

Gate Checks

Passenger Service Agents also work in the gate lounge in the airside area of airports. Their role in the gate lounge is to:

  • Prepare the passengers for boarding in order to meet the aircraft allocated departure time
  • Deal with any last minute seat changes and upgrades
  • Helping organise pushchairs and other large unchecked baggage for transfer to the hold
  • Conduct further security checks

The security checks include:

  • Checking the passenger manifest to ensure all passengers are checked in and in the lounge
  • Checking the boarding cards and detaching the airline portion for reconciliation later
  • Checking the passports against the passengers’ physical appearance as they board

Note: For security reasons many airports feature additional security checks, including cabin crew checking each passenger’s boarding card on boarding the aircraft. This is to ensure that no wrong passenger is accepted on a flight, and that the boarding cards are applicable to the date and flight in question. This measure has been implemented as a means of cross checking the procedures on the ground and to minimise any security incidents.

airport scanning image

The gate lounge crew handle all passenger announcements in the gate lounge, help passengers with arrangements in the event of delays, and stay with the passengers until they have boarded and the flight has departed.

Airline Lounges

Many airlines provide a lounge for their premium or frequent flyer passengers. The lounges are usually situated airside and are a haven from the hustle and bustle of a busy airport! They may also feature bathrooms, showers, sleeping cubicles and a range of amenities suited to the long haul travellers.

Airlines provide members of their frequent flyer programmes with complimentary food and drink, newspapers, internet access etc. The lounges are managed by airline ground staff who greet passengers as they arrive and deal with any enquiries they may have. This is often a place in which decisions are made around upgrading passengers to a higher class of service, and the lounge staff will help passengers requesting an upgrade.

As well as ensuring that the needs of the passengers are met, the lounge attendants are responsible for ensuring that passengers are alerted to the boarding of their flights, and in some cases physically escort the passengers through airport short cuts directly to the aircraft.

VIP sign

STOP + THINK Activity

Checkout your nearest international airport:

  • Are there any airport/frequent flyer lounges located at the airport?
  • If so, which airlines have lounges at the airport?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are the restrictions on using the airline lounges?

Requirements to be a Passenger Service Agent

Working at an airport provides an exciting work environment but one that requires staff to have a good range of people skills along with a strong interest in air travel.

You may need to prepare for long or irregular hours since flights often arrive or depart at odd hours. Passengers who are experiencing delays or who have encountered other adverse situations may be angry and you’ll need patience and a strong sense of customer service to diffuse conflicts.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time using computers, communicating with other airline or airport departments, troubleshooting ticketing or check-in terminals, and dealing with passengers who may be stressed or anxious.

Whilst airlines and ground handling agents differ in their exact requirements, in general you will need:

  • A pleasant, confident and helpful manner
  • To enjoy working with the public
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • The ability to deal with difficult situations tactfully and diplomatically
  • To be flexible – able to respond quickly to changing priorities and work
  • To be happy working unsociable hours
  • Confident with technology
  • To be a good team player
  • A smart appearance

In addition airlines look for people who may have studied travel or tourism either at school or at a tertiary level, or who are experienced air travellers.customer service cartoon

Having experience in customer service jobs could give you a huge advantage in applying for airline or airport roles. Experience in the travel or tourism industries can give you an edge if you’re hoping to work for an airline, so gaining related customer service experience could be a good start.

Fluency in foreign languages can be useful in many career fields, but it is particularly handy in the airline world. Passengers arrive from anywhere in the world so being able to communicate in more than one language can make you stand out.

Training

Airlines and other airport based employers usually run their own structured training programmes, which last between four and eight weeks.

Training covers basic procedures, familiarisation with the airport, security training, emergency and evacuation procedures, how to use the public address system and also a manual handling course, which specifically trains you in how to lift heavy items and push wheelchairs.

The training will also cover the specific check-in system in use by the airline or ground handling agent. This training will include air fares and ticketing training along with training on passport and visa requirements for air travellers.

Completion of pre-employment training will stand you in good stead both at application and interview stage!


Ground Crew – Time Zones

TIME ZONESTime Zone clocks

Overview

There are two main methods of telling the time: the 12 hour clock and the 24 hour clock.

As small children many of us will have been taught the 12 hour clock and may continue to use this method in our every day lives.

The aviation industry has however adopted the 24 hour clock as the most common way of expressing time as it reduces confusion around whether a time quoted is an ‘am’ time (morning) or a ‘pm’ time (afternoon/evening).

All airline and airport staff are required to understand and use the 24 hour clock as the preferred reference to time as this helps you to be able to understand schedules, timetables, departure and arrival information, and tickets.

Airline staff travelling around the world have the added complexity of having to adjust to time changes at their destination, to calculate the length of a journey, and to figure out the amount of time between flights and shifts.

This lesson will explain the key differences between the two time systems, and will introduce you to time zones and journey time calculations.

Top Tip: It’s almost impossible to calculate time using a calculator as time is not metric, so put the calculator away and get out your pen and paper!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:Globe

Translate a range of times to/from 24 hour clock
Calculate time of day in 24 hour clock using a range of time zones
Calculate a range of journey times using GMT as a base time
Identify the location of the International Date Line on a map
Identify the origin of GMT on a map provided



 

 

There are two key ways of telling the time:

12 & 24 hour clock

The 12 hour clock divides the day into two equal 12 hour portions. The portion from midnight one day to midday the next day is called ‘am’ which stands for ‘anti meridiem’. This is an old Latin phrase meaning ‘before mid day’.

The portion of the day from 12 noon to midnight is called ‘pm’ which stands for ‘post meridiem meaning ‘after mid day’.

Using the 12 hour clock means that time is stated as the time on the clock along with the descriptor, am or pm. For example, 10.20am is 20 past 10 in the morning. 10.20pm is 20 past 10 in the evening.

This system works well but forgetting to use the am/pm designator can lead to confusion.

The 24 hour clock tells time from 0000 hours (midnight) through 24 hours to the following midnight. Each time of day is unique and there is no need for am/pm descriptors. For example, 10.20am is described as 1020 hours and 10.20pm is described as 2220 hours.

The chart below shows each hour of the day translated from the 12 hour to the 24 hour clock.

Use the 24 hour time converter chart as a reference to translate the following times from the 12 hour clock to the 24 hour clock:

Jot down which 24 hour clock times apply:

A. 5.30pm
B. 11.15am
C. 4.35pm
D. 11.15pm
E. 9.45pm
F. 2.30am
G. 9.10am
H. 3.15pm

24 hour converter_v2

GMT

Time calculations sometimes form part of a written entry process for a job with a company in the aviation industry, so it’s good to learn this now!

Try to remember to always use the 24 clock when referring to travel times as this will be good practice when you are working in any position with an airline or at an airport.

All time is currently calculated from one point on the globe – known as GMT. The location is Greenwich, a suburb of London in the UK, and the term ‘Mean Time” refers to the actual time that it is in Greenwich. Hence – Greenwich Mean Time!

Early astrologers and explorers were often recruited by Geographical Societies based at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. As the explorers and map makers explored the worldLondon pinpointed on UK map and found it to be round they invented a system of calculating time based on Greenwich being the starting point as Greenwich was the home base of the Geographical Societies.

These early explorers also divided the world into 24 one hour time zones. 12 of these time zones are to the east of Greenwich, and 12 to the west.

If you start at Greenwich, and travel eastwards round the world, you would travel across all 24 time zones and be back where you started! This is also called a ‘circumnavigation’ of the globe.

Checkout this map that shows all the time zones of the world, with the middle of the map showing the GMT Line as zero degrees longitude. The lines of longitude on the map are shown at exactly one hour time zones.

time zone map

The International Date Line

In addition to GMT, the early explorers and navigators created another key reference point for time, located in the Pacific Ocean. This is a notional north to south line on a map which determines the point at which the date changes. The line is known as the International Date Line.

If you travel on a ship in an easterly direction, for example from Australia to South America – you will travel across the International Date Line and will travel forward in time by 24 hours! If you cross the date line the other way (in a westerly direction) you lose 24 hours and go back in time! This line is needed in order to have a fixed boundary on the globe where the calendar date resets.

Example: A passenger leaving Los Angeles at 2130 on Monday 4th July arrives in Auckland (New Zealand) at 0530 on Wednesday 6th July. This is a 12 hour flight but seems to take one and a half days!! Tuesday 5th July is ‘lost’ due to the crossing of the International Date Line and going forward in time by 24 hours. On the journey back from Auckland to Los Angeles the passenger will ‘gain’ this day again, as they will be crossing over the International Date Line again, but going the other way!

The map below shows the location of the line, shown as a black line running down through the middle of the map.

You will see that it’s been drawn to avoid land masses as it would be too confusing to have a country operating between two different dates!

International date line map_v2

Calculating time around the world

The zone passing through Greenwich (UK) is the only time zone in the world that is on GMT. All other time zones are either ahead of GMT (places to the east of Greenwich) or behind GMT (places to the west of Greenwich)

Thinking about where you live, checkout this time zones map and see if you can calculate how many hours difference there is between your location and GMT.

  • Are you located ahead of GMT? If so, how many hours?
  • Are you located behind GMT? If so, by how many hours?

This online course was written in Auckland, New Zealand, one of the furthest places from GMT in the world! (View larger image on: http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/tzones.htm)

World time zone map

Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT, so when it is 10 am in London (UK) it is 10pm in Auckland – half a day ahead!

The internet features some excellent references for calculating time around the world such as: Time genie (http://www.timegenie.com/)

These provide information on time differences from GMT for all countries of the world.

Places that are ahead of GMT (to the east) are shown with a +symbol, e.g. Paris may be +1 hour, which means it is one hour ahead of GMT.

Places that are behind GMT (to the west) are shown with a -symbol, e.g. New York may be shown as -5, which means it is 5 hours behind GMT.

Time Calculations

Using a world map showing time zones, and the time calculator site here
(http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/gmt-converter.htm), see if you can carry out the following time zone calculations correctly. Note: For all these time calculations assume that none of the countries have changed their clocks to ‘summer time’.

time zone map

A. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Athens?
B. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in New York?
C. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Johannesburg?

D. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Sydney?
E. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Los Angeles?
F. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Singapore?

G. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in London (UK)?
H. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Cairo?
I. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Chicago (USA)

Summer Time

Just when you thought that time calculations seem straightforward let’s talk about Summer Time!

Summer Time is a term used in countries where the government has taken the decision to put clocks forward in the spring to make the summer days longer. In these countries the clocks are put back by the same amount at the end of summer, thus making the days shorter again in the winter. Summer Time is an artificial adjustment of time. It is also referred to as Daylight Saving Time.

In the UK for example, the clocks are put forward by one hour each April, and put back again in October. In New Zealand the same thing applies, but because of being located in a different hemisphere the adjustments are in reverse! So, in April the clocks are put back, and in October they are put forward. An easy way to remember is: “Spring” forward in Jamaica beachspring, and “Fall” back in fall/autumn.

This can affect the calculation of journey times, and for this reason we recommend that you always use the airlines journey times as provided to crew and passengers as they will have taken that into account when making those calculations.

Calculating journey times 

Passengers always want to know how long a flight will take – particularly on long flights or where they may be travelling with children. Airline  and airport staff need to know the length of a journey to help deal with passenger enquiries.

The basic calculation is this, first of all, establish some key facts:
What is the departure time for this flight? eg: 1000 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this departure point? eg: GMT
What is the arrival time for this flight? eg: 1400 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this arrival point? eg: +1

Now make the calculation:
This journey appears to take 4 hours (1000 hrs to 1400 hrs) but the arrival point is one hour ahead of GMT. We must DEDUCT this hour in order to arrive at the correct journey time. So: 4 hours less one hour = 3 hours total journey time.

Try these simple journey time calculations below:

NOTE: We suggest that you always use online calculators or airline schedules in order to avoid giving or arriving at the wrong information. This one http://www.londondrum.com/info/time-zones.php has all the information you need.

a) Flight departure time from Auckland is 1400 hrs and Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Brisbane is 1600 hrs and Brisbane is 10 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?

b) Flight departure time from Los Angeles is 1100 hrs and Los Angeles is 8 hours behind GMT. Flight arrival time in Phoenix is 1300 hrs and Phoenix is 7 hours behind GMT.
What is the journey time?

c) Flight departure time from Rome is 1500 hrs and Rome is 1 hour ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Athens is 1900 hrs when Athens is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
What is the journey time?

d) Flight departure time from London is 0600 hrs and London is on GMT. Flight arrival time in Singapore is 0100 hrs the next day and Singapore is 8 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?


ANSWERS:

A. 5.30pm = 1730
B. 11.15am = 1115
C. 4.35pm = 1635
D. 11.15pm = 2315
E. 9.45pm = 2145
F. 2.30am = 0230
G. 9.10am = 0910
H. 3.15pm = 1515

Time calculator:
A. 8pm (2000), B. 1pm (1300), C. 8pm (2000), D. 8pm (2000), E. 2am (0200), F. 6pm (1800),

G. 8pm (2000), H. 10pm (2200) (as in the same time zone), I. 3pm (1500)

Journey times:
a) AKL-BNE: Departure AKL is 1400. Arrival in BNE is 1600. By then it will be 1800 in AKL (as AKL is two hours ahead of BNE). 1400 (2pm) to 1800 (6pm) is… 4 hours flight time.

b) LAX – PHX:  Departure from LAX is at 11am. Arrival Phoenix time is 1pm (1300). However, Phoenix is one hour ahead of LAX, which means that by the time the passengers arrive in PHX, it is only 12noon (1200) in LAX. Therefore the flight takes only one hour.

c) ROM – ATH: Departure ROM is 1500 (3pm). Arrival in ATH is 1900. ATH is 3 hours ahead, and ROM is 2 hours ahead. So Rome is one hour behind Athens. It is still only 1800 (6pm) in Rome when the flight arrives in Athens. Dep. ROM 1500, arrival (Rome time) 1800 = 3 hours flight journey time.

d) LON-SIN: Departure from LON at 6am. Singapore is 8 hours ahead of LON, so when it is 1am in Singapore, it is still only 1700 (5pm) in London (on the day of departure). From 0600 to 1700 is 11 hours. This flight from LON to SIN takes 11 hours.

Ground Crew – Time Zones

TIME ZONESTime Zone clocks

Overview

There are two main methods of telling the time: the 12 hour clock and the 24 hour clock.

As small children many of us will have been taught the 12 hour clock and may continue to use this method in our every day lives.

The aviation industry has however adopted the 24 hour clock as the most common way of expressing time as it reduces confusion around whether a time quoted is an ‘am’ time (morning) or a ‘pm’ time (afternoon/evening).

All airline and airport staff are required to understand and use the 24 hour clock as the preferred reference to time as this helps you to be able to understand schedules, timetables, departure and arrival information, and tickets.

Airline staff travelling around the world have the added complexity of having to adjust to time changes at their destination, to calculate the length of a journey, and to figure out the amount of time between flights and shifts.

This lesson will explain the key differences between the two time systems, and will introduce you to time zones and journey time calculations.

Top Tip: It’s almost impossible to calculate time using a calculator as time is not metric, so put the calculator away and get out your pen and paper!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:Globe

Translate a range of times to/from 24 hour clock
Calculate time of day in 24 hour clock using a range of time zones
Calculate a range of journey times using GMT as a base time
Identify the location of the International Date Line on a map
Identify the origin of GMT on a map provided



 

 

There are two key ways of telling the time:

12 & 24 hour clock

The 12 hour clock divides the day into two equal 12 hour portions. The portion from midnight one day to midday the next day is called ‘am’ which stands for ‘anti meridiem’. This is an old Latin phrase meaning ‘before mid day’.

The portion of the day from 12 noon to midnight is called ‘pm’ which stands for ‘post meridiem meaning ‘after mid day’.

Using the 12 hour clock means that time is stated as the time on the clock along with the descriptor, am or pm. For example, 10.20am is 20 past 10 in the morning. 10.20pm is 20 past 10 in the evening.

This system works well but forgetting to use the am/pm designator can lead to confusion.

The 24 hour clock tells time from 0000 hours (midnight) through 24 hours to the following midnight. Each time of day is unique and there is no need for am/pm descriptors. For example, 10.20am is described as 1020 hours and 10.20pm is described as 2220 hours.

The chart below shows each hour of the day translated from the 12 hour to the 24 hour clock.

Use the 24 hour time converter chart as a reference to translate the following times from the 12 hour clock to the 24 hour clock:

Jot down which 24 hour clock times apply:

A. 5.30pm
B. 11.15am
C. 4.35pm
D. 11.15pm
E. 9.45pm
F. 2.30am
G. 9.10am
H. 3.15pm

24 hour converter_v2

GMT

Time calculations sometimes form part of a written entry process for a job with a company in the aviation industry, so it’s good to learn this now!

Try to remember to always use the 24 clock when referring to travel times as this will be good practice when you are working in any position with an airline or at an airport.

All time is currently calculated from one point on the globe – known as GMT. The location is Greenwich, a suburb of London in the UK, and the term ‘Mean Time” refers to the actual time that it is in Greenwich. Hence – Greenwich Mean Time!

Early astrologers and explorers were often recruited by Geographical Societies based at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. As the explorers and map makers explored the worldLondon pinpointed on UK map and found it to be round they invented a system of calculating time based on Greenwich being the starting point as Greenwich was the home base of the Geographical Societies.

These early explorers also divided the world into 24 one hour time zones. 12 of these time zones are to the east of Greenwich, and 12 to the west.

If you start at Greenwich, and travel eastwards round the world, you would travel across all 24 time zones and be back where you started! This is also called a ‘circumnavigation’ of the globe.

Checkout this map that shows all the time zones of the world, with the middle of the map showing the GMT Line as zero degrees longitude. The lines of longitude on the map are shown at exactly one hour time zones.

time zone map

The International Date Line

In addition to GMT, the early explorers and navigators created another key reference point for time, located in the Pacific Ocean. This is a notional north to south line on a map which determines the point at which the date changes. The line is known as the International Date Line.

If you travel on a ship in an easterly direction, for example from  Australia to South America – you will travel across the International Date Line and will travel forward in time by 24 hours! If you cross the date line the other way (in a westerly direction) you lose 24 hours and go back in time! This line is needed in order to have a fixed boundary on the globe where the calendar date resets.

Example: A passenger leaving Los Angeles at 2130 on Monday 4th July arrives in Auckland (New Zealand) at 0530 on Wednesday 6th July. This is a 12 hour flight but seems to take one and a half days!! Tuesday 5th July is ‘lost’ due to the crossing of the International Date Line and going forward in time by 24 hours. On the journey back from Auckland to Los Angeles the passenger will ‘gain’ this day again, as they will be crossing over the International Date Line again, but going the other way!

The map below shows the location of the line, shown as a black line running down through the middle of the map.

You will see that it’s been drawn to avoid land masses as it would be too confusing to have a country operating between two different dates!

International date line map_v2

Calculating time around the world

The zone passing through Greenwich (UK) is the only time zone in the world that is on GMT. All other time zones are either ahead of GMT (places to the east of Greenwich) or behind GMT (places to the west of Greenwich)

Thinking about where you live, checkout this time zones map and see if you can calculate how many hours difference there is between your location and GMT.

  • Are you located ahead of GMT? If so, how many hours?
  • Are you located behind GMT? If so, by how many hours?

This online course was written in Auckland, New Zealand, one of the furthest places from GMT in the world! (View larger image on: http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/tzones.htm)

World time zone map

Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT, so when it is 10 am in London (UK) it is 10pm in Auckland – half a day ahead!

The internet features some excellent references for calculating time around the world such as: Time genie (http://www.timegenie.com/)

These provide information on time differences from GMT for all countries of the world.

Places that are ahead of GMT (to the east) are shown with a +symbol, e.g. Paris may be +1 hour, which means it is one hour ahead of GMT.

Places that are behind GMT (to the west) are shown with a -symbol, e.g. New York may be shown as -5, which means it is 5 hours behind GMT.

Time Calculations

Using a world map showing time zones, and the time calculator site here
(http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/gmt-converter.htm), see if you can carry out the following time zone calculations correctly. Note: For all these time calculations assume that none of the countries have changed their clocks to ‘summer time’.

time zone map

A. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Athens?
B. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in New York?
C. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Johannesburg?

D. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Sydney?
E. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Los Angeles?
F. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Singapore?

G. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in London (UK)?
H. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Cairo?
I. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Chicago (USA)

Summer Time

Just when you thought that time calculations seem straightforward let’s talk about Summer Time!

Summer Time is a term used in countries where the government has taken the decision to put clocks forward in the spring to make the summer days longer. In these countries the clocks are put back by the same amount at the end of summer, thus making the days shorter again in the winter. Summer Time is an artificial adjustment of time. It is also referred to as Daylight Saving Time.

In the UK for example, the clocks are put forward by one hour each April, and put back again in October. In New Zealand the same thing applies, but because of being located in a different hemisphere the adjustments are in reverse! So, in April the clocks are put back, and in October they are put forward. An easy way to remember is: “Spring” forward in Jamaica beachspring, and “Fall” back in fall/autumn.

This can affect the calculation of journey times, and for this reason we recommend that you always use the airlines journey times as provided to crew and passengers as they will have taken that into account when making those calculations.

Calculating journey times 

Passengers always want to know how long a flight will take – particularly on long flights or where they may be travelling with children. Airline  and airport staff need to know the length of a journey to help deal with passenger enquiries.

The basic calculation is this, first of all, establish some key facts:
What is the departure time for this flight? eg: 1000 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this departure point? eg: GMT
What is the arrival time for this flight? eg: 1400 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this arrival point? eg: +1

Now make the calculation:
This journey appears to take 4 hours (1000 hrs to 1400 hrs) but the arrival point is one hour ahead of GMT. We must DEDUCT this hour in order to arrive at the correct journey time. So: 4 hours less one hour = 3 hours total journey time.

Try these simple journey time calculations below:

NOTE: We suggest that you always use online calculators or airline schedules in order to avoid giving or arriving at the wrong information. This one http://www.londondrum.com/info/time-zones.php has all the information you need.

a) Flight departure time from Auckland is 1400 hrs and Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Brisbane is 1600 hrs and Brisbane is 10 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?

b) Flight departure time from Los Angeles is 1100 hrs and Los Angeles is 8 hours behind GMT. Flight arrival time in Phoenix is 1300 hrs and Phoenix is 7 hours behind GMT.
What is the journey time?

c) Flight departure time from Rome is 1500 hrs and Rome is 1 hour ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Athens is 1900 hrs when Athens is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
What is the journey time?

d) Flight departure time from London is 0600 hrs and London is on GMT. Flight arrival time in Singapore is 0100 hrs the next day and Singapore is 8 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?


ANSWERS:

A. 5.30pm = 1730
B. 11.15am = 1115
C. 4.35pm = 1635
D. 11.15pm = 2315
E. 9.45pm = 2145
F. 2.30am = 0230
G. 9.10am = 0910
H. 3.15pm = 1515

Time calculator:
A. 8pm (2000), B. 1pm (1300), C. 8pm (2000), D. 8pm (2000), E. 2am (0200), F. 6pm (1800),

G. 8pm (2000), H. 10pm (2200) (as in same time zone), I. 3pm (1500)

Journey times:
a) AKL-BNE: Departure AKL is 1400. Arrival in BNE is 1600. By then it will be 1800 in AKL (as AKL is two hours ahead of BNE). 1400 (2pm) to 1800 (6pm) is… 4 hours flight time.

b) LAX – PHX:  Departure from LAX is at 11am. Arrival Phoenix time is 1pm (1300). However, Phoenix is one hour ahead of LAX, which means that by the time the passengers arrive in PHX, it is only 12noon (1200) in LAX. Therefore the flight takes only one hour.

c) ROM – ATH: Departure ROM is 1500 (3pm). Arrival in ATH is 1900. ATH is 3 hours ahead, and ROM is 2 hours ahead. So Rome is one hour behind Athens. It is still only 1800 (6pm) in Rome when the flight arrives in Athens. Dep. ROM 1500, arrival (Rome time) 1800 = 3 hours flight journey time.

d) LON-SIN: Departure from LON at 6am. Singapore is 8 hours ahead of LON, so when it is 1am in Singapore, it is still only 1700 (5pm) in London (on the day of departure). From 0600 to 1700 is 11 hours. This flight from LON to SIN takes 11 hours.

Ground Crew – Time Zones

TIME ZONESTime Zone clocks

Overview

There are two main methods of telling the time: the 12 hour clock and the 24 hour clock.

As small children many of us will have been taught the 12 hour clock and may continue to use this method in our every day lives.

The aviation industry has however adopted the 24 hour clock as the most common way of expressing time as it reduces confusion around whether a time quoted is an ‘am’ time (morning) or a ‘pm’ time (afternoon/evening.)

All airline and airport staff are required to understand and use the 24 hour clock as the preferred reference to time as this helps you to be able to understand schedules, timetables, departure and arrival information, and tickets.

Airline staff travelling around the world have the added complexity of having to adjust to time changes at their destination, to calculate the length of a journey, and to figure out the amount of time between flights and shifts.

This lesson will explain the key differences between the two time systems, and will introduce you to time zones and journey time calculations.

Top Tip: It’s almost impossible to calculate time using a calculator as time is not metric, so put the calculator away and get out your pen and paper!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:Globe

Translate a range of times to/from 24 hour clock
Calculate time of day in 24 hour clock using a range of time zones
Calculate a range of journey times using GMT as a base time
Identify the location of the International Date Line on a map
Identify the origin of GMT on a map provided



 

 

There are two key ways of telling the time:

12 & 24 hour clock

The 12 hour clock divides the day into two equal 12 hour portions. The portion from midnight one day to midday the next day is called ‘am’ which stands for ‘anti meridiem’. This is an old Latin phrase meaning ‘before mid day’.

The portion of the day from 12 noon to midnight is called ‘pm’ which stands for ‘post meridiem meaning ‘after mid day’.

Using the 12 hour clock means that time is stated as the time on the clock along with the descriptor, am or pm. For example, 10.20am is 20 past 10 in the morning. 10.20pm is 20 past 10 in the evening.

This system works well but forgetting to use the am/pm designator can lead to confusion.

The 24 hour clock tells time from 0000 hours (midnight) through 24 hours to the following midnight. Each time of day is unique and there is no need for am/pm descriptors. For example, 10.20am is described as 1020 hours and 10.20pm is described as 2220 hours.

The chart below shows each hour of the day translated from the 12 hour to the 24 hour clock.

Use the 24 hour time converter chart as a reference to translate the following times from the 12 hour clock to the 24 hour clock:

Jot down which 24 hour clock times apply:

A. 5.30pm
B. 11.15am
C. 4.35pm
D. 11.15pm
E. 9.45pm
F. 2.30am
G. 9.10am
H. 3.15pm

24 hour converter_v2

GMT

Time calculations sometimes form part of a written entry process for a job with a company in the aviation industry, so it’s good to learn this now!

Try to remember to always use the 24 clock when referring to travel times as this will be good practice when you are working in any position with an airline or at an airport.

All time is currently calculated from one point on the globe – known as GMT. The location is Greenwich, a suburb of London in the UK, and the term ‘Mean Time” refers to the actual time that it is in Greenwich. Hence – Greenwich Mean Time!

Early astrologers and explorers were often recruited by Geographical Societies based at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. As the explorers and map makers explored the worldLondon pinpointed on UK map and found it to be round they invented a system of calculating time based on Greenwich being the starting point as Greenwich was the home base of the Geographical Societies.

These early explorers also divided the world into 24 one hour time zones. 12 of these time zones are to the east of Greenwich, and 12 to the west.

If you start at Greenwich, and travel eastwards round the world, you would travel across all 24 time zones and be back where you started! This is also called a ‘circumnavigation’ of the globe.

Checkout this map that shows all the time zones of the world, with the middle of the map showing the GMT Line as zero degrees longitude. The lines of longitude on the map are shown at exactly one hour time zones.

time zone map

The International Date Line

In addition to GMT, the early explorers and navigators created another key reference point for time, located in the Pacific Ocean. This is a notional north to south line on a map which determines the point at which the date changes. The line is known as the International Date Line.

If you travel on a ship in an easterly direction, for example from  Australia to South America – you will travel across the International Date Line and will travel forward in time by 24 hours! If you cross the date line the other way (in a westerly direction) you lose 24 hours and go back in time! This line is needed in order to have a fixed boundary on the globe where the calendar date resets.

Example: A passenger leaving Los Angeles at 2130 on Monday 4th July arrives in Auckland (New Zealand) at 0530 on Wednesday 6th July. This is a 12 hour flight but seems to take one and a half days!! Tuesday 5th July is ‘lost’ due to the crossing of the International Date Line and going forward in time by 24 hours. On the journey back from Auckland to Los Angeles the passenger will ‘gain’ this day again, as they will be crossing over the International Date Line again, but going the other way!

The map below shows the location of the line, shown as a black line running down through the middle of the map.

You will see that it’s been drawn to avoid land masses as it would be too confusing to have a country operating between two different dates!

International date line map_v2

Calculating time around the world

The zone passing through Greenwich (UK) is the only time zone in the world that is on GMT. All other time zones are either ahead of GMT (places to the east of Greenwich) or behind GMT (places to the west of Greenwich)

Thinking about where you live, checkout this time zones map and see if you can calculate how many hours difference there is between your location and GMT.

  • Are you located ahead of GMT? If so, how many hours?
  • Are you located behind GMT? If so, by how many hours?

This online course was written in Auckland, New Zealand, one of the furthest places from GMT in the world! (View larger image on: http://sydaby.eget.net/swe/tzones.htm)

World time zone map

Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT, so when it is 10 am in London (UK) it is 10pm in Auckland – half a day ahead!

The internet features some excellent references for calculating time around the world such as: Time genie (http://www.timegenie.com/)

These provide information on time differences from GMT for all countries of the world.

Places that are ahead of GMT (to the east) are shown with a +symbol, e.g. Paris may be +1 hour, which means it is one hour ahead of GMT.

Places that are behind GMT (to the west) are shown with a -symbol, e.g. New York may be shown as -5, which means it is 5 hours behind GMT.

Time Calculations

Using a world map showing time zones, and the time calculator site here
(http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/gmt-converter.htm), see if you can carry out the following time zone calculations correctly. Note: For all these time calculations assume that none of the countries have changed their clocks to ‘summer time’.

time zone map

A. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Athens?
B. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in New York?
C. It is 6pm in London (UK). What time is it in Johannesburg?

D. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Sydney?
E. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Los Angeles?
F. It is 10am in London (UK). What time is it in Singapore?

G. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in London (UK)?
H. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Cairo?
I. It is 10pm in Athens. What time is it in Chicago (USA)

Summer Time

Just when you thought that time calculations seem straightforward let’s talk about Summer Time!

Summer Time is a term used in countries where the government has taken the decision to put clocks forward in the spring to make the summer days longer. In these countries the clocks are put back by the same amount at the end of summer, thus making the days shorter again in the winter. Summer Time is an artificial adjustment of time. It is also referred to as Daylight Saving Time.

In the UK for example, the clocks are put forward by one hour each April, and put back again in October. In New Zealand the same thing applies, but because of being located in a different hemisphere the adjustments are in reverse! So, in April the clocks are put back, and in October they are put forward. An easy way to remember is: “Spring” forward in Jamaica beachspring, and “Fall” back in fall/autumn.

This can affect the calculation of journey times, and for this reason we recommend that you always use the airlines journey times as provided to crew and passengers as they will have taken that into account when making those calculations.

Calculating journey times 

Passengers always want to know how long a flight will take – particularly on long flights or where they may be travelling with children. Airline  and airport staff need to know the length of a journey to help deal with passenger enquiries.

The basic calculation is this, first of all, establish some key facts:
What is the departure time for this flight? eg: 1000 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this departure point? eg: GMT
What is the arrival time for this flight? eg: 1400 hrs
What is the difference from GMT for this arrival point? eg: +1

Now make the calculation:
This journey appears to take 4 hours (1000 hrs to 1400 hrs) but the arrival point is one hour ahead of GMT. We must DEDUCT this hour in order to arrive at the correct journey time. So: 4 hours less one hour = 3 hours total journey time.

Try these simple journey time calculations below:

NOTE: We suggest that you always use online calculators or airline schedules in order to avoid giving or arriving at the wrong information. This one http://www.londondrum.com/info/time-zones.php has all the information you need.

a) Flight departure time from Auckland is 1400 hrs and Auckland is 12 hours ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Brisbane is 1600 hrs and Brisbane is 10 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?

b) Flight departure time from Los Angeles is 1100 hrs and Los Angeles is 8 hours behind GMT. Flight arrival time in Phoenix is 1300 hrs and Phoenix is 7 hours behind GMT.
What is the journey time?

c) Flight departure time from Rome is 1500 hrs and Rome is 1 hour ahead of GMT. Flight arrival time in Athens is 1900 hrs when Athens is 2 hours ahead of GMT.
What is the journey time?

d) Flight departure time from London is 0600 hrs and London is on GMT. Flight arrival time in Singapore is 0100 hrs the next day and Singapore is 8 hours ahead of GMT. What is the journey time?


ANSWERS:

A. 5.30pm = 1730
B. 11.15am = 1115
C. 4.35pm = 1635
D. 11.15pm = 2315
E. 9.45pm = 2145
F. 2.30am = 0230
G. 9.10am = 0910
H. 3.15pm = 1515

Time calculator:
A. 8pm (2000), B. 1pm (1300), C. 8pm (2000), D. 8pm (2000), E. 2am (0200), F. 6pm (1800),

G. 8pm (2000), H. 10pm (2200) (as in the same time zone), I. 3pm (1500)

Journey times:
a) AKL-BNE: Departure AKL is 1400. Arrival in BNE is 1600. By then it will be 1800 in AKL (as AKL is two hours ahead of BNE). 1400 (2pm) to 1800 (6pm) is… 4 hours flight time.

b) LAX – PHX:  Departure from LAX is at 11am. Arrival Phoenix time is 1pm (1300). However, Phoenix is one hour ahead of LAX, which means that by the time the passengers arrive in PHX, it is only 12noon (1200) in LAX. Therefore the flight takes only one hour.

c) ROM – ATH: Departure ROM is 1500 (3pm). Arrival in ATH is 1900. ATH is 3 hours ahead, and ROM is 2 hours ahead. So Rome is one hour behind Athens. It is still only 1800 (6pm) in Rome when the flight arrives in Athens. Dep. ROM 1500, arrival (Rome time) 1800 = 3 hours flight journey time.

d) LON-SIN: Departure from LON at 6am. Singapore is 8 hours ahead of LON, so when it is 1am in Singapore, it is still only 1700 (5pm) in London (on the day of departure). From 0600 to 1700 is 11 hours. This flight from LON to SIN takes 11 hours.

Ground Crew – Airline Geography

AIRLINE GEOGRAPHY

OverviewUK map w pin

People who work in the aviation industry love air travel, and spend a lot of time talking about, working with, and visiting places around the world. Knowledge of world geography as it relates to air travel is a key advantage in not only being more professional and knowledgeable at work but in being able to enjoy learning about the exciting locations on offer.

Airline geography is principally concerned with knowing the continents of the world, and being able to mentally visualise some of the key places within a range of countries so that you can appreciate the length of the journey, the climate, and the route people might take to get there.

With airline geography you don’t need to know the highest mountain, the biggest lake, or the longest river – this is all about where places are, how long will it take to get there, what will the weather be like when I arrive, and what time will it be?!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify all the continents of the world on a map
  • Identify 10 countries popular with travellers on a map of the world
  • Identify the airports/cities of one country, from a choice of six countries
  • Plot six international air journeys on a map

Tip: We recommend that any students involved in the airline, travel or tourism fields purchase a good reference atlas and that you keep this with you at all times during your studies! It will help you to visualise the location of each country, and see how it relates to other parts of the world. Refer to it each time you hear of a place on news bulletins that you’re not familiar with, and see how it relates to where you live currently.

Airline Geography

jigsaw mapKnowing your way around the world is a great skill to have in lots of jobs, but in the airline world in particular it is an essential skill area.

You may be tested at interview on your broad geographical knowledge – to see if you have an interest in the wider world, and whether you’ve made efforts to expand your horizons.

You don’t have to have travelled everywhere as you can expand your knowledge of world geography without leaving the comforts of your own desktop!

The internet is going to be a valuable reference tool during this chapter, and we recommend that you spend as much time as you have available expanding your knowledge of regions and countries beyond your own borders.

In the airline workplace geographical knowledge is applied on an ongoing basis without you even realising it! Your duties will involve you helping people travel safely across the country, overseas, and from place to place, on a daily basis.

You will need to keep on top of your own travels, and to help passengers transit around the world your knowledge of each country will be invaluable!

Let’s start this chapter by testing your airline knowledge so far. Rate yourself at the end to see how many you answered without looking it up! By the end of the chapter you should be aiming for a 100% score!

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

How did you do? (Check below for answers.)  Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

For the rest of us, start learning now about the continents, countries and hemispheres, and expand that knowledge some more.

Look at this map of the world and you’ll see that the world is made up of seven continents.
Worlds 7_Continents

A continent is a large land map on earth. The continents, in size from largest to smallest, are:

1. Asia
2. Africa
3. North America
4. South America
5. Antarctica
6. Europe
7. Oceania (also referred to simply as ‘Australia’ or ‘Australasia’ in some maps)

Check out this chart showing the relative sizes of each continent.

Continent data_world geo

You can see that Asia (the largest continent) covers more than five times more land than Oceania (the smallest continent). The populations are also very different – with Asia hosting some 60% of the worlds’ population compared to Oceania’s with less than 1%. (0.5%).

Cities

The Top Twenty largest cities of the world are shown below, with their populations as at 2013:

1. Shanghai, China – 14 million
2. Tokyo, Japan – 13 million
3. Mumbai, India – 12 million
geisha-kyoto-p-006.24. Beijing, China – 11.5 million
5. Sáo Paulo, Brazil – 11 million
6. Delhi, India – 9.88 million
7. Seoul, South Korea – 9.82 million
8. Jakarta, Indonesia – 9.6 million
9. Mexico City, Mexico – 8.8 million
10. New York City, USA – 8.3 million

Hemispheres

The world is also ‘divided’ into two distinct halves, or ‘hemispheres’ divided by the equator.

The equator is an imaginary line on the earth’s surface, running around the middle of the earth dividing the world into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Check this map showing the location of the equator.

world_climates & equator

Northern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is north of the equator, containing most of the earth’s land area, and about 90% of its population.

Southern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is south of the equator, and hosting weather patterns that are the exact opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, e.g. when it’s summer in Europe (Northern Hemisphere), it’s winter in Australia (Southern Hemisphere).

Places at or near the Equator experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world, with 12 hour days all year round, and temperatures than can be very hot and sticky! There is also little distinction between seasons and much of the equatorial area landmass is to be found in tropical rainforests or jungles.


This and the next lesson provides an overview of each of the seven continents of the world. We recommend that you read through the text and make notes on each continent.

Checkout the maps provided on each continent, and spend some time online gathering additional informationas it relates to your region. Answer some questions about your own location:

For example:

  1. In which continent is your home located?
  2. In which country is your home located?
  3. What is the capital city of your current home country?
  4. In which hemisphere is your home city located?
  5. At which time of the year (months) does the summer occur where you live?
  6. What is the population of your home country?
  7. What is the size (total square kilometres) of your home country?
  8. Which countries are your nearest ‘neighbours’?

Answer some questions about places that are popular tourism destinations for you and your friends:

Hong Kong_airbridgeName of tourism destination: e.g. name of city or town or area
How far is it in flying time from where you live?
Which airlines serve that destination?
In which country is it located?
What is there to see and do there?
What language is spoken there?
Is it Northern or Southern Hemisphere?
What will the weather be like there in the summer months?

 

 

Lets’ take a look at each of the seven continents:

Asia

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It includes 48 countries, covers 8.6% of the earth’s total surface area and with almost 4 .3 billion people hosts 60% of the world’s current population.Taj Mahal 2_small

Most of Asia falls within the Northern Hemisphere, with only the islands of Indonesia lie below the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tourism in Asia is big business as it can offer something for everyone somewhere within its 48 countries. The range is vast – from the beaches of Bali to the temples of Thailand, cultural tours of Japan and China, shopping trips to Hong Kong and Singapore, and treks through the tropical rainforests of Indonesia.

Check this map of Asia to see which countries feature on this continent:

Asia_Political_Map_2

 

Answers for exercise above: 7 (unless you don’t count North & South America as separate continents); Eurasia/Europe; Africa; Equator; Opposite seasons/South Hemisphere has more water/Nthn Hemisphere has more landmasses; Southern; [South] America; Asia; Australia; USA.

Ground Crew – Airline Geography

AIRLINE GEOGRAPHY

OverviewUK map w pin

People who work in the aviation industry love air travel, and spend a lot of time talking about, working with, and visiting places around the world. Knowledge of world geography as it relates to air travel is a key advantage in not only being more professional and knowledgeable at work but in being able to enjoy learning about the exciting locations on offer.

Airline geography is principally concerned with knowing the continents of the world, and being able to mentally visualise some of the key places within a range of countries so that you can appreciate the length of the journey, the climate, and the route people might take to get there.

With airline geography you don’t need to know the highest mountain, the biggest lake, or the longest river – this is all about where places are, how long will it take to get there, what will the weather be like when I arrive, and what time will it be?!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify all the continents of the world on a map
  • Identify 10 countries popular with travellers on a map of the world
  • Identify the airports/cities of one country, from a choice of six countries
  • Plot six international air journeys on a map

Tip: We recommend that any students involved in the airline, travel or tourism fields purchase a good reference atlas and that you keep this with you at all times during your studies! It will help you to visualise the location of each country, and see how it relates to other parts of the world. Refer to it each time you hear of a place on news bulletins that you’re not familiar with, and see how it relates to where you live currently.

Airline Geography

jigsaw mapKnowing your way around the world is a great skill to have in lots of jobs, but in the airline world in particular it is an essential skill area.

You may be tested at interview on your broad geographical knowledge – to see if you have an interest in the wider world, and whether you’ve made efforts to expand your horizons.

You don’t have to have travelled everywhere as you can expand your knowledge of world geography without leaving the comforts of your own desktop!

The internet is going to be a valuable reference tool during this chapter, and we recommend that you spend as much time as you have available expanding your knowledge of regions and countries beyond your own borders.

In the airline workplace geographical knowledge is applied on an ongoing basis without you even realising it! Your duties will involve you helping people travel safely across the country, overseas, and from place to place, on a daily basis.

You will need to keep on top of your own travels, and to help passengers transit around the world your knowledge of each country will be invaluable!

Let’s start this chapter by testing your airline knowledge so far. Rate yourself at the end to see how many you answered without looking it up! By the end of the chapter you should be aiming for a 100% score!

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

How did you do? (Check below for answers.)  Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

For the rest of us, start learning now about the continents, countries and hemispheres, and expand that knowledge some more.

Look at this map of the world and you’ll see that the world is made up of seven continents.
Worlds 7_Continents

A continent is a large land map on earth. The continents, in size from largest to smallest, are:

1. Asia
2. Africa
3. North America
4. South America
5. Antarctica
6. Europe
7. Oceania (also referred to simply as ‘Australia’ or ‘Australasia’ in some maps)

Check out this chart showing the relative sizes of each continent.

Continent data_world geo

You can see that Asia (the largest continent) covers more than five times more land than Oceania (the smallest continent). The populations are also very different – with Asia hosting some 60% of the worlds’ population compared to Oceania’s with less than 1%. (0.5%).

Cities

The Top Twenty largest cities of the world are shown below, with their populations as at 2013:

1. Shanghai, China – 14 million
2. Tokyo, Japan – 13 million
3. Mumbai, India – 12 million
geisha-kyoto-p-006.24. Beijing, China – 11.5 million
5. Sáo Paulo, Brazil – 11 million
6. Delhi, India – 9.88 million
7. Seoul, South Korea – 9.82 million
8. Jakarta, Indonesia – 9.6 million
9. Mexico City, Mexico – 8.8 million
10. New York City, USA – 8.3 million

Hemispheres

The world is also ‘divided’ into two distinct halves, or ‘hemispheres’ divided by the equator.

The equator is an imaginary line on the earth’s surface, running around the middle of the earth dividing the world into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Check this map showing the location of the equator.

world_climates & equator

Northern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is north of the equator, containing most of the earth’s land area, and about 90% of its population.

Southern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is south of the equator, and hosting weather patterns that are the exact opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, e.g. when it’s summer in Europe (Northern Hemisphere), it’s winter in Australia (Southern Hemisphere).

Places at or near the Equator experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world, with 12 hour days all year round, and temperatures than can be very hot and sticky! There is also little distinction between seasons and much of the equatorial area landmass is to be found in tropical rainforests or jungles.


This and the next lesson provides an overview of each of the seven continents of the world. We recommend that you read through the text and make notes on each continent.

Checkout the maps provided on each continent, and spend some time online gathering additional informationas it relates to your region. Answer some questions about your own location:

For example:

  1. In which continent is your home located?
  2. In which country is your home located?
  3. What is the capital city of your current home country?
  4. In which hemisphere is your home city located?
  5. At which time of the year (months) does the summer occur where you live?
  6. What is the population of your home country?
  7. What is the size (total square kilometres) of your home country?
  8. Which countries are your nearest ‘neighbours’?

Answer some questions about places that are popular tourism destinations for you and your friends:

Hong Kong_airbridgeName of tourism destination: e.g. name of city or town or area
How far is it in flying time from where you live?
Which airlines serve that destination?
In which country is it located?
What is there to see and do there?
What language is spoken there?
Is it Northern or Southern Hemisphere?
What will the weather be like there in the summer months?

 

 

Lets’ take a look at each of the seven continents:

Asia

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It includes 48 countries, covers 8.6% of the earth’s total surface area and with almost 4 .3 billion people hosts 60% of the world’s current population.Taj Mahal 2_small

Most of Asia falls within the Northern Hemisphere, with only the islands of Indonesia lie below the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tourism in Asia is big business as it can offer something for everyone somewhere within its 48 countries. The range is vast – from the beaches of Bali to the temples of Thailand, cultural tours of Japan and China, shopping trips to Hong Kong and Singapore, and treks through the tropical rainforests of Indonesia.

Check this map of Asia to see which countries feature on this continent:

Asia_Political_Map_2

 

Answers for exercise above: 7 (unless you don’t count North & South America as separate continents); Eurasia/Europe; Africa; Equator; Opposite seasons/South Hemisphere has more water/Nthn Hemisphere has more landmasses; Southern; [South] America; Asia; Australia; USA.

Ground Crew – Airline Geography

AIRLINE GEOGRAPHY

OverviewUK map w pin

People who work in the aviation industry love air travel, and spend a lot of time talking about, working with, and visiting places around the world. Knowledge of world geography as it relates to air travel is a key advantage in not only being more professional and knowledgeable at work but in being able to enjoy learning about the exciting locations on offer.

Airline geography is principally concerned with knowing the continents of the world, and being able to mentally visualise some of the key places within a range of countries so that you can appreciate the length of the journey, the climate, and the route people might take to get there.

With airline geography you don’t need to know the highest mountain, the biggest lake, or the longest river – this is all about where places are, how long will it take to get there, what will the weather be like when I arrive, and what time will it be?!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Identify all the continents of the world on a map
  • Identify 10 countries popular with travellers on a map of the world
  • Identify the airports/cities of one country, from a choice of six countries
  • Plot six international air journeys on a map

Tip: We recommend that any students involved in the airline, travel or tourism fields purchase a good reference atlas and that you keep this with you at all times during your studies! It will help you to visualise the location of each country, and see how it relates to other parts of the world. Refer to it each time you hear of a place on news bulletins that you’re not familiar with, and see how it relates to where you live currently.

Airline Geography

jigsaw mapKnowing your way around the world is a great skill to have in lots of jobs, but in the airline world in particular it is an essential skill area.

You may be tested at interview on your broad geographical knowledge – to see if you have an interest in the wider world, and whether you’ve made efforts to expand your horizons.

You don’t have to have travelled everywhere as you can expand your knowledge of world geography without leaving the comforts of your own desktop!

The internet is going to be a valuable reference tool during this chapter, and we recommend that you spend as much time as you have available expanding your knowledge of regions and countries beyond your own borders.

In the airline workplace geographical knowledge is applied on an ongoing basis without you even realising it! Your duties will involve you helping people travel safely across the country, overseas, and from place to place, on a daily basis.

You will need to keep on top of your own travels, and to help passengers transit around the world your knowledge of each country will be invaluable!

Let’s start this chapter by testing your airline knowledge so far. Rate yourself at the end to see how many you answered without looking it up! By the end of the chapter you should be aiming for a 100% score!

1. How many continents are there in the world?
2. In which continent is the UK located?
3. In which continent would you be if you were spending a night in Cairo?
4. What imaginary line divides the Northern from the Southern Hemisphere?
5. What is the key feature that differentiates the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
6. In which hemisphere is Australia located?
7. Brazil is located in which continent?
8. Which is the worlds’ largest continent?
9. Which is the worlds’ smallest continent?
10. New York is located in which country?

How did you do? (Check below for answers.)  Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

Well done if you scored 100% – this should be an easy chapter for you!

For the rest of us, start learning now about the continents, countries and hemispheres, and expand that knowledge some more.

Look at this map of the world and you’ll see that the world is made up of seven continents.
Worlds 7_Continents

A continent is a large land map on earth. The continents, in size from largest to smallest, are:

1. Asia
2. Africa
3. North America
4. South America
5. Antarctica
6. Europe
7. Oceania (also referred to simply as ‘Australia’ or ‘Australasia’ in some maps)

Check out this chart showing the relative sizes of each continent.

Continent data_world geo

You can see that Asia (the largest continent) covers more than five times more land than Oceania (the smallest continent). The populations are also very different – with Asia hosting some 60% of the worlds’ population compared to Oceania’s with less than 1%. (0.5%).

Cities

The Top Twenty largest cities of the world are shown below, with their populations as at 2013:

1. Shanghai, China – 14 million
2. Tokyo, Japan – 13 million
3. Mumbai, India – 12 milliongeisha-kyoto-p-006.2
4. Beijing, China – 11.5 million
5. Sáo Paulo, Brazil – 11 million
6. Delhi, India – 9.88 million
7. Seoul, South Korea – 9.82 million
8. Jakarta, Indonesia – 9.6 million
9. Mexico City, Mexico – 8.8 million
10. New York City, USA – 8.3 million

Hemispheres

The world is also ‘divided’ into two distinct halves, or ‘hemispheres’ divided by the equator.

The equator is an imaginary line on the earth’s surface, running around the middle of the earth dividing the world into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Check this map showing the location of the equator.

world_climates & equator

Northern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is north of the equator, containing most of the earth’s land area, and about 90% of its population.

Southern Hemisphere is the half of the world that is south of the equator, and hosting weather patterns that are the exact opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, e.g. when it’s summer in Europe (Northern Hemisphere), it’s winter in Australia (Southern Hemisphere).

Places at or near the Equator experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset in the world, with 12 hour days all year round, and temperatures than can be very hot and sticky! There is also little distinction between seasons and much of the equatorial area landmass is to be found in tropical rainforests or jungles.


This and the next lesson provides an overview of each of the seven continents of the world. We recommend that you read through the text and make notes on each continent.

Checkout the maps provided on each continent, and spend some time online gathering additional informationas it relates to your region. Answer some questions about your own location:

For example:

  1. In which continent is your home located?
  2. In which country is your home located?
  3. What is the capital city of your current home country?
  4. In which hemisphere is your home city located?
  5. At which time of the year (months) does the summer occur where you live?
  6. What is the population of your home country?
  7. What is the size (total square kilometres) of your home country?
  8. Which countries are your nearest ‘neighbours’?

Answer some questions about places that are popular tourism destinations for you and your friends:

Hong Kong_airbridgeName of tourism destination: e.g. name of city or town or area
How far is it in flying time from where you live?
Which airlines serve that destination?
In which country is it located?
What is there to see and do there?
What language is spoken there?
Is it Northern or Southern Hemisphere?
What will the weather be like there in the summer months?

 

 

Lets’ take a look at each of the seven continents:

Asia

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It includes 48 countries, covers 8.6% of the earth’s total surface area and with almost 4 .3 billion people hosts 60% of the world’s current population.Taj Mahal 2_small

Most of Asia falls within the Northern Hemisphere, with only the islands of Indonesia lie below the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tourism in Asia is big business as it can offer something for everyone somewhere within its 48 countries. The range is vast – from the beaches of Bali to the temples of Thailand, cultural tours of Japan and China, shopping trips to Hong Kong and Singapore, and treks through the tropical rainforests of Indonesia.

Check this map of Asia to see which countries feature on this continent:

Asia_Political_Map_2

 

Answers for exercise above: 7 (unless you don’t count North & South America as separate continents); Eurasia/Europe; Africa; Equator; Opposite seasons/South Hemisphere has more water/Nthn Hemisphere has more landmasses; Southern; [South] America; Asia; Australia; USA.

Ground Crew – Airline Codes

Airline Codes

In the same way that airports are identified by a code, airlines are also translated into codes to help overcome language difficulty and to abbreviate airline names for ease of use.Central_Piazza_at_Departure_Transit_Mall

Airline codes are two letter codes and are always used as the basis of the flight number that identifies a specific flight.

British Airways airline code is BA. British Airways may operate a flight from LHR (London Heathrow airport) to PHX (Phoenix USA airport) under flight number BA4507.

When you are at the airport check out the arrivals and departure boards and you’ll see the flight numbers for flights due to arrive or depart. Alongside the flight information you will often see the logo or name of each airline. This is shown to help people know which airline each flight relates to. Once you’ve learnt the airline codes you won’t need that extra help!

Flight tickets or coupons always feature the flight number of each sector of a journey, and you can decode those airlines to establish which airline a passenger is travelling on. Sometimes a journey may be made up of one airline all the way, or may involve a change of airline at a stopover airport enroute.

Sydney airport check in
Example: A journey from LHR (London Heathrow) to AKL (Auckland-New Zealand) may commence with BA (British Airways) but change to NZ (Air New Zealand) in LAX (Los Angeles – USA) as British Airways do not fly into New Zealand. In this case the flight numbers may be:

LHR to LAX BA440
LAX to AKL NZ002

As with the airport codes, practice using flash cards, writing out the lists, and trying to use opportunities to practice whenever the chance arises. Information on these, and other airlines, can be viewed online along with other useful information about airlines.

Click through to this website to find all airline codes:
(http://www.avcodes.co.uk/airlcodesearch.asp)

Using an online airline code site look up the airline codes for the following airlines and find the two letter code for these airlines:
Air New Zealand
Qantas
Jetstar
British Airways
American Airways
Emirates
Iberia
Lufthansa
Air Canada
Alitalia
Air France
China Air
Singapore Airlines
Cathay Pacific
All Nippon Airways
Garuda
Korean Air
Virgin Atlantic
Ryan air
Easyjet
LAN Air
Continental Airlines
Delta
United Airlines
US Airways
Qatari
Turkish Airlines
Lion Inter

The above website and also this UK based website (http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/home.asp) are good places to code and decode airport codes, airline codes and lots more!

This site here (https://www.world-airport-codes.com) provides not just coding and decoding of airlines and airports, but includes maps of the airport location and the precise geographical location of the airport. The site includes links to some great information, such as the top airports of the world, so well worth a browse!

AIrport

 

 

 

Answers: NZ, QF, JQ, BA, AA, EK, IB, LH, AC, AZ, AF, CI, SQ, CX, NH, GA, KE, VS, 7S, U2, LA, CO, DL, UA, US, QR, TK, JT

Ground Crew – Airline Codes

Airline Codes

In the same way that airports are identified by a code, airlines are also translated into codes to help overcome language difficulty and to abbreviate airline names for ease of use.Central_Piazza_at_Departure_Transit_Mall

Airline codes are two letter codes and are always used as the basis of the flight number that identifies a specific flight.

British Airways airline code is BA. British Airways may operate a flight from LHR (London Heathrow airport) to PHX (Phoenix USA airport) under flight number BA4507.

When you are at the airport check out the arrivals and departure boards and you’ll see the flight numbers for flights due to arrive or depart. Alongside the flight information you will often see the logo or name of each airline. This is shown to help people know which airline each flight relates to. Once you’ve learnt the airline codes you won’t need that extra help!

Flight tickets or coupons always feature the flight number of each sector of a journey, and you can decode those airlines to establish which airline a passenger is travelling on. Sometimes a journey may be made up of one airline all the way, or may involve a change of airline at a stopover airport enroute.

Sydney airport check in
Example: A journey from LHR (London Heathrow) to AKL (Auckland-New Zealand) may commence with BA (British Airways) but change to NZ (Air New Zealand) in LAX (Los Angeles – USA) as British Airways do not fly into New Zealand. In this case the flight numbers may be:

LHR to LAX BA440
LAX to AKL NZ002

As with the airport codes, practice using flash cards, writing out the lists, and trying to use opportunities to practice whenever the chance arises. Information on these, and other airlines, can be viewed online along with other useful information about airlines.

Click through to this website to find all airline codes:
(http://www.avcodes.co.uk/airlcodesearch.asp)

Using an online airline code site look up the airline codes for the following airlines and find the two letter code for these airlines:
Air New Zealand
Qantas
Jetstar
British Airways
American Airways
Emirates
Iberia
Lufthansa
Air Canada
Alitalia
Air France
China Air
Singapore Airlines
Cathay Pacific
All Nippon Airways
Garuda
Korean Air
Virgin Atlantic
Ryan air
Easyjet
LAN Air
Continental Airlines
Delta
United Airlines
US Airways
Qatari
Turkish Airlines
Lion Inter

The above website and also this UK based website (http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/home.asp) are good places to code and decode airport codes, airline codes and lots more!

This site here (https://www.world-airport-codes.com) provides not just coding and decoding of airlines and airports, but includes maps of the airport location and the precise geographical location of the airport. The site includes links to some great information, such as the top airports of the world, so well worth a browse!

AIrport

 

 

 

Answers: NZ, QF, JQ, BA, AA, EK, IB, LH, AC, AZ, AF, CI, SQ, CX, NH, GA, KE, VS, 7S, U2, LA, CO, DL, UA, US, QR, TK, JT

Ground Crew – Airline Codes

Airline Codes

In the same way that airports are identified by a code, airlines are also translated into codes to help overcome language difficulty and to abbreviate airline names for ease of use.Central_Piazza_at_Departure_Transit_Mall

Airline codes are two letter codes and are always used as the basis of the flight number that identifies a specific flight.

British Airways airline code is BA. British Airways may operate a flight from LHR (London Heathrow airport) to PHX (Phoenix USA airport) under flight number BA4507.

When you are at the airport check out the arrivals and departure boards and you’ll see the flight numbers for flights due to arrive or depart. Alongside the flight information you will often see the logo or name of each airline. This is shown to help people know which airline each flight relates to. Once you’ve learnt the airline codes you won’t need that extra help!

Flight tickets or coupons always feature the flight number of each sector of a journey, and you can decode those airlines to establish which airline a passenger is travelling on. Sometimes a journey may be made up of one airline all the way, or may involve a change of airline at a stopover airport enroute.

Sydney airport check in
Example: A journey from LHR (London Heathrow) to AKL (Auckland-New Zealand) may commence with BA (British Airways) but change to NZ (Air New Zealand) in LAX (Los Angeles – USA) as British Airways do not fly into New Zealand. In this case the flight numbers may be:

LHR to LAX BA440
LAX to AKL NZ002

As with the airport codes, practice using flash cards, writing out the lists, and trying to use opportunities to practice whenever the chance arises. Information on these, and other airlines, can be viewed online along with other useful information about airlines.

Click through to this website to find all airline codes:
(http://www.avcodes.co.uk/airlcodesearch.asp)

Using an online airline code site look up the airline codes for the following airlines and find the two letter code for these airlines:
Air New Zealand
Qantas
Jetstar
British Airways
American Airways
Emirates
Iberia
Lufthansa
Air Canada
Alitalia
Air France
China Air
Singapore Airlines
Cathay Pacific
All Nippon Airways
Garuda
Korean Air
Virgin Atlantic
Ryan air
Easyjet
LAN Air
Continental Airlines
Delta
United Airlines
US Airways
Qatari
Turkish Airlines
Lion Inter

The above website and also this UK based website (http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/home.asp) are good places to code and decode airport codes, airline codes and lots more!

This site here (https://www.world-airport-codes.com) provides not just coding and decoding of airlines and airports, but includes maps of the airport location and the precise geographical location of the airport. The site includes links to some great information, such as the top airports of the world, so well worth a browse!

AIrport

 

 

 

Answers: NZ, QF, JQ, BA, AA, EK, IB, LH, AC, AZ, AF, CI, SQ, CX, NH, GA, KE, VS, 7S, U2, LA, CO, DL, UA, US, QR, TK, JT

Ground Crew – Aviation Codes

AVIATION CODES

Overview

Airlines fly each day to hundreds of airports around the world, all given a name to identify it. Some airports bear the name of the city in which they are located (e.g. Manchester airport) whereas others are named after a famous person (e.g. JFK Airport in New York is named after John F Kennedy, the former US president).airport blurs

Some large cities have more than one airport. Passengers flying to London in the UK for example, have a choice of four main airports and several smaller ones.

In order to overcome confusion around which airport is which, the aviation industry uses a series of codes to identify both the airport names and airlines operating around the world.

This coding system helps to overcome language difficulties and establishes a common method of referring to both airports and airlines.

This chapter introduces you to these codes, and you should learn as many of these as possible if you intend to follow an airline or airport career!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

* Code and decode several airports  in the world
* Code and decode several international airlines
* Identify the location of a selection of cities

Airport Codes

Airport codes are also known as the IATA airport code, and consist of three letters.
The codes are determined by the International Air Transport Association – known as IATA. Graphic of airport codesIATA is the regulatory body that controls aviation activities around the world. There are around 250 airports worldwide, all know by their three letter code.

Example:
A journey from Sydney (Australia) to Madrid, is shown as: SYD – MAD
A journey from Los Angeles airport (USA) to Auckland (New Zealand) is : LAX – AKL

Some airport codes seem very logical, such as the MAD example shown above, as the code is made up of the first three letters of the airport name. This is also the name of the city served by this airport.

Others are far less logical. LAX is a great example of this! Wouldn’t it be better to have chosen LOS as the airport code for Los Angeles? It would, but LOS has already been assigned to another airport, Lagos in Nigeria.

Some airport codes are nothing like their airport name. A good example is Malaga airport, which bears the airport code AGP!

GROUND CREW

Airline staff must learn these codes as they are used in many areas of airline operations, including:

Reservations systems
Flight ticketingChecked luggage label
Baggage labelling
Aircraft boarding cards

Ground staff need to translate the codes readily when working at check-in and to help passengers with enquiries and to resolve problems associated with passengers travel plans.

Many airlines or airport handling agencies test knowledge of these at interview, and knowing some of these codes will give you an advantage from the start.

Focus on the airports and airlines relevant to your home region and country as these will be the ones that form the basis of your learning.

How to learn the Airport Codes

The best way to learn these codes is by using them regularly. We also recommend writing them out, testing yourself, re-testing, even using ‘flash cards’ to help your learning.

This involves writing each code on one side of a small card and the full airport name on the other side, making up a pack of these cards, shuffling them and holding each card up, reciting the airport name out loud, then testing yourself in short/fast bursts until you have mastered as many as possible.

It’s possible to learn 30 or more codes over a couple of days, so give it a go!!

Pick out firstly the airports near to you, and in the country in which you live. Learn these ones by ‘rote’ before moving onto the ones in other countries near to you, then the ones in countries people like to travel to from where you live.

Try to find ways to remind yourself about these codes, such as using/referring to them when planning your next trip that involves flying. When you’re at an airport test yourself on the codes using the airline arrivals and departures boards – that will really help the time pass quickly!

The exercises in this chapter provide you with a good start in learning codes. A great learning activity is to research the airport codes for each of these cities and to reproduce this list by airport code alphabetically. 

Extensive lists of airport codes, arranged alphabetically by code or by airport, are found readily on the web, such as http://www.world-airport-codes.com/


New Zealand Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. AucklandMap of NewZealand
2. Hamilton
3. Wellington
4. Tauranga
5. Nelson
6. Christchurch


Australian Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. Sydney
2. Brisbane
3. Cairns
4. Perth
5. Melbourne
6. Adelaide
7. Darwin


North American Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:

1. Los Angeles
2. San FranciscoAtlanta airport #4
3. New York
4. Washington
5. Miami
6. Orlando
7. New Orleans
8. Seattle
9. Chicago
10. Honolulu

Canadian Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:

1. Vancouverairport check in
2. Toronto
3. Ottowa
4. Montreal

(Did you notice a common letter in these codes?)

UK Airport Codes

Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. London Heathrow
2. London Gatwick
3. London Stansted
4. Manchester
5. Birmingham
6. Newcastle
7. Leeds/Bradfordairport-terminal2a
8. Edinburgh
9. Glasgow
10. Aberdeen
11. Cardiff

European Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:

1. Paris
2. Nice
3. Amsterdam
4. Madrid
5. Barcelona
6. Malaga
7. Prague
8. Romeairport welcome_Frankfurt
9. Venice
10. Naples/Sorrento
11. Warsaw
12. Berlin (Tegel airport)
13. Hamburg
14. Frankfurt
15. Athens

Asian Airport Codes Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. Bangkok
2. Shanghai
3. Beijing
4. TokyoChangi airport terminal (Singapore)
5. Bali/Denpasar
6. Singapore
7. Hongkong

Pacific Island Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. Fiji  (Nadi)
2. Rarotonga
3. Samoa  (Apia)
4. Tonga (Nuku’alofa)
5. Tahiti (Papeete)

African/Middle East Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:

1. Cairo – Egypt
2. Agadir – MoroccoDubai airport #1
3. Tunis – Tunisia
4. Dubai – UAE
5. Johannesburg – South Africa
8. Nairobi – Kenya
9. Lagos – Nigeria
10. Beirut – Lebanon

 

 

 

 

Answers:
NZ – AKL, HLZ, WLG, TRG, NSN, CHC
OZ – SYD, BNE, CNS, PER, MEL, ADL, DRW
Nth America – LAX, SFO, NYC, WAS, MIA, ORL, MSY, SEA, CHI, HNL
Canada – YVR, YTO, YOW, YMX
UK – LHR, LGW, STN, MAN, BHX, NCL, LBA, EDI, GLA, ABZ, CWL
Europe – PAR, NCE, AMS, MAD, BCN, AGP, PRG, ROM, VCE, RRO, WAW, TXL, HAM, FRA, ATH
Asia – BKK, SHA, BEH, TYO, DPS, SIN, HKG
Pacific – NAN, RAR, APW, TBU, PPT
Africa – CAI, AGA, TNS, DBX, JNB, NBO, LOS, BEY.

Ground Crew – Aviation Codes

AVIATION CODES

Overview

Airlines fly each day to hundreds of airports around the world, all given a name to identify it. Some airports bear the name of the city in which they are located (e.g. Manchester airport) whereas others are named after a famous person (e.g. JFK Airport in New York is named after John F Kennedy, the former US president).airport blurs

Some large cities have more than one airport. Passengers flying to London in the UK for example, have a choice of four main airports and several smaller ones.

In order to overcome confusion around which airport is which, the aviation industry uses a series of codes to identify both the airport names and airlines operating around the world.

This coding system helps to overcome language difficulties and establishes a common method of referring to both airports and airlines.

This chapter introduces you to these codes, and you should learn as many of these as possible if you intend to follow an airline or airport career!

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this chapter you will be able to:

* Code and decode several airports  in the world
* Code and decode several international airlines
* Identify the location of a selection of cities

Airport Codes

Airport codes are also known as the IATA airport code, and consist of three letters.
The codes are determined by the International Air Transport Association – known as IATA. Graphic of airport codesIATA is the regulatory body that controls aviation activities around the world. There are around 250 airports worldwide, all know by their three letter code.

Example:
A journey from Sydney (Australia) to Madrid, is shown as: SYD – MAD
A journey from Los Angeles airport (USA) to Auckland (New Zealand) is : LAX – AKL

Some airport codes seem very logical, such as the MAD example shown above, as the code is made up of the first three letters of the airport name. This is also the name of the city served by this airport.

Others are far less logical. LAX is a great example of this! Wouldn’t it be better to have chosen LOS as the airport code for Los Angeles? It would, but LOS has already been assigned to another airport, Lagos in Nigeria.

Some airport codes are nothing like their airport name. A good example is Malaga airport, which bears the airport code AGP!

GROUND CREW

Airline staff must learn these codes as they are used in many areas of airline operations, including:

Reservations systems
Flight ticketingChecked luggage label
Baggage labelling
Aircraft boarding cards

Ground staff need to translate the codes readily when working at check-in and to help passengers with enquiries and to resolve problems associated with passengers travel plans.

Many airlines or airport handling agencies test knowledge of these at interview, and knowing some of these codes will give you an advantage from the start.

Focus on the airports and airlines relevant to your home region and country as these will be the ones that form the basis of your learning.

How to learn the Airport Codes

The best way to learn these codes is by using them regularly. We also recommend writing them out, testing yourself, re-testing, even using ‘flash cards’ to help your learning.

This involves writing each code on one side of a small card and the full airport name on the other side, making up a pack of these cards, shuffling them and holding each card up, reciting the airport name out loud, then testing yourself in short/fast bursts until you have mastered as many as possible.

It’s possible to learn 30 or more codes over a couple of days, so give it a go!!

Pick out firstly the airports near to you, and in the country in which you live. Learn these ones by ‘rote’ before moving onto the ones in other countries near to you, then the ones in countries people like to travel to from where you live.

Try to find ways to remind yourself about these codes, such as using/referring to them when planning your next trip that involves flying. When you’re at an airport test yourself on the codes using the airline arrivals and departures boards – that will really help the time pass quickly!

The exercises in this chapter provide you with a good start in learning codes. A great learning activity is to research the airport codes for each of these cities and to reproduce this list by airport code alphabetically. 

Extensive lists of airport codes, arranged alphabetically by code or by airport, are found readily on the web, such as http://www.world-airport-codes.com/


New Zealand Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. AucklandMap of NewZealand
2. Hamilton
3. Wellington
4. Tauranga
5. Nelson
6. Christchurch


Australian Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:
1. Sydney
2. Brisbane
3. Cairns
4. Perth
5. Melbourne
6. Adelaide
7. Darwin


North American Airport Codes
Look up these codes online and write them down:

1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco