We have recently received more feedback from our members about the OBSM program and we felt the need to comment. Amidst the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, the increase in disruptive passenger incidents, and the ever-present air turbulence challenges, our members continue to remain professional and focussed on safety.
The world of air travel is constantly in flux. The primary function of our members is to be vigilant and ensure the safety of passengers and crew in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Situational awareness is always practiced, and our training and preparedness can be called upon at any time inflight. We are first responders.
In addition to everything we do to ensure passenger safety and comfort, here are some suggestions we have seen communicated to a member directly from an OBSM:
“An ‘Exceeds Expectations’ rating essentially relates to going above and beyond in each Customer Service Touchpoint. Examples of this could be such genuine, anticipatory actions as:
• offering a drink to a customer waiting beside the galley to use the lav, or offering a glass of water to use in the lav when noticing they have a toothbrush
• when serving, some examples of ‘Exceeds Expectations’ level of service would be saying, “May I offer you the roasted vegetable pasta or the chicken with cream sauce?” and “Will you be joining us for dinner?”
• wishing our customers, “Bon Appetit” or, “Enjoy” with a smile, after placing down their meal
• placing and all branded items such as napkins and cups with the Rondelle facing our customers
• bending down to making eye contact when speaking, ensuring not to place your arm across their screen when serving
• making the effort to walk through the galley and over, rather than speaking loudly across the middle seat bank when communicating with a colleague on the other side
• placing a glass of water next to a sleeping PY customer, knowing that they are likely to wake up thirsty
• offering to help a customer find a movie and suggest a personal favorite
• remembering what our customer is drinking
• thorough knowledge of all wines being served in PY, demonstrate the wine label facing our customer, offer our customer a taste
• ensure that not only are call lights promptly answered but to return to ensure continued customer satisfaction
• provide customer satisfaction verification, “How was your flight, sir?” or “Did you enjoy your meal, ma’am?”. Listen carefully to the response.
• avoid saying, “No”, but come up with a reasonable alternative
This is by no means an exhaustive checklist of what to do to receive a rating of ‘Exceeds Expectations’, merely some ideas of the proactive, anticipatory approach and discreet level of finesse that is expected with an elevated level of service.”
The expectations and standards that the Company is trying to set completely miss the point and are disrespectful to the very core of our profession. We already do many of the things that they are suggesting. The only difference is that we do it authentically and with a genuine smile. The way that this standard is being set is attempting to turn us into robotic automatons.
In the words of one of our esteemed colleagues who said it best: “The problem here is that the checklist aims to break down a flight attendant’s job into measurable items, but as anyone who has ever flown will tell you, a truly outstanding flight attendant is one who leaves you with the feeling that you have been spending the day with someone who cares about you, and this is very hard to measure.”
We thank our members for continuing to provide us with more examples of unreasonable standards being set in regards to service. We will continue to raise awareness and address these inappropriate expectations with all resources available to us.