As we begin the second half of 2022, you have heard the litany of air travel complaints which reflect anything but the ‘normal’ we had hoped for as travel rebounded.
Cancellations, delays, and inadequate updates have created the chaotic situation being experienced by travelers worldwide. I am sure some of you are included in the numbers, as am I.
I often say that we in the travel services business are an essential link in the chain of supplying a good experience for our travelers. So, since we do not run the aircraft, or own the hotels, and run the airports, along with other transportation services, our mission is to guide the travelers, be there for them, offer advice in scheduling and price, and make them aware of the tools that will keep them safe and hassle free.
In short, there is a definite interdependence that we have with our vendors who need us to service not just those perceived as our customers but who are essentially “theirs” as well. It’s a common sense thing to work together. And we do well under normal times. But the chain is breaking.
Since late Fall last year, I have been noticing how many people arrive at the airports with insufficient guidance as to what to expect. This was over complicated by health rules that differed by country and which changed frequently. Many times, I would offer some help to travelers who needed advice at the airports.
Yes, the pent up demand was and is there, thankfully, more than ever. It started with the vacation traveler and those wanting to visit family and friends after being away from them during the lockdowns. Today many of the travelers are buying tickets from many sources; many online, whose infrastructure is not necessarily set up to guide their traveler as a traditional travel service does.
Reasons are many, yet I know we need to do better regardless of other factors like labor shortages that have impaired service levels. We have to strengthen those links and keep moving forward together regardless of what the economy may have in store for us. Over the past fifty years, Omega has lived through many disruptions including high inflation in the later 70s, strikes, deregulation, commission cuts, 911 terrorism, recession, and the pandemic with the current aftermath.
My mission was to always stay relevant; keep in touch with our customer base; keep innovating and be sure to maintain our core strengths. This includes staff.
Airports and airlines need to do their parts in taking care of the people they service. We will do our part in supporting them.
We have increased our training program to include recent graduates from travel and hospitality schools. We are hiring and training graduates from colleges, trade schools, and high schools with a mentoring program that will prepare new employees for the workplace. Our industry is a great producer of job opportunities. It can be a great lifetime profession. Technology training used to be much harder in the past, but now young applicants have grown up with technology, which has also become easier to use than in the “old” days. Training and mentoring have helped us grow through the years.
I urge our travelers to become familiar with online booking tools. We will train you! Ask us for help.
Use our OmegaGO app which is an important tool for guiding travelers. Couple it with the airline apps that are part of the trip, just in case messages do not come across in exact times. A list of benefits and features of the OmegaGO app are listed separately at the end of this letter. Customization and special features may incur a small charge; and, your account managers can walk you through the benefits.
If possible, let us send you our industry updates for your internal intranets or newsletters.
We also want to be sure that your policy and procedures are updated and in sync with service level expectations.
Please try to be familiar with the current information on our website, much of which can be transferred to your internal sites.
Our staff is available 24/7, and yet I notice how many calls can be avoided if travelers know the tools available to them.
We have had strong staying power through the years because we look to making things work with all those who are part of your trip. After all, you are paying for service and you should not be hassled.
The really good news is that people are returning to work, companies are traveling again, and they want to see an upward trend to profitability. We hear that things may have to get worse before they get better. Maybe so. Yet, you have my assurance that we will work NOT to let this happen.
Thank you for your time.
• Live chat, direct email, or one-click call with your agent team
• Itinerary Information
• Itinerary updates as changes are made
• Airport Maps
• City Guide
• Flight mobile check-in with real time flight status and alerts
• Detailed travel guides of your destination and the ability to book tours with just a few clicks
• Share Itinerary via text, email, or tweet
• Uber and Lyft integration
• Daily itinerary of visits including the Trip Genius to automatically support the best tours
• Maps and turn-by-turn directions by foot
• Trip Journal to share your adventures/timeline
• Augmented reality to discover hot spots
• Currency converter, postcards
• Airport transfers
• Travel insurance
• Baggage insurance
• Visa and passport dervice