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US fines British Airways US$1.1million over delayed refunds

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US fines British Airways US$1.1million over delayed refunds

British Airways has been fined $1.1 million by the U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) for failing to promptly refund passengers for flights to and from the United States during the Covid-19 outbreak, the USDOT announced on Thursday.

Since March 2020, USDOT has received more than 1,200 complaints claiming that British Airways failed to issue refunds in a timely manner. The accusations have been denied by IAG-owned British Airways.

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British Airways issued almost $40 million in refunds to consumers with nonrefundable tickets in 2020 and 2021, according to USDOT, which said it will deduct $550,000 from the airline’s fine for this. According to USDOT, the fine “establishes a strong deterrent to future similar unlawful practices by British Airways and other carriers.”

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In addition to giving consumers options to rebook travel or request refunds in the event of flight cancellations, British Airways claimed it always acted lawfully.

British Airways failed to maintain sufficient customer service phone lines, according to USDOT, which resulted in customers phoning the carrier for British Airways failed to maintain sufficient customer service phone lines, according to USDOT, which resulted in customers phoning the carrier for several months being unable to reach its customer service agents.

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The airline claimed on Thursday that consumers had to wait a little longer to speak with customer support teams “at the height of the unprecedented pandemic when we were regrettably forced to cancel thousands of flights and close some call centers due to government restrictions.” USDOT has been fining airlines it claims did not issue reimbursements in a timely manner.

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Aerospace

Saudia Enters a New Era Through Major Re-Brand Strategy

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Saudia Enters a New Era Through Major Re-Brand Strategy

Jeddah, Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, revealed its new brand identity and livery during a milestone event in Jeddah, in the presence of Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, and leaders from both the public and private sectors, as well as prominent media correspondents and aviation experts. This new identity is in line with a wider strategic digital transformation plan aimed at strengthening the airline’s support for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to bring the world to Saudi Arabia.

The new brand color identity, comprised of green, blue, and sand, represents Saudia’s aim to expand its fleet and destinations, connecting the world to Saudi Arabia, and emphasizing the Kingdom’s authenticity and deep-rooted values.

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In parallel to the rebrand, Saudia has also undertaken a huge digital transformation, entirely enhancing the customer digital experience. Saudia leads among international airlines in operating generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a virtual assistant, named “SAUDIA”, being one of the first of its kind in the region. Saudia will enable guests to complete the entire transaction through this efficient process by the end of the year.

The ambitious, long-planned digital transformation, fully improves customer experience but also allow more streamlined operations and processes while ensuring the highest levels of protection of guests’ personal data, through strong partnerships with global leading companies.

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His Excellency Engr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, Director General of Saudia Group, said: “We are experiencing a new era and a very exciting time for Saudia. Our airline has evolved from a Douglas DC-3 aircraft in 1945, to a 140-aircraft modern fleet serving over 100 destinations, becoming one of the largest airline in the region.

The name and logo of Saudia are integral parts of the Kingdom’s aviation history and development, and our people share a special emotional connection with the brand. We have incorporated this rich heritage into our new identity, adding elements that reflect our visionary approach, poised to captivate the world.”

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Saudia is not only rolling out a fully integrated digital program and revamping its look, it is also effectively and quickly helping advance Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, collaborating with all industry stakeholders to achieve the targets of the National Aviation Strategy. The strategy aims to turn Saudi Arabia into a leader in the global industry, by enhancing the customer experience, improving safety and working towards a more sustainable future, in line with Saudia’s expansion goals to bring around 330 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2030.

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By 2026, Dubai hopes to have a fully functioning flying taxi service.

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By constructing a fully operating flying taxi network by 2026, Dubai aspires to be the city that leads the future of flying taxis.

According to the Khaleej Times, an English-language newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates, the CEO of Skyports, which builds landing infrastructure for these aerial taxis, said Wednesday that he believed the city would be the first in the world to integrate a “fully-developed network” of flying taxis into its public transportation network.

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According to a news release on its website, Skyports originally announced plans to develop the vertiports – launching pads for these airborne taxis — in February. There are plans to build four landing sites near Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown, and Dubai Marina.

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Four vertiport sites located near Dubai International Airport, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Downtown, and Dubai Marina, which are currently being considered by Skyports Infrastructure and RTA, were presented to a senior delegation which included His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, accompanied by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. These initial locations will connect four of Dubai’s most popular – and populous – areas, providing high-speed, zero-emissions connectivity.

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The air mobility exposition demonstrates the RTA and Skyports Infrastructure’s planned roadmap for developing a vertiport network in Dubai for launch by 2026, including a concept for how future vertiport infrastructure may look and how it will integrate with existing transportation, including the RTA’s Dubai Metro network and Dubai International Airport.

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Ahmed Bahrozyan, Chief Executive Officer of The Public Transport Agency at RTA, said, “The RTA’s plan for aerial taxis is in line with the Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, which aims to make 25 percent of all trips in Dubai driverless by 2030. The project aims to roll out a new mobility service driven by pioneering technology to ease the mobility of individuals across urban areas in a safe, smooth, and sustainable manner integrated with the public transport network in Dubai. The service is set to be operational by 2026.

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Airlines

10 frequently asked questions about cabin crew interviews

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10 frequently asked questions about cabin crew interviews

The most significant levels of responsibility in the aviation industry belong to the cabin crew because they are in charge of passenger service and safety. However, when hiring a new cabin crew, airlines usually take that into account.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 frequently asked questions about cabin crew interviews.

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1. Tell me about yourself.

Answer: “I’m a dedicated and passionate individual who has always been fascinated by the aviation industry. I hold [mention relevant qualifications, if any] and have a strong background in customer service, which I believe is essential for a cabin crew role. I’m known for my attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.”

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2. Why do you want to be a cabin crew member?

Answer: “I’ve always been drawn to the idea of traveling, meeting new people, and providing exceptional service. I believe that being a cabin crew member allows me to combine my passion for travel with my commitment to delivering top-notch customer experiences. I thrive in dynamic environments and love the idea of making every passenger’s journey safe and enjoyable.”

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3 How would you handle a passenger who refuses to comply with flight attendant instructions during takeoff and landing?

A1: If a passenger doesn’t follow instructions during takeoff and landing, I’d kindly remind them about safety rules and explain why it’s important to comply. If they continue to refuse, I’d inform my supervisor or the pilot to ensure everyone’s safety.

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4 What would you do if someone afraid of flying started panicking?

A2: If someone is scared of flying and panicking, I’d approach them calmly, offer reassurance, and try to keep them calm. I might provide information about the flight and suggest relaxation techniques. If their panic worsens, we have medical professionals on board, and if necessary, the pilot can consider diverting the flight for their well-being.

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5. If two passengers were having a dispute over one seat, what would be your method for resolving the issue?

Resolving a Seat Dispute: If two passengers were disputing one seat, I would approach them calmly and politely. I’d ask them to explain the issue and listen carefully. My goal would be to find an amicable solution, which might involve checking the seat assignments, offering alternatives if available, or seeking assistance from the cabin supervisor or cockpit crew if necessary.

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6. Do you feel comfortable in new environments and situations?

Comfort in New Environments: Yes, as a flight attendant, I’m trained to adapt to new environments and situations. It’s part of the job, and I’m comfortable handling various scenarios that may arise during a flight.

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7. How have you resolved a challenging situation with a co-worker in the past?

Resolving Challenging Situations with Co-workers: In the past, when facing a challenging situation with a co-worker, I’ve approached the issue privately and discussed our concerns openly and respectfully. We usually find a compromise or seek assistance from a supervisor if needed to maintain a harmonious working environment.

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8. What are your customer service strengths?

Customer Service Strengths: My strengths in customer service include active listening, empathy, patience, and clear communication. I aim to make passengers feel comfortable and valued during their flight experience.

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9. What was your favorite flight experience?

Favorite Flight Experience: It’s challenging to pick a single favorite flight experience, as every flight is unique. However, I find joy in creating memorable moments for passengers, such as helping a nervous traveler overcome their fear or assisting with a special celebration onboard.

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10. What are the first things you would do in an emergency situation in the air?

Emergency Situation in the Air: In an emergency situation, my primary focus is on passengers’ safety. I would remain calm, alert the cockpit crew, secure the cabin, assist passengers, and follow established procedures, such as initiating an evacuation if necessary, to ensure everyone’s well-being.

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