Warning: this has nothing to do with access management 🙂
I recently had a hideous experience when a flight from Barcelona was cancelled due to the French Air Strike. I had to queue for 4 hours to get rebooked on another flight. Noone gave us any information. Noone gave us any water. We got conflicting information about whether BA would book us in to hotels so people were running up big bills on iphones trying to find accommodation. You had to rely on people being nice and letting you back in if you needed the loo. It was nearly midnight when I had finished and I still had to get back to my hotel. In short, it was hell – and got even worse when I got to Madrid (I wanted to go to London btw, not Madrid!) and had to start the whole queuing process all over again to get another boarding card.
BA were basically incapable of managing the process of rebooking people on to flights, let alone think about offering customer service. There were four people processing the queue. Each person seemed to take between 15 – 30 minutes to sort out. There were 100’s of people in the queue.
So my idea whilst I was busily queueing – Stranded Concierge! (Actually, @LiamEarney gave me the name when i was explaining it to him so I guess I will have to give him a cut of profits). When flights get cancelled, the airline simply passes details of all the customers stranded to Stranded Concierge. They immediately send e-mails / texts to travellers telling them to stay where they are and a Concierge will be in touch. The Concierge then arranges appropriate acccommodation and travel plans and gets them back to the customers as soon as possible. Stranded Concierge could have a large team of people working remotely on this problem, not four stressed people on counters at the airport.
The airlines would pay for service, Stranded Concierge could do deals with local hotels, restaurants etc. Customers could sign up to the service separately and register preferences, flexibility if flights are cancelled, ongoing travel plans etc.
Even better, Stranded Concierge would have deals in place with airport concessions to look after the people who have gone to the airport, so they can wait in comfort with access to food, drink and toilets, instead of in an undignified queue across the airport.
End result: happier customers, happier staff and business opportunities.
All I need now is a good developer and some backing money please. Any offers? 🙂