Cebu Pacific (CEB), the Philippines’ largest carrier, has launched new customer service innovations, coinciding with the peak travel season when thousands of Filipinos are either flying home or flying out for the holidays.
CEB is investing over Dh4.4 million per year over the next five years to significantly improve its customer service by implementing innovative customer-facing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions. These solutions are now running to improve airport operations, and to make online booking services more convenient for the airline’s passengers.
Several thousand Filipinos from the UAE have flown home for the festive season via CEB. Set to return to the UAE soon, these passengers will be among the first customers who will be experiencing the airline’s new service at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Michael Ivan Shau, Vice President for Airport Services of Cebu Pacific, said: “As we expand our fleet and route network, there’s also been a substantial focus on improving customer experience. While Cebu Pacific will continue to be a low-cost carrier, we recognise the need to ensure our passengers have a good experience flying with us.
“With the staggering investments in place, CEB assures its customers that the ground-breaking enhancements in operations will not translate into higher fares but are in fact the airline’s way of thanking its customers for their continued patronage,” Shau added.
CEB’s new service called MAX Airport is a digital platform that allows the airline’s Philippine airport personnel to remotely check-in passengers, assign seats, facilitate payment for baggage and other ancillary services, and even print boarding passes.
The MAX Airport suite, which is installed on iPads, is now being used by CEB ground staff at NAIA Terminals 3 and 4. All 36 other domestic destinations of CEB have already been equipped with the remote check-in devices.
“The increasing number of travellers is outpacing current airport capacity and infrastructure. It is imperative we invest in technology and streamline processes to improve passenger throughput at check-in and lessen the pain points for our customers. The remote check-in devices are designed so that passengers can complete check-in procedures without ever having to fall in line at the counters,” Shau said.
“As MAX Airport speeds up the necessary steps, the airline’s on-time performance is also expected to improve, thus reducing the occurrences of flight delays caused by these time-consuming procedures,” he added.
MAX Airport is a product of Levarti Ltd, a leading global developer of web-based and mobile platforms for the airline industry. MAX Airport is part of an entire suite of mobile and desktop applications that are conveniently linked with the carrier’s internal systems.
In the coming months, CEB will integrate the rest of the Levarti MAX suite into its operations. These include MAX Ops, designed to better manage disrupted flights and assist affected passengers; and MAX Ramp, which improves turn-around time by delivering real-time airport, flight and operational information to all personnel.
Travellers can now instantly check travel requirements and restrictions to their destination of choice as they book their flights on the CEB website.
“What used to be a tedious work of researching and verifying whether or not one can or cannot go to a destination now takes just one click on our website,” Shau said.
TravelDoc, a software created by the Dutch aviation security services firm ICTS, features a comprehensive Travel Document Rule Library that displays each country’s immigration, health and safety, and customs rules. Its key functionalities include a clear “Go or No Go” indication, along with clear instructions on the documents needed and real-time online updates of travel information.
With this new tool on the CEB website, which can be accessed through the “Plan Trip” section, customers are readily informed of what they have to know and prepare prior to booking their flights. Since TravelDoc is updated real-time, any advisories, restrictions and changes in rules also show up right away.
On top of it being a useful tool for online booking, the software allows check-in agents to check documentation and restrictions instantly; thus cutting the time needed to verify travel requirements.
Beyond year-round low fares and promotions such as the “Piso Fare,” Cebu Pacific has introduced product innovations that offer greater convenience, value and choice for customers through the years.
These include web and mobile check-in, self-serve check-in kiosks and a new in-flight menu. The carrier has also set up a Customer Command Centre – one of the first airlines in Asia to do so – to better respond to customer concerns and feedback; monitor customer sentiment; and provide real-time updates.
CEB is also the first to have invested in disabled passenger lifts, allowing persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility to board and deplane safely, easily and more comfortably.