Online check-in and information gathering in advance
One of our recommendations to Porter is to encouraging customers to check-in online and provide personal info regarding number of personal items, carry-ons and checked bags at least one day (up to thirty days) before departure. The extended check-in window provides the passengers more time and opportunities to notify Porter of their travel details. Cancellations should also be made in advance and notify Porter in a timely manner. By doing so, the estimated weight of the aircraft will be calculated more precisely and efficiently before date of departure.
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One method of incentify the passenger to provide information is to implement travel credit rewards or discount system encouraging passengers to notifying the airline in advance if they do not plan to board the airplane due to any reason. Passengers booking non-refundable and unchangeable flight tickets do not have any incentive to notify the airline of their no-show, and the total weight of passengers are difficult to estimate before the date of check-in. In his strategy, cancellations made 7 days, 3 days or 24 hours before departure will receive credits or discount added to account. Or Porter could add a no-show fee (could be refunded on the day of the departure) to the original price when purchasing.
Collaboration with other departments
Work with customer service representatives at check-in desks to speed up the process of information gathering. In accordance with the statistics, the inappropriate presentation of data due to the absence or failed cooperation between services or employees is one of the central keys for the delays (ICAO, 2018). For this reason, there is a critical need for the encouragement of collaboration by establishing a new system where every unit reports information related to flight with the primary aim to guarantee that SOC department have all needed parameters to make calculations and prepare the plane for the flight. The data exchange can be organized via the use of special software and applications ensuring fast and effective resolution of emerging conflicts that might emerge in any airport.
Clear role and responsibility are announced to the employees
This recommendation is apart of the culture shift management, focusing on defining the clear role and responsibility to employees. Specific human resource management techniques and training might be used to ensure the understanding of the importance of teamwork performance and relationship with individual achievement.
Employees involved in the process of estimating and completing the weight and balance check should be aware that they are performing in a team. Any mistakes or failure will affect the performance of the whole team. Therefore, individuals are held accountable for their actions and responsible for their mistakes.
An individual could be assigned to be responsible for the final check-up or monitoring the whole process from check-in to the flight take off and hold employees responsible. A short record or summary notes at each step completed by employees responsible might help to identify errors and specific issue during the process.
Increase the time for the flight check-in
Another possible recommendation is to increase the time for the flight check-in to ensure that passengers arrive earlier and all information needed to create a balance and weight report is available in advance. There are several factors proving the possible positive impact preconditioned by this solution. First, despite the fact that passengers will be recommended to arrive earlier and, the overall time they spend in airports will be reduced. Having acquired the needed information, specialists of SOC will be able to perform all calculations and guarantee the in-time departure. It will result in the elimination of delays caused by the overweight aircraft and, as a result, reduce time wasted by passengers waiting for their journey.
Additionally, it will help to improve the image of the company responsible for the flight. In accordance with surveys, the majority of passengers are more interested in the absence of delays and timely arrivals at destination points (Rodwell, Coulby, Carney, & Mott, 2015). That is why multiple problems with flights and additional time needed for calculating and balancing might irritate them and deteriorate their attitude to the provider of services. From this very perspective, increased time for the flight check-in will be an appropriate solution regarding the fact that punctual arrival is more appreciated by clients.
In such a way, it can be considered a reasonable, effective, and economically appropriate recommendation that will help to improve the given sphere and achieve a significant reduction of delays caused by the need to solve problems related to overweight aircraft. Better image of the airline company will attract new customers, who appreciate their time and the absence of delays.
Introduction of an online monitoring system for the creation of reports
A significant problem indicated by SOC department director is that it acquires information about overweight too late and there is the need for additional time to introduce some changes to ensure that the maximum take-off weight and payload are within the norm. At the moment, SOC suffers from not having detailed information about passengers and their baggage early enough (FAA & ASA, 2016). For this reason, multiple delays occur as safety concerns have the highest priority (ICAO, 2018). However, the introduction of online monitoring and reporting system would help to improve the situation and eliminate gaps in knowledge about a particular flight, passengers, load, weather conditions, and other environmental factors that might impact the aircraft.
One of the main ideas of this system is the continuous data entry about passengers who have already passed the flight check-in procedure and are waiting for the departure. It will help to acquire the complete image of the load and introduce appropriate changes when necessary. All information should be provided to SOC department for its members to monitor the current state of the aircraft, made predictions about possible overweight and plan some actions that should be performed to solve this problem in advance (Stolzer, 2015). This online constantly updating system will become a potent tool promoting better cooperation between various departments and the absence of critical delays that might be too expensive for the company.
The given solution can be effective enough to introduce positive changes in the way airlines function and contribute to negative patterns that still exist in the given sphere. At the same time, the price of the new system’s integration is comparatively low if to compare with delays and deterioration of the company’s image if to speak about long-term perspectives.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), & Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA). (2016). Aircraft weight and balance handbook. New York, NY: Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc.
ICAO. (2018). Safety report. Web.
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Rodwell, J., Coulby, A., Carney, T., & Mott, J. (2015). Essentials of aviation management: A guide for aviation service businesses (8th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
Stolzer, A. (2015). Safety management systems in aviation (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.