Managing crew schedules & processes for the leading US airline

amit3076 Case Studies

Crew mismanagement is a common reason for flight delays and revenue loss. IGT reduced the crew scheduling errors by 97% for a leading US airline by managing scheduling, payroll and HR for over 15000 flight attendants with over 89% CSAT.

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About the Client
Our client is one of the top airlines in US and world’s largest airline in terms of no of destinations with around 90000 employees. Our client has a strength of around 15,000 flight attendants who work in different geographies, time-zones, work schedules and hours. The client needs to manage these flight attendants for its 3300 flights to 200 destinations on a daily basis. How a flight attendant may be scheduled and paid may depend not only on their flight assignment but their seniority, aircraft holding times, delays reschedules, reimbursements, languages they service and many more factors

Business Need

  • The client needed to critically increase the quality of its operations as there were frequent cases of flight delays and flight cancellations due to mismanagement of its crew operations.
  • Lack of BPO processes was leading to huge no. of quality errors which in turn was leading to financial losses to the client
  • Client selected IGT as their new partner to manage their flight attendants scheduling and management as IGT had already proven its expertise in travel domain to the client by providing high quality customer service and queues management to the client.

The Solution:

IGT created a Center of Excellence (CoE) for managing flight attendant schedules and processes. Following services were provided through Flight Attendant CoE :

  • End-to-end processing in the areas of crew scheduling, administration, payroll processing and helpdesk
  • Created Centralized Flight Attendant Desk to provide direct support to crew queries
  • Re-engineered the process leveraging Flight Attendant Center of Excellence
  • Created proficient taskforce through specialized selection & training program

Success Enablers: IGT incorporated following methodology to provide the services to the client:

1. Re-engineered the process leveraging Flight Attendant Center of Excellence: IGT formed a core team of Flight Attendant Center of Excellence with hosted knowledge base of cabin crew industry, various flight attendant union contracts, technologies used and different regulations around flying in a central repository.

The CoE then evaluated the current workflow to identify loop-holes leading to failure points and reengineered the process and leveraged best practices on complex transaction processing, monitoring and reporting. Expert trainers, quality checkers and subject matter experts who had prior experience in flight attendant support processes were deputed to manage the process. Based on historic data a robust audit system to track and facilitate any changes in the schedule and pay slips was created.

2. Created proficient taskforce through specialized selection & training program: IGT developed a specialized training program to equip staff to deal with the flight attendant processes. Staff selected for the process was thoroughly tested through a stringent hiring process. Being a specialist process, average experience of the team was 9 years in travel/ crew related processes.

Customized 12-weeks training programs were conducted to equip the staff with regulatory environments, union agreements, system trainings, soft skills, communications, OJT etc. Mature coaching techniques and floor shadowing were incorporated to bring the staff seamlessly up the learning curve.

3. Business excellence through business process management: A holistic approach to transform the business was carried in process execution methodology and IT management. Customized work-flow management system was provided to manage delegation, processing, auditing, service level management as well as document storage and performance reporting. Staff scheduling was provisioned based on hourly transaction volume trends. The processing team was equipped with expert resources and a sophisticated knowledge management platform.

Benefits

  • Reduced costs occurring due to inappropriate scheduling of flight attendants by 94%
  • 20% increase in CSAT score of flight attendants from the last vendor delivering the best in class phone service Levels of 95%YTD with abandonment rate of 0.04%
  • Significant reduction in costs related to pay protection clause in the Union agreement with 100% on-time and accurate payroll processing
  • Reduction of 90% in flight delays due to air craft operational staff scheduling
  • Significant improvement in process management as there have been Zero LOF or Scheduling errors, 100% compliance and 100% TAT achievement of back office transactions against SLAs