The world’s first concierges in the sky spread their wings this week as 11 London-based recruits graduate Air New Zealand’s training academy and commence their new roles flying the airline’s London to Los Angeles route. The concierges will be providing a range of services, from travel advice to assistance with onward bookings, to all Air New Zealand’s passengers in every single seat on the plane.
Scott Carr, Air New Zealand General Manager, UK and Europe, said: “The concierge service is about adding a personal touch to the whole flight experience, from booking, to check-in, to arrival and beyond. In the current climate for air travel we firmly believe that this type of service will set us apart from our competitors.
A holiday should start as soon as you arrive at the airport, and our concierges’ job is to ensure everything about the trip is as smooth and hassle-free as possible. The same applies to our business passengers, all of whom should be able to enjoy a relaxing journey.”
From escorting passengers to and from the aircraft, to recommending “must-do” activities to tourists, the concierges will be dedicated to making every customer journey on an Air New Zealand service a special event - before, during and after flight. The concierges come from a variety of backgrounds including retail management, teaching and flying and each hopes to bring something unique to this newly created role.
Concierge Emma Ellis commented: “I’ve worked in many jobs with a customer service element to them, but this role focuses all my working time on helping passengers - a unique opportunity. On a test flight, I learned it was a passenger’s birthday and was able to call ahead to the ground team and have a birthday cake waiting for her. She was delighted, and I’m sure she won’t forget her Air New Zealand flight in a hurry. It is the small personal touches that turn flying from a chore into the extension of a holiday that it should be.”
The initiative has grown from feedback from Air New Zealand cabin crew and customers over the past two years, and is a natural complement to the airline’s award-winning long-haul product and service. The concierges are an additional service to the cabin and ground crew, and will work alongside them on the aircraft and in the airport.
Mr Carr continues: “Our cabin and ground crew are experts at their work, and the introduction of the concierges will ensure that their attention can be focused on the smooth running of the flight itself. The brand-new concierge role will ensure that everyone travelling with Air New Zealand - no matter how full the aircraft - receives the advice they need and the personal attention they deserve.”
Air New Zealand’s concierges will be on all London - Los Angeles flights from this week and Auckland based concierges will pick up the service between Los Angeles and Auckland.
The concierge service will be available on London - Hong Kong flights from later this year after another round of recruitment and training.