Oh sure, at hubs we had gate-phones, and half the time they actually worked. But if you or the agent forgot to actually put said phone on the plane, well, oops. Flight attendants aren’t allowed to get off the plane once boarding has begun, so that phone might as well be on the moon.
The pilots have a way of communicating in a roundabout way; they call the tower who then calls the gate. But, in this literal game of “telephone,” things are often lost in translation; also, the pilots (mostly) never displayed actual annoyance at being a go-between, but they were arguably busy, ya know, preparing the plane for ascendance into the sky.
All the while, bins are filling up, the catering is off, a surprise blind passenger is on their way down anticipating help from a clueless flight attendant, you see where I’m going with this…
Developing an easy and efficient means for your two critical teams to communicate during boarding is key to timely departures and well-cared for passengers.
Most flight attendants these days have some sort of tablet or iPhone with their manual and flight information…enabling texting or developing a company sponsored app for your agents and crews to touch base in real time could truly transform your boarding processes…dare we mention the CrewChat function in our CrewPortal tool which helps crews and any departments stay in contact?
It’d also enable you to have a paper trail of sorts if/when conflicts between teams arise in terms of at-fault delays, etc.
We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it because, unlike a gate-phone, it’ll always ring true: communication is key throughout your operation, and that is never more evident than during your boarding process.