Travelcare: The desire to travel came roaring back
The summer of 2022 saw a return of the desire to travel for the Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Finns. Unfortunately, the summer was also dominated by travel chaos.
Immense piles of suitcases in European airports. Long queues at check-ins. Strikes among airport staff. Cancelled and delayed flight departures. A rise in COVID-19 infections...
The summer of 2022 saw the return of a great desire to travel - but unfortunately, it was also a peak season that came with troubles for travellers. The alarm centre for travel assistance in SOS International reported an extraordinarily busy peak season.
“We have been challenged by a great number of unlucky circumstances. Above all, the desire to travel has been significantly greater than both we in the travel industry and the airline companies predicted. There were also strikes at airlines and airports that were too poorly staffed to handle the amount of luggage,” says Karin Tranberg, EVP, Travelcare, SOS International.
The activity at the alarm centre for travel assistance stood at 86 per cent compared to 2019. This was significantly higher than the estimated level of 70 per cent, on which staffing at the alarm centre was planned around.
“The combination of all these circumstances resulted in the unfortunate consequence that there were periods of long waiting times on our phonelines. We are really sorry about this, and it has led to dissatisfaction among the policyholders who were subjected to waiting periods, which is fully justified,” says Karin Tranberg.
The average waiting time for the telephone system was seven minutes, which fell again drastically at the beginning of August.
Full staffing before the winter season
SOS International's alarm centre for travel assistance is recruiting intensively ahead of the winter season to ensure full staffing before the peak season of the winter.
“We can do little about outside factors such as cancelled flights and the rise in COVID-19 infections, part of our task is to address unforeseen events. But we can ensure that we are fully staffed at the alarm centre and that our newest employees are well trained”, says Karin Tranberg.
There is also the option of reporting cases online, which has been of great benefit, as the phones were so busy during the summer period. This solution is currently being further developed so that in future, policyholders will still be able to access the alarm centre digitally instead of calling.