Terminal 3, Aerodrome Meeting Room
Roberto Castiglioni, RC, welcomed the attendees to the first HAAG of the year.
Gary Salmon (OmniServ)
Ian Mitchell (OmniServ)
Sam Saunders (OmniServ)
Ann Bates (Esaag)
John Holland-Kaye (HAL)
Chris Garton (HAL)
Jonathan Coen (HAL)
Tonia Fielding (HAL)
Ciara Thorn (HAL)
Rachel Denison (HAL)
Neena Haria (HAL)
Nicole Day (HAL)
Paul Ford (HAL)
Cathy Baxter (HAL)
Emma Jager (HAL)
Kirsty Lockie (HAL)
Minutes from February 2019 HAAG – Performance
Paper: Performance presentation by Paul, Neena and Nicole
Paul Ford, PF, began the presentation by showing a graph to show the volume of passengers who used assistance services through Heathrow between October and December 2018, comparing it alongside the total number of passengers traveling through Heathrow. Also, explaining the YoY growth compared to 2017, which has increased by 18.6%.
Nicole Day, ND, spoke about the customer satisfaction scores, explaining the scores are rated as 1 being poor and 5 being excellent. The key point from this slide was showing the scores having increased since Q3 2018 in all areas.
Neena Haria, NH, went on to the next slide looking at the number of complaints and informed the HAAG that YoY since 2016 the number of complaints has been on the decline. NH explained how Assistance service at Heathrow received the most compliments in 2018, compared to all other departments at Heathrow. After investigating the top 3 trends PRM passengers complain about are; wait time, having to walk and staff courtesy, these are our priority areas to focus on.
PF shared ‘what we are doing to improve our services?’ He goes on to mention the CAA inspections we have had in the last couple of months and how this was a good push to now make sure every help point is working and there is a phone number on every help point. The help points are some passengers first point of contact at the airport, so getting this right means the passenger has a good start to their journey.
ND goes on to address the service key focus areas and speaks about what we have done so far to improve our services. She mentions how our website has been updated, Heathrow has removed the word ‘special’ and now uses ‘assistance’. The website now covers the gap of how to get assistance once you arrive at the airport and mentioning how Omniserv have their number on the Heathrow website, meaning the passenger can speak to the team directly and therefore speaking to a member of staff quicker. As the HAAG have focused on colleague customer service, our Care Passenger Experience Managers are involved in delivering the best customer service. Heathrow training has hugely helped. PF shows an image of the new dashboard which has been developed so now we can easily see all the terminal landside waiting times, at a snap shot, helping to ensure staff are allocated efficiently.
Chris Wood asked the question ‘How are airlines working with us and are they onboard as well?’ PF confirmed they are all working with us and aligned. Chris went on to ask about the waiting times, PF explained even if the flight is delayed, the passenger can stay landside with their family and friends if they want but from what we have seen, most passengers would rather get through security to be closer to their gate. ND explained the passenger is kept informed throughout their journey and told what is going to happen next.
Clive Locke asked ‘What is the solution when there are issues on the dashboard?’ Gary from Omniserv was best to answer as he has been involved in the launch of the dashboard, he went on to explain every manager has access to the dashboard so they can quickly spot when to change/dispatch agent allocation.
PF explained when you speak to a help point, Omniserv can see how quickly they can dispatch an agent as it helps the passenger to know when to except assistance.
Roberto Castiglioni asked Ian from Omniserv if the numbers of PRM passengers have been decreasing, lower than forecast. Ian stated the January numbers are going back up. On time performance has dropped and this impacts staff, however, now we can see when additional resources can be brought in. He went on to say, that the picture is forever changing, it is about balance. Gary continued explaining if a terminal is lower, they can take resources from another terminal to balance. Ian explained how Heathrow is more challenging than an airport like Stansted as we are 4 airports into 1 essentially.
Tonia Fielding, TF mentioned how we are thinking more about resilience and asked what resilience looks like for example a snow day. This is what Heathrow are now focusing on.
Action: RC asked to involve the HAAG with the scores
Graham asked PF to break down the score. Graham asked ‘How come pre-notified passengers have a lower score?’ PF said the agents being there are making the agents look more visible. Are passengers waiting there because they simply can’t see an agent? We are making sure there is an agent there at all times. This is also to do with agent allocation which the dashboard will now be able to assist with.
Libby asked the question of where do figures come from? PF answered that the passengers are broken down to pre-notified and non-pre-notified and the figures are taken from Inform for the waiting times and therefore scores.
RC informed the room that John Holland-Kaye will soon be here for the question and answers session.
Next on the agenda was the topic about introducing bodycams for the agents to wear and would bodycams be a solution as Stanstead have started to use them. They can timestamp when a passenger has arrived. It can also be used as a method of evidence when CCTV isn’t available, so bodycams could be an incentive for agents. Customer service can be monitored and when there is a complaint it minimises the ‘he said she said’ scenario.
RC opened the room for input from everyone about how this would personally affect PRM passengers.
Christiane Link, CL started by simply stating training should be taken more seriously so we don’t have to rely on cameras.
Athena Stevens, AS, disagreed with CL by saying in the past her word has been dismissed because sometimes she doesn’t understand. We live in a culture than avoids accountability.
Graham Race didn’t agree with using bodycams as he didn’t think it is needed. Questions how it would be perceived by the public, does it take away our message.
Chris Wood, CW, – was in favour of the bodycams as it’s an extension on CCTV. It confirms the ‘he said she said’ so would be protecting staff and passengers.
Kirsty Lockie, KL, who came to represent Scott Fuller said security supports safety for staff and passengers. Law enforcement use it and it works well. Data protection, how we use and display the footage if the footage is used correctly.
CL asked the question, what if a passenger doesn’t want to be filmed? KL answered with explaining there are still trials are to understand when to use bodycams then we can agree when it is used. We don’t have to film the whole of the journey.
RC explained a case not too long along where the passenger said they were dropped. There was a ‘he said she said’ situation and if there were some video evidence, this could have changed the outcome as it would have shown the view of the journey.
CL spoke about her frequent journeys at the airport and said staff have to be close when lifting so if they had a camera filming, this is invading her personal space and can imagine it to be intimidating, especially as sometimes the agents are low down. KL said the camera doesn’t have to be on the agent’s chest and can be placed on any part of clothing. She informed that the camera has technology to clearly inform the passenger when filming is taking place.
CW asked who would be monitoring the footage and why are we relying on footage, it becomes intrusive.
CL asked what culture this would be where you need cameras to control their staff. Does this mean there is an issue with customer service and if, so we would be focusing on that first. She also mentioned about the ‘he said she said’ scenarios and how there is normally 2 agents to 1 passenger so there are 2 witnesses already. She said we should be using the investigation process more than introducing cameras.
Heathrow already have good CCTV systems in place, so we should be using and relying on them more. Bodycams are introducing the wrong message.
KL said CCTV footage is on hold for 30 days and then deleted.
LH highly recommends keeping it for longer. From previous experience with dealing with complaints, 30 days isn’t long enough.
Action: Security should be invited to the next HAAG to share their view on security and the different options.
Action: we should bring past cases where bodycams could have helped the case.
RC welcomed JHK and Chris Garton
JHK introduced himself and started with explaining how Heathrow is the size of a small city, with millions of passengers passing through every day. Everything that happens in a city happens at Heathrow. Heathrow has 400 companies that work along the airport. Heathrow is a service organisation, here to serve passengers. Our aim is to get our passengers on and off the plane as quickly and safely as possible. You need people to make sure this flows well because things will go wrong along the way and someone needs to take ownership. An example he gave we about not being about to control border force but we have to take ownership to work with them. Because of the size of Heathrow, 10 years ago we were rated one of the worst airports in the world because of the delays of queues and baggage. We are now rated in the top 10 in a short space of time. Our vision is to give passengers the best service in the world. There are a range of passengers needs which are all considered including care needs which we didn’t counter for in the past.
It’s complex measure to learn where service failed, to do with technology failing or staff courtesy. We are trying to make the geography of the journey seamless with more lifts and more signs so all 80 million passengers every year have a great service. He went on to explain how the HAAG is helping us make fewer mistakes.
The two biggest areas on our agenda to improve on are the immigration areas and care needs. Every month in board meetings, numbers are brought up, and we can see what is working and what isn’t working. Our poor report from the CAA 2 years ago what a good push for us to improve. It was the message we needed to hear.
Group Q and As with HAL’s CEO
Ann Thorpe, AT, asked if Heathrow know about the HAAG? JHK stated the HAAG is still relatively new. A wider group of colleagues are now involved in the HAAG. Second, large number of colleagues or relatives have care needs so a lot of people were happy and wanted to get involved Heathrow was engaging with the HAAG.
AB asked can the HAAG be used to help with training? JHK it’s a really good tool. First hand cases to see what works and doesn’t work and great input to have.
CW wondered about the engagement across the airport. A lot of people around Heathrow still don’t know about the work the HAAG are doing. People are living for longer, so this does need to be addressed as everyone has a connection to someone who needs additional help at an airport.
Graham brought up the point about ECAC data and how the scale and graph is increasing. How do Heathrow get their message out? JHK said there is a growing need for care services which we see in the group of people who need wheelchair support. Airlines are increasing to recognise this opportunity to do well so passengers use their airline. We want to be the airport that provides the best care. We need to promote what we do better.
TF pointed out how we are now working with charities to get our word out.
CL agreed about we need to get our message out. It is a priority for Heathrow.
JHK we talk about it a lot at the board meetings and we worry about it as we are letting down our passengers, so we aren’t living up to our personal values.
JHK spoke about sunflower lanyards and how staff want to get involved with wearing them. This opened our eyes to make sure we are supporting staff as well. We have come along way already and we are rapidly changing. This is a culture change. We want to normalise it.
CL said how passengers tell staff they need assistance and still don’t receive it which is a service attitude. PRM passengers don’t want to be treated as a care project, just want to be cared for by staff at the Heathrow. Care needs aren’t problems but customers who expect a service. JHK informed who Heathrow are training people to recognise needs as that is a quick win. There is still a lot of work to do to design the training and keeping it fresh. Particularly in training in the Omniserv contract as there are a lot of staff involved. He explained how all new starters now take part in the Dignity and Care training. RC said this training should be in line with Omniserv’s training.
AS said passengers don’t care about performances and good reports. They want the assistance to be taken to the gate. Ensured that the HAAG is here to help and work with Heathrow.
JHK mentioned the T3 example about how it took a couple years to put in new lifts, this is too long to put a change in place. We need to put in constant good service and still to Heathrow’s values. The HAAG is making a good input.
Libby said this is a culture change, Omniserv do get it right most of the time but it’s about educating everyone.
Action: training material we use at Heathrow. Are all departments getting the right level of service?
CL personally would like to thank the CEO and HAL. Encouraging to see HAAG members are welcomed at the table. Negatively, held back by management when solutions are presented. Management aren’t taken forwarded. Front line assistance need to be reviewed and are not recognised. Feel like HAAG is a ticking box exercise. Members being here show commitment and wiliness to help.
JHK being here I hope it shows we want to do this right. We might not move as quickly as we want, but we do want to move forward. We want to be the best place for people to travel through. Something that is difficult and other airports are too struggling. We want to take a senior leadership on this. We are not there yet but in 12 months we would like to get there, and some other airports can learn from us. Looking at organisations like IATA and how do they work. Heathrow can have an impact on organisations by learning from us. We would like to hear from the HAAG as they are our eyes and ears when we are not getting it right.
Action: Put information about the HAAG on the website.
One to one service throughout the airport, exec paper – need to figure out what this will look like and costs. Discussion for next meeting.
HAAG Action log for 7th February 2019
Topic: Sharing scores so the HAAG members are also informed.
Action description: RC asked to involve the HAAG with the scores.
Due: March meeting.
Action description: Security should be invited to the next HAAG to share their view on security and the different options.
Owner: Roberto to send the invites.
Due: Next meeting.
Action description: We should bring past cases where bodycams have been used positively.
Action description: Are all departments getting the right level of service? To make sure all training material are consistent.
Owner: Nicole Day.
Topic: HAAG visibility.
Action description: Putting information about the HAAG on the website.
Owner: Nicole Day.