Duties and Responsibilities: A customer service representative handles all sorts of correspondence, including inquiries and complaints, for the airline. A ≥rep,≤ using his or her own judgment, has the capabilities to refund fares and tickets, if they deem it necessary and justifiable. Often considered part of the management staff of an airline, a customer service representative has access to information and frequent flier accounts, personnel files and flight information.
Training Required: A customer service and/or management background, although not necessarily required, is a definite ≥plus.≤ Most airline companies will hold training classes within the corporation. A representative must know something about everything in airport operations to be able to field all types questions from clients. Therefore, most customer service reps will receive training in reservations, aircraft, personnel, company programs and policy, airline operations, ticketing and fares. Most airlines will also perform a background check before hiring.
Working Conditions: Generally in a professional office setting, the customer service representative will work a full 8.5 hours a day, weekends off. Paperwork, a telephone and a computer will fill the space in the office cubicle.
Personality Needed: A customer service rep must naturally be patient and professional. He or she must be able to listen to the client and communicate clearly and competently with them. A customer service rep must have the ability to break down a problem and to organize thoughts while someone else is talking.
Average Salary: As with most jobs, the salary of a customer service representative may vary depending on whether or not the candidate is outside the industry or has a college degree, among other things. Generally, a customer service rep may start at $25,000.
Employment Possibilities: Once established with an airline, the customer service representative may move up in the company, gain more responsibility, and/or obtain more privileged access to certain information.
The Best and the Worst: The best aspect of being a customer service representative is the chance to be presented with a problem and resolve the situation. A representative has the opportunity to educate a passenger that air travel is not always as simple as just buying a ticket. However, there is usually ≥more down than up≤ in the field of customer service. Irate passengers and irresolvable complaints can cloud up an otherwise sunny opportunity to help someone.