Thursday, 27 June 2019

4 star rating for Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus gets 4-Star rating by Skytrax

Aer Lingus has announced that it has retained its highly prized 4-Star rating by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation, as a result of its ongoing investment in enhancing the guest experience at every touchpoint of their journey from booking at to their transit through airport and inflight.

Having first achieved a 4-star rating in 2016, Aer Lingus has made a range of investments in its inflight offering, digital platforms, airport services and staff training to maintain this position as Ireland’s only 4-star airline.

Enhancements on the ground

Over the past few years investment in new Aer Lingus airport facilities has included an Express Bag Drop service at Dublin Airport, designed to make travel as seamless as possible. The service enables guests to self-tag and check-in their bags once they have their boarding card printed or downloaded to your mobile, cutting the time guests need to spend in the check-in area by at least 66%.

The airline has also invested in a new and more efficient flight connections centre, as Aer Lingus continues to drive its strategy of expanding the airline’s Dublin Airport base into a major European transatlantic gateway. The airline offers seamless connections from Europe and the UK to its destinations across North America. Connecting via Dublin, Aer Lingus guests can experience the benefit of US Immigration Preclearance before they depart which allows them to arrive into the US like a domestic passenger, avoiding any lengthy queues.

Enhancements in the air

Investment in inflight services has resulted in improvements to entertainment content, new touchscreen seat back screens, new earphones and better food and drinks offerings on long haul flights.

Recently, there has also been a roll out of new ambient mood-lighting in cabins. The LED mood-lighting system aims to help guests relax on flights with a dim lavender used during take-off and the cruise. During overnight flights a sunrise is simulated when it’s time to wake up. The carefully curated lighting settings have been chosen with the wellbeing of guests through each phase of the flight in mind.

Another significant inflight product offering recently unveiled was AerSpace, a premium short-haul travel experience, designed to give guests more space to work and relax, with the middle seat remaining free.

Enhancements in its digital platforms

Aer Lingus also invested in digital platforms, with significant improvements in the website and mobile app including the introduction of Apple Pay and Pay with Avios, offering guests new seamless payment options. This has led to a more customised and intuitive digital experience for guests.

In addition to calling out these significant investments in its independent audit, Skytrax also noted that Aer Lingus staff, both on the ground and in the air, were a stand-out attribute of the airline’s position as a 4-star airline.

Mike Rutter, Chief Operating Officer, Aer Lingus said: "We have worked hard to maintain the 4-star rating originally awarded in 2016, by maintaining and improving our high standards of service to guests. Our guest experience is constantly evolving and improving as the needs of travellers today are ever-changing.  We do ongoing “Voice of Guest” surveys, which enable us to be fully tuned into what our guests want and deliver on these.

“Pivotal also to our overall customer satisfaction rating has been greater capacity and new destinations. This summer we are operating our largest ever transatlantic schedule flying to 14 North American destinations, including a new direct service to Minneapolis from Dublin commencing on July 1st. The airline’s longhaul schedule boasts a record 3 million seats to North America in 2019. On short haul, our summer schedule added close to 300,000 extra summer seats to Europe this year.

“Looking forward, we are confident that we will maintain and further improve our guest experience, as we continue to execute our ambitious growth strategy. For example, soon we will roll out a full business class product refresh, 20MB of free WiFi for long haul economy guests, and complimentary beer and wine for long haul economy guests. “

Aer Lingus remains the only Irish airline to receive this rating and joins a select group of only 42 airlines worldwide, and only 14 in Europe, that also boast a 4-Star guest experience.  The airline is also the only 4-Star airline connecting Ireland and North America.

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax commented: “Aer Lingus continues to build on the 4-star foundations established over the last 3 years with a number of product innovations observed onboard and in the airport. The airline continues to improve the proposition for Business Class guests with a new lounge for US departures, and we are anticipating further changes to the Economy Class catering service that will enhance the customer experience further.

“A leading factor in an airline’s Star Rating is front line staff service quality, and Aer Lingus excels in this area for both the ground service standards at its Dublin hub, as well cabin crew service across the network."

Aer Lingus’ 4-Star rating has been awarded by Skytrax following a range of rigorous audits conducted by Skytrax to measure the quality of front-line product and staff service standards in the air and on the ground.

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