Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last call - Tiger Airways must get its act together

Singapore.  (3 Nov 2010).

The Straits Times today published a Forum letter on Tiger Airways frequent cancellation and rescheduling of flights, and the poor level of customer service.  The letter went on to question Tiger Airways' decision to add more flights and destinations when it is clear that they are unable to cope with existing demands.

From a crisis communication perspective, it is important for Tiger Airways to adequately address the writer's concerns in a timely and honest manner.  Timeliness is important as the peak travel season is around the corner and failure to address stakeholder concerns can impact the airline's bottom line.  Honesty is necessary as the 'perfect information environment' will reveal any lies and being dishonest will impact the airlines credibility and reputation.

In this instance, travel during the year-end school holidays constitute a significant portion of the airlines operating profits and stakeholders are making travel plans will likely be affected by this negative publicity.  The response by Tiger Airways must therefore seek to reassure stakeholders on Tiger Airlines' reliability.  However, "words" can only do so much and if a pattern of non-performance exists, it may be necessary for Tiger Airways to initiate some sort of service assurance guarantee where non-performance will entitle the customer to some sort of "compensation".

The main take-away for PR Professionals from this incident that we must be aware of the "bigger picture" and its impact on the company or organisation we serve.  PR Messages, aside from protecting the Brand Image of the company, may also need to integrate with sales and marketing to be effective.

Let's continue to monitor this and see how Tiger Airways respond ....

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