Passenger services coordinator

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Phil is a passenger services co-ordinator at Liverpool John Lennon airport, where he splits his time between helping out passengers with their travel problems and ensuring his team are working well.

How would you outline your role?

I'm responsible for the day-to-day operations of the team, overseeing check ins and arrivals, monitoring staff performance and time keeping, and responding to any problems that occur with passengers.

Do you have a set routine?

Every day is different, because you just don't know what problems are going to arise. If we have any major delays I may have to sort out coaches, different flights for people, or even overnight accommodation. I also spend time sorting out staff rotas, and if we are short staffed I'll help out on the check-in desk.

What hours do you work?

I work shifts of 14.5 hours, which includes 2.5 hours of overtime. Shifts are from 5.00am and I do four days on and four days off.

What's your working environment like?

As well as the check-in and reservations desks, where people come to pick up or book tickets, I also work outside on the floor of the airport and in the departure lounge.

Who do you work with?

I spend a lot of the time with all the staff, especially the customer services manager, and also representatives from other airlines.

What special skills or qualities do you need for your job?

You need good customer service skills, and you've got to be able to deal with difficult passengers. Good listening skills are important, because you do get some passengers who moan a lot, and you've got to be sympathetic even though you might not think they deserve it!

What training have you done?

I've had to learn several specialist travel computer systems such as CADACO, which is a check-in system that's used all over the world, and AMOSS, a system that holds all the flight information. We also do a manual-handling training course every two years and there's special security training too.

What do you like/dislike about your job?

I enjoy working with people, and the best thing about the job is helping someone to sort out a problem, or even saving their holiday by helping to arrange an alternative flight. The downside is dealing with abusive passengers, but you've just got to look at it as part of the job.

What are the particular challenges in your work?

There's always a bit of pressure making sure the flights are boarded and ready to go on time. Keeping the staff happy isn't the easiest job either!

How do you see your future?

I want to carry on in the travel industry and the next step up would be a management position.

Phil's route to becoming a Passenger services coordinator

  • GCSEs.
  • BTEC National Certificate in Travel and Tourism.
  • Handling agent at Liverpool airport.
  • Holiday representative in Mallorca.
  • Started work at Aviance.

Phil's tips

  • It helps to have an interest in travel and working in an airport.
  • Be prepared to give up your social life when you're on shifts.
  • You've got to be able to deal with difficult passengers – you can't just shout back at them!

Passenger services coordinator related jobs

  • Air cabin crew
  • Courier
  • Customer services assistant/manager
  • Holiday representative
  • Hotel receptionist
  • Travel agent

Passenger services coordinator salary

  • A passenger services co-ordinator earns between £15,000 and £17,000 a year. They may also be paid extra for overtime and a shift allowance.

Becoming a Passenger services coordinator

  • Formal qualifications are not always essential. It is common to work up from a customer service agent to a co-ordinator's position.
  • However, many employers prefer applicants with several GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3) including English and mathematics.
  • A qualification in a foreign language or the ability to speak another language is also helpful
  • A more specialised qualification, such as one of several awards run by BTEC travel and tourism, can be useful.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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