Winning At Customer Service- Praise to the CEO of @QatarAirways

A real man of the people, Akbar Al Baker has definitively cemented himself as a pioneer in how CEOs should act, inadvertently changing my opinion regarding Qatar Airways completely.

Akbar Al Baker - CEO Qatar Airways

Akbar Al Baker – CEO Qatar Airways

Those familiar with my story will know that I have been embroiled in a battle with QA for quite some time now.

It all started back in Feb 2014, when I innocently booked a ticket to go see my cousin in Qatar; I was denied boarding since my residency job title was not on the list, they had a position above, and one below, but not my own. QA did not even want to refund my ticket, instead offering a mere 10% which was the tax amount applicable on the route. Refusing to stand for this injustice, I kept emailing them and arguing till I received a credit note valid for one year for the full amount. 1st victory.

I changed jobs in 2014, with a new title, and again tried my luck with QA. No visa on arrival. I even went to visit the Qatar Embassy as my title was technically on the list (it says Presidents – all types, and my title read Vice President), still no. The clock was ticking as the credit note expires on 13th Feb 2015. I asked the QA office here if I can issue the in my mother’s name (as she gets visa on arrival with her title), they refused citing “System Limitations”.

Now initially, I was not supposed to receive a credit note. It was a one off case, awarded to me on account of my persistence. In my line of work, I ensure that all companies abide by their documented policies and procedures, however it is because that is my line of work that I am aware of the loopholes in said system, two magic words, the Bane of Internal Auditors: Management Override!

I knew that my request was not impossible, I just had to reach the appropriate level of management to approve it.

So like any warm blooded netizen, i took to Google, and searched for the highest level of management available: The CEO of QA. I searched page after page for a way to get in direct contact with him via email, and was successful in locating an email address. I sent him a detailed message (dated Jan 13),explaining my story and asking him to please allow me to transfer it to my mother. 

I did this in an effort to appear proactive, not thinking much in terms of a response and still trying on my front to locate someone locally that can assist me in the transfer. You can rightfully assume I was shocked and flabbergasted when I received an email  (Jan 19) from the CEOs office informing me that my request has been approved!

Not only that, they were Oh So Polite about it too!

Not only that, they were Oh So Polite about it too!

I Forwarded that to the same person that had initially refused to allow me to transfer it in my mother’s name (citing System Limitations), and shall pay them a visit to finalize the transfer, issue the ticket, give my mother a birthday present in February (her birthday is Valentines Day).

If this is not winning at Customer Service, and showing what a 5* Airline is all about, I do not know what is!

As of Jan 20, the ticket has been reissued and my mother will be traveling to Qatar in February – all it took was a payment of 10KD (amendment fees), which in the greater scheme of things, is a small price to pay rather than lose 85KD.

Know your rights as a consumer and a customer, so long as you are not asking for the impossible, someone has the authority to approve it.

Many thanks once again to Mr. Akbar Al Baker, wishing you continued success in your role as CEO, the champion of commoners, and overall good guy.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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