June 25, 2009

Delta brings back Red Coats

U.S. carrier Delta Airlines said it was working to return personal service to its business by resurrecting the airport answer-man, the Red Coat airline agent.

Armed with communication handsets and charged with solving problems for travelers, Delta plans to hire 600 Red Coat agents to help customers in 14 airports by the end of the summer, USA Today reported Thursday.

One of our key objectives is to continue to improve our customer service. The bringing back of the Red Coats for Delta is very symbolic of that, said Delta Senior Vice President of Airport Customer Service Gil West.

Delta, which recently moved most of its phone service from India to the United States, is bucking the technology trend that has some airlines charging more for having a person, rather than a computer, book flights.

We, along with most of the industry, have been driving technology, and we still continue to do that, West said.

Nevertheless, Red Coats, which were phased out in the 2005 are making a comeback.

So many of the employees appear to be doing all they can just to avoid contact "¦ it has been a little refreshing to have even a modicum of customer service appear, said frequent flier Jay Hibbard.