Issues Management Communications and Spokesperson Guidelines for Airports During Baggage Handling Issues
It seems every week one of Australia’s airports experiences technical IT issues that affect the efficient handling and delivery of baggage.
The most recent one being in Brisbane.
Travellers, of course are the most important stakeholder in this issues management.
What do travellers want to know?
They do not want to have long, technical details on the IT system’s failures.
In this stakeholder engagement situation, they want to be acknowledged for the inconvenience and direct impact of a ‘go-slow’ on baggage or check-in as a result of the baggage systems not working. They want to know the extent of the issue and when it will be fixed.
They also want airport and airline staff (even though it may not be their IT issues causing the problem) to apologise for the inconvenience.
In Brisbane recently, the Brisbane Airport Corporation obviously had some effective key messaging and probably media training in issues management and communication. Its spokesperson communicated via the news media saying:
“The vast majority of passengers are flowing smoothly through the airport.
The issue is contained to the system serving Jetstar, Rex, Link Airways and Aerlink at the Domestic Terminal.
Technicians are working on the issue and the airport has reverted to manually handling baggage.
Check-in will be slower than usual this morning.
We are working hard to resolve this IT issue so that we can keep any flight delays to a minimum.
Brisbane Airport Corporation apologises for any inconvenience.”
They also updated travellers when the issue was fixed.
Although travellers are never happy about delays of any kind at an airport, Brisbane Airport were on the front foot with stakeholder communication and media keeping them and airlines informed. This is a great example of putting your most important stakeholders first in your communications.