Fair Go’s Phone Olympics: Airlines, travel companies face off

Source: Fair Go

People are reporting been on hold as long as it takes to travel to other countries! Fair Go has had numerous complaints from viewers about wait times on the phone to travel companies.

READ MORE: Flight chaos: Man waits nearly 5 hours on phone with Air NZ

So the team set up a simple test to check which popular companies kept customers on hold for the longest. Beginning simultaneously each reporter called one travel company and stayed on the line until they were answered by a human. The first to answer was declared the winner.

The companies selected were Air New Zealand, its Australian competitors Qantas and Jetstar, and travel companies House of Travel and Webjet.

Extended waits were expected from all of them, but House of Travel’s representative started things off with a bang by answering the phone in just under 2 minutes.

Jetstar’s call centre answered at around 31 minutes, followed closely behind by its parent company Qantas at 33 minutes.

After that, Alistar and Kaitlin settled in for the long haul, with Webjet and Air New Zealand taking more than three times longer to answer than the other companies.

Finally, at one hour and 42 minutes, Webjet’s representative picked up the phone.

Last to answer, more than an hour after that, was Air New Zealand. It clocked in at 2 hours and 50 minutes, which is nearly an hour longer than Aotearoa’s longest domestic flight from Auckland to Invercargill.

Every company that responded to Fair Go cited unusually high demand for their services currently, with Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty stating that while “previously around one in eight customers called us before travel, now we are seeing around one in three.”

If you do need to contact an airline at the moment and are worried about hold times, make sure that you consider your options. Many companies have online services that you can use to check or change your booking, and if you must reach them by phone then consider taking a call-back if offered so you can get on with your day.