Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Philippine Airlines (PAL) Expands Contact Center Capabilities for US and Canada

December 22, 2014

This may be a short item but it is indicative of a trend. It has recently been announced that passengers and customers of Philippine Airlines (PAL) in the United States and Canada will soon be able to transact practically all their travel needs by phone by calling PAL’s U.S. contact center – 1-800-IFLYPAL (4359725).

However, you need to wait until New Year’s Day since that is the day the system-enhanced PAL contact center will take over the functions of the airline’s traditional ticketing offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu whose operations are being restructured as part of a stream-lining and updating of the company’s sales operations to allow wider access by North American and Hawaiian customers.

PAL points out that the one-stop contact center will handle everything from flight bookings, ticket issuance, refunds and payments using credit cards. In the coming months, the PAL U.S. contact center’s connectivity with various PAL systems will enable it to handle almost all types of transactions from passengers based in North America and Hawaii as a complement to PAL’s  website – – where customers from anywhere around the world can book and buy any PAL ticket.
 “The enhanced capability of our contact center will provide added convenience to our North American customers when transacting with PAL, as part of preparation for our return to the US east coast by March next year,” said PAL President Jaime J. Bautista.

Is this a big deal?  From a technology standpoint obviously the answer is no since PAL is adopting, a bit belatedly, what has become industry standard in terms of the functionality used to interact with customers.  What makes it noteworthy, as stated above, is that it continues two important trends that have been driving the contact center solutions business.

The first is the need to ensure omnichannel interactions with customers can be received and acted upon with a holistic view of the entire customer journey. This means not just a given travel itinerary but rather their life-time journey with you as your customer. 

The second is the growing appreciation in many vertical markets of an old phrase I learned in executive MBA classes about conducting business as a global entity but acting locally to optimize results.  In fact, as a major employer in the Philippines, which is vying with India to be the outsourcing capital of the world, PAL chose to serve it U.S. and Canadian customers from contact centers closer to the customers’ homes. That certainly is a move that is food for some thought.   

Edited by Maurice Nagle