Launching Fly Ready has successfully eased the pressure on customers and airport staff, with up to half of all inbound passengers making use of the service and 10,000 cases processed. But it also placed a huge burden on Mak and her three-person Global Airport and Management Support team.
For the first nine months, these four individuals were solely responsible for handling the many cases coming through the Fly Ready portal. This meant being on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, handling an influx of sensitive passenger data to help everyone abide by frequently changing and complex new travel restrictions.
“I can describe those first 9-10 months as hell”, laughs Mak, who suddenly found herself becoming an expert on inspecting laboratory regulations.
She also had to deal with a discussion with the police, regarding 90 suspected cases of non-compliance. Thankfully, the team was able to prove due diligence - and Fly Ready has since been a handy tool in resolving suspected cases - with not a single case of non-compliance slipping through the net.
“Knowing what a huge problem it would be for the company if there was even one case of non-compliance has really helped to drive me and keep up a can-do spirit”, says Mak. "And I want to say thank you to my team for their hard work all the way”.
The team has now seconded 20 new staff members to help process the Fly Ready cases, providing them with four months of extensive training beforehand.
“Our attitude is that it’s easy just to say no and deny a customer boarding. It’s much harder to try and help - but we really want to go the extra mile,’ says Mak. “Honestly, at the end of the day if you can help the customer, it’s just so satisfying.”