Airfordable, COVID-19, And The Road Ahead
To the Airfordable community ✈️ ,
To say the last few months have been a trying time hardly begins to describe the emotional and financial strain we’ve all had to face. We’ve heard your countless stories of long-awaited family reunions called off, well-earned trips postponed due to border closures and dream vacations cancelled due to the uncertainty of the current pandemic. We understand these travel disruptions, though a safety precaution, are more than minor inconveniences. They represent missed moments with loved ones, adventures deferred, and the lack of normalcy we all crave.
This has been no different at Airfordable. Over the last few months, we have striven to meet the unique challenges presented by COVID-19. Despite our best efforts, we recognize that we may have been unable to deliver the level of service you have come to expect from us. For this, we are very, very sorry. We are here not to excuse our shortcomings, but to be transparent about the actions we performed under intense pressure and explain how we plan to improve going forward.
As the pandemic began to unfold, we quickly realized we did not have efficient communication tools, adequate internal systems with our travel partners or enough staffing in place to handle the elevated volume of customer inquiries that arrived practically overnight. We reacted swiftly by implementing a customer support form to help us streamline all requests. We also began prioritizing inquiries by departure dates in line with the airlines’ policies so we could address those who had the most urgent needs first.
Despite this approach, we still found ourselves severely hampered by the airlines themselves. Like many of you who attempted to reach the airlines for assistance after receiving your ticket information, we were left frustrated with the airlines’ incredibly delayed response times including their confusing, inconsistent and ever-changing ticket policies. These restrictions often led to delayed or insufficient resolutions to your inquiries which we understand fall short of your expectations of our service. Unfortunately like any traveler or third party travel service, we are bound by the airlines’ evolving policies and their inefficient processes. We recognize and regret that we failed to effectively communicate these barriers we faced to our community resulting in some of you feeling ignored, and frustrated in a time of extreme uncertainty.
We want to make this right which is why we are implementing a plan to issue Airfordable credits for future travel use for those who were scheduled to travel starting March 1st, 2020 and up to September 1st, 2020 but did not complete their Airfordable installment plans as a result of COVID-19. We’re still working out the details as our system identifies the qualifying criteria based on several factors. We will be notifying all eligible customers with more information soon.
To further ensure that we are keeping customers first and top of mind, we have taken time recently to reflect on how our own policies and protocols need to change. Internally, we have created new protocols for crisis management which are designed with customer communication and guidance in mind and as top priority. We are hopeful that this new strategy will allow us to better navigate turbulent situations while keeping you all informed on what to expect from us and when.
As a young company, this has been the greatest challenge and learning opportunity we have faced. We truly appreciate your patience with us as we have worked hard to gain footing on this educative experience in business. We are confident that this hard work has made us a stronger team and more prepared to meet our goal of democratizing travel for everyone. We know we still have more work to do. With the complexities of the travel industry (post-COVID19) on the horizon, we know it won’t be easy; but we also know that with your feedback and support we will continue to evolve to become the best travel service you’ve ever used.
Just as Airfordable has worked through these exceptional times, we know that the world will too, soon. When it does, we are ready to welcome you back and help reconnect you to the people and places you love.
Until your next trip,
Your friends at Airfordable.💙