The winter sky outside is darkening, but SMT's facilities near Helsinki-Vantaa Airport are still illuminated. It's not a case of overtime. SMT's on-call service is carrying out its regular tasks, helping customers with urgent travel-related matters 24 hours a day.
Mika Numminen is one of the people responsible for the on-call service at SMT. - Every workday is different. That's the best thing of all about this job. Normally we help customers with urgent changes to their reservation and support the other service teams with matters such as invoicing. However, emergency situations around the world can reorder the priorities immediately. You can really say that this work is full of speed and dangerous situations.
SMT's own on-call service helps passengers around the clock, also outside of business days. After business hours, the phone calls made to the service teams are automatically directed to the on-call team. When the urgency is great, many passengers are glad to receive help in their own native language when calling from around the globe or on a day such as Christmas Eve.
Although most of the tasks of the on-call service involve less dramatic timetable changes, cancellations and new urgent reservations, they should not be played down. If you miss your connecting flight or your hotel is fully booked, the distress and hurry that results from that is very real.
When an emergency situation is affecting travel on a larger scale, the phone lines really light up. The only thing to do is to take care of one thing at a time as well as possible, offering all the advice and help that can be given.
- My calm nature is well suited to this task, laughs Mika. - It enables me to clear out troublesome situations and help our passengers to stay calm. The sense of relief is nevertheless tangible when the last customer in an emergency area is contacted - or when a passenger can be helped to the local embassy after falling victim to theft.
In emergency situations, the on-call service has a heavy responsibility. It monitors the situation, informs the passengers and helps them to rearrange their trip when necessary. The decisions are always supported by someone from SMT's management group. The directors have their own weekly shifts for on-call duty. At night, however, the on-call service is responsible for all customer service. For this reason, it is important for its employees, as well as those of the other service teams, to know SMT's customers and ways of acting.
What are the tasks of SMT's on-call people in emergency situations? Read more about our activity behind the scenes.