Akira Wu is one of 10 vCEAs who now assist passengers with their queries at Changi Airport in a contactless manner.
Akira Wu, who has been a CEA for 3 years, was the first vCEA to be deployed. She recalls an experience last year when a fellow vCEA colleague encountered a passenger whose family member had passed away while he was in transit at Changi. Due to the prevalence of the Delta variant then, heightened safety measures at the airport required airport staff working in the transit area to be dressed in full personal protective equipment.
As it was in the middle of the night, the tired passenger used the vCEA service as he just wanted to speak to someone who can help him. Even though it was through a video call, the passenger commented that he felt “close and connected” to the vCEA as she was not dressed in protective gear and there was no need to maintain social distancing.
Akira also notes that there are some differences from assisting passengers on ground, that she needed to get used to.
“Usually when I share information with a passenger at the counter, I will write it on a piece of paper and pass it to him. Now, I can easily share the details with the passenger over the screen which is faster and more interactive,” she said.
Akira mentioned that she used to receive up to 5 calls per hour during the peak of the pandemic, but this has since increased to about 20 calls an hour these days.
“To help our CEAs transition to serving passengers virtually, we conducted several training workshops to help them familiarise with using the digital software to assist passengers effectively. This vCEA service will pave the way for us to expand and extend our outreach to passengers anytime and anywhere,” said Wilfred Sim, Customer Service Manager, Changi Airport Group.
As travel gradually resumes, ensuring a safe but pleasant experience for every passenger is key as Changi prepares for recovery. This vCEA service is one of more initiatives to come, as Changi continues to innovate and embrace new technologies to enhance the passenger experience at the airport.