Will Hawaiian Air Close Manila Call Center?

News today that US Airways is joining the ranks of other airlines and plans to close its Manila call center. It will return those jobs to U.S. based agents.

Outsourcing resulted in unsatisfied customers

In the past decade most major air carriers attempted reducing costs through moving to contracted call center companies located either in India or the Philippines. Customers have complained loudly about the service provided by some 800 call center businesses in the Philippines alone. Those call centers are part of a $150 Billion annual Philippine outsourcing industry.

Hawaiian Air

Hawaiian Airlines customers have been outspoken in their complaints about the Manila center. Some have even told me that the sub-par call service was enough reason to not fly Hawaiian.  I’ve always felt that the service was poor not because of the agents themselves, but as a result of inadequate training and ongoing management support.

Hawaiian answered the phones in Honolulu until about five years ago. The Hawaii-based service was even to my curmudgeonly tastes, uniformly excellent. I look forward to the prospect of seeing those jobs return.

Have you had any call center experiences you’d care to share?

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5 thoughts on “Will Hawaiian Air Close Manila Call Center?”

  1. I haven’t dealt with HAL’s Manila call center, but would probably been as unhappy as many others. However, I often have to deal with support centers in India for other companies. Although the Indian representatives are the typical mix of friendly and unfriendly types, I often experience problems in resolving problems because of CULTURAL differences.

    Even if outsourced services were the same “quality” as those based in the U.S., whenever I discover outsourcing I attempt to find a competing company that does NOT outsource jobs that should go to American workers. Any company that outsources jobs is UNPATRIOTIC! The selfish outsourcing of jobs, simply to increase existing profits, is one of the major causes of America’s ongoing recession/depression, which was primarily caused by Bush-Cheney era big-business-centric economic policies.

  2. As for comments about airline call centers in general… I have had good experiences with most… the worst experience I’ve had was with US Airways. I had multiple experiences and it involved horrible customer service and a lot of canned responses. It actually convinced me never to fly with US Airways again because it was such a hassle and problem.

  3. Very interesting article about the failures that happened in Call center companies in the Philippines, i hope that this country learned their lesson from past mistake to avoid negative complaints.

  4. This is good for HAL, but it is too late for me. Several years ago, I quit flying HAL to-from the west coast specifically because of horrible treatment by the Manila call center, even though HAL’s fares are often the cheapest.

    It was after I lost a $450 ticket because of misinformation given to me by a rep, followed by seemingly endless calls with others (and supervisors) whose only answers were either (a) \no,\ or (b) much more money (would have doubled the price of the ticket). Entreaties to the Honolulu HQ went unanswered.

    I would have stopped flying HAL interisland as well, but had no real choice since Aloha said aloha.

    As a local guy, I would prefer to patronize a HI-based airlines, but sorry HAL, you should have done this years ago, and it might be too late to get me back, since in the intervening years I shifted to United, which has excellent Hawaii-west coast service. UAL (and its India-based call center) has uniformly treated me well.

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