Though the role we have seldom allows for interaction with passengers, our entire ground handling team, comprising our cabin cleaning crew, baggage handlers and aircraft marshallers, works in unison to ensure the travel experience for our passengers starts well. The spirit of omotenashi is central to our ground handling efforts and inspires us to provide our passengers with service of the highest quality.
With only a window of 40 minutes to clean an aircraft between it landing and embarking on its next flight, time is limited. However, we carry out our cleaning duties with the utmost care and attention because we have the mindset that it only takes one untidy seat on an aircraft to create a bad impression for passengers. All of us know that cleanliness is essential in creating a comfortable in-flight experience for our passengers.
Every step of the way, we apply the utmost care and attention to ensure our passengers’ belongings safely make it to the right aircraft on time. Upon receiving passengers’ belongings, we attach barcode destination stickers before putting them through our handling system, from where they head to the appropriate airport wing for sorting and loading. Each item is handled, sorted and loaded one-by-one under close inspection. Loading even continues through boarding in full view of our passengers, giving us the opportunity to show them how carefully we treat their belongings. We firmly believe that by taking good care of their belongings, we are taking good care of them.
In the event of receiving a passenger complaint, we seek to deal with each case individually. Even if responsibility lies elsewhere, we work closely with them to help recover or even repair their belongings. We want passengers to know that they can trust us to take care of their belongings as we would our own.
While the recent adoption of automatic aircraft guidance systems reduces the need for human aircraft marshalling, we still place great importance in receiving and sending off our passengers personally. Though we closely follow the instructions given by air traffic controllers when helping aircraft land and take off, there are times when safety issues require direction from the ground. In such cases, we use easy-to-understand, accurate and animated signals to ensure the safety of pilots and passengers.
Even when our passengers and their belongings have boarded the aircraft and are awaiting takeoff, our work as the JAL ground handling team is not yet finished. As a final gesture of appreciation, we all line up to send our passengers off in person. The moment passengers wave back to us from the aircraft is the ultimate reward, and the sign that our work is successfully done.