AMC improves customer service on Patriot Express flights

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Scott Leas
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs
Upgraded meals, movie snacks and reserved seating are a few of the customer service improvements that passengers aboard Air Mobility Command Patriot Express flights can now look forward to.

"We are trying to get away from the old 'cattle car' image," said Cindy Rothenbach of AMC's Passenger Policy Branch.

"This all began about two years when Gen. (Tony) Robertson (then commander in chief of U.S. Transportation Command) established a commander's focus group in partnership with the commercial charter carriers. The group looked at ways to improve overall quality of service as a means to enhance quality-of-life benefits for Patriot Express passengers," said Rothenbach.

"Meals have been upgraded from economy or coach class to business class, with improvements in both quality and quantity," said Rothenbach

Special meals are also available, including vegetarian, Kosher, diabetic selections and children's meals. Meals can be requested through the local transportation office or passenger reservation center no later than 24 hours before departure. And snacks, including chips, cookies and candy bars are now available to passengers while they view in-flight movies.

"Another improvement this year is the change in our reserved-seating policy. Where before you couldn't get a seat assignment until you checked in for the mission, passengers can now reserve their seat 90 to120 days prior to departure," said Rothenbach. "We hope to have the reserved seating system fully online in March."

Fun kits for youngsters are another bonus for those flying on the Patriot Express. Children 12 years and younger can get a fun kit to help relieve the monotony of long flights. Kits are provided in cases or backpacks and include game books, puzzles, crayons and other child-oriented activities.

"This is really popular with some of the kids," said Rothenbach. "They really appreciate them."

"We are developing a brochure that will be available at passenger terminals and transportation offices which (is) designed to inform the passengers on what to expect when traveling on Patriot Express missions," said Lt. Col. Darcy Lilley, chief of the Passenger Policy Branch. "We want people to know what to expect during delayed missions as well as the many amenities they can expect aboard AMC contract flights."

AMC continues to work aggressively with charter airlines and its customers to improve travel experiences for all DOD passengers, according to Lilley.

"We have a passenger feedback form on all contract flights that we rely on to let us know if we are serving our customers well," said Lilley. "We carefully look at each and every one. We compile that information quarterly and use it to gauge how we are doing, and look for ways to improve our service."