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«Fall 2008

Concierge Services? Not at Duncan Aviation


When one hears the word “concierge” it conjures up images of well-heeled servants dressed in dark suits at the beck and call of elite guests at upscale hotels. You won’t find them at the front desk helping every guest that arrives. They are discreet resources who provide services which are private and only available to “special” people, those with wealth, clout or engender the perception to back up their requests. The concept of the concierge dates back to the time of palaces and castles in ancient France. The royal household had servants available to do the bidding of their guests. They were always on duty and were required to fulfill any request using whatever means necessary.

Today, concierge services are still available at the best hotels and are beginning to be seen at large corporations and private enterprises. However, these services are still generally reserved for the elite of society.

At Duncan Aviation, guests don’t find concierge services reserved only for the well-funded or famous. Everyone who lands at Duncan Aviation, from a single engine piston-prop owner to a Global Express operator, is considered a VIP and the extras don’t cost extra.

No matter the time of day or state of weather, Duncan Aviation FBO service team members jump into action when a customer taxis to the ramp.


Jessie Beasley, a front
desk representative in Battle Creek

Just like a doorman at a New York City hotel or apartment high rise, Jon Bowers, Line Service Representative for Duncan Aviation in Kalamazoo, Michigan, greets every aircraft that taxis to Duncan Aviation’s ramp area, directing pilots to the front door with valet precision. Other line service professionals like Chad Ferguson and Ryan Bartmen descend upon each aircraft with NASCAR pit crew efficiency, rolling out the red carpet by offering trash removal, accommodating customers with beverages and ice and providing dozens of other services. At a customer’s request, before passengers and crew are ready to board and take off, bugs are removed from the windshield and leading edges, quick clean services are provided and dishes washed.

“I am very proud of how everyone will do whatever it takes to make every customer feel like they matter to us, because they do,” says Ryan Friesen, Front Desk Supervisor in Battle Creek, Mich. Ryan relates a story about Jessie Beasley: “From her vantage point as a customer service representative at the front desk, Jessie saw a customer approaching our ramp in the pouring rain. Without saying a word, she ran around the counter, grabbed a couple of umbrellas and sprinted out to the aircraft as the door opened.

The customers arrived inside the lobby relatively dry. But Jessie looked as if she’d jumped in a lake. Soaked but with a smile on her face, she welcomed each passenger with laughter. Most of the things we do to make customers feel special are small in nature but have a huge impact on their experience. We don’t view this service as out of the ordinary. It is just what we do at Duncan Aviation. What others consider above and beyond, we consider the only way of doing business.”

From the moment your wheels touch the Duncan Aviation ramp, the size of your aircraft, the amount of your bill or the notoriety of your passengers has no bearing on how you will be served or the amenities you can enjoy while with Duncan Aviation. Repeat customers are greeted by name and new friends are welcomed and shown the services they can expect: office space, conference rooms, customer bathrooms or café services. If the stay is longer than a fuel stop or rest period, an on-site professional fitness center is open 24-hours a day. If you are looking for a recommendation for local fare, anyone at the front desk is willing to offer up their personal favorites or help make reservations.

“I love my job,” says Alicia Collins, also a customer service representative in Battle Creek. “It’s more than just making hotel and car rental arrangements. Many times, customers are on-site and away from their homes and families for extended periods of time. They come to the front desk to take a break from the demands of an aircraft maintenance event. I have conversations with them about other parts of their lives, where they are from, their next vacation destination or how many children they have. I try to provide as much normalcy as possible during their stay.”

– Ryan Friesen
Front Desk Supervisor

This was the case when a customer service representative from Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Neb., facility drove an hour one-way early in the morning to purchase a Boston Herald newspaper for a customer from the Boston area. When the customer arrived at the lobby, he was greeted with a friendly smile and the daily news from home. Sometimes new customers not familiar with such a high level of customer service are surprised by the attention to detail and the lengths taken to create a positive experience. In another example, Battle Creek’s Alicia drove to Detroit to return a rental car for a customer.

“They made arrangements prior to coming to Battle Creek but didn’t realize the closest rental office was more than an hour away. Because I have family in Detroit and frequently make that trip anyway, I thought it just made sense for me to help them out by returning the car for them.” Alicia’s frequent trips east from Battle Creek have helped more than one customer. She has even picked up customers from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and brought them to Battle Creek. “I’m already on the road headed that way, I don’t mind stopping to pick up a customer along the way. I don’t consider that going above and beyond.”

At Duncan Aviation you won’t find a typical “concierge.” What you will find are Duncan Aviation team members who will do whatever is possible to meet your needs and fulfill your requests. They may even throw in a few things that seem above and beyond.