Virtual event

Redefining Customer Service in Travel

    10 February 2021
  • Venue:
    Virtual conference and training
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Event details

ABTA’s new one-day event provides practical, online training for customer service teams, streamed live via a digital platform.

The transformation in travel customer service has accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With such rapid evolution, brands that don’t innovate will suffer. As travel restarts, customer service teams will play a critical role in rebuilding trust and confidence among customers. This event will equip individual team members, of all levels of seniority, with the practical skills, knowledge and insights they need for the future

About the event

What will customer service look like post-pandemic and as travel restarts? Is your team prepared for the change, and the opportunity? Are you equipped with the skills and knowledge you need for the future? 

Hear guidance from expert speakers about how to transform your customer service strategies, following the biggest period of digital transformation in history. How did travel customer service teams adapt during the pandemic and what have we learned? How have customer expectations and team structures changed? How can we rebuild travel businesses with customer service at the centre? What technology adoption worked, and what did not? 

The event combines a morning of thought-provoking conference sessions focusing on the future of customer service, with an afternoon of online training and practical workshops. Take part in two hour long workshops and training sessions of your choice on subjects including complaints handing, PTRs, claims, ADR and customer loyalty.  

Get an essential update on the latest consumer sentiment and traveller priorities to inform your customer service strategies for 2021. Listen to trusted advice and guidance from industry leaders and legal experts. Listen to how industry colleagues have managed over the past year and hear about their customer service strategies, technology adoption and team structures. 

Conference sessions

  • Changing customer expectations, priorities and trends
  • Customer service channel shifts; messenger, chat functions, messenger, bots and self-service, call queue management, social media
  • How to rebuild as service brands
  • The new customer service department: team structures, skills and wellbeing
  • Legal recap: PTRs, Brexit, FCDO advice
  • Managing feedback – where to go from here

Workshops and training

In the afternoon, you will choose two practical, online training sessions to attend live. All will be available to watch later on demand. 

  • Complaints handling during the Coronavirus crisis
  • Managing customer service under the PTRs 
  • Improving customer loyalty 
  • COVID-19 claims handling
  • Alternative dispute resolutions during COVID-19
  • Building customer support that is 2021 ready


Moderator: Charles Fachiri, Senior Customer Support Manager, ABTA
Jo Causon,
CEO, Institute of Customer Service (ICS)
Stuart Wright,
Head of Customer Experience, easyJet holidays
Lisa Smith,
Chief Operating Officer, ITC Travel Group
Keith Povey,
Director of Marketing, Feefo
George Hackett,
Regional Sales Manager UKI, Freshworks
Anna Reed,
Director, Ocky White Travel 
Emma Smallwood,
Customer Service Manager, Intrepid Group
Jenny Shepherd,
Head of Customer Excellence, Le Boat
Mariam Mogal,
Manager, Customer Centre, Virgin Atlantic Holidays
Hannah Patel, Director, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry
Gregg Hunt, Owner, Hunt ADR
Javed Ali,
Legal Consultant, Hill Dickinson
Richard Baker,
Chief Commercial Officer, Inspiretec
Matt Gatenby,
Senior Partner & Head of Litigation, Travlaw
Krystene Bousfield,
Associate Solicitor, Travlaw
Paula Macfarlane,
Senior Solicitor, ABTA
Chloe Walters,
Customer Support Manager, ABTA
Morgan Curtis,
Customer Support Adviser (QM), ABTA
James Clarke,
General Manager, Travelzoo

Further speakers to be announced including additional industry representatives, customer service experts and technology providers. 

Who should attend?

  • Directors, senior managers and team leaders with responsibility for customer service and sales 
  • Customer operations teams
  • Customer experience teams
  • Complaints teams 
  • Sales teams 
  • Legal teams
  • IT and transformation teams

Event prices

ABTA Members & Partners 

Individual rate - £125 plus VAT *

Business rate – £399 plus VAT * 
This rate enables you to train your whole team digitally, in a cost-effective manner. The business rate includes five digital log-ins. Up to five people can attend at any one time, and on-demand content can be shared more widely amongst your team. 


Individual rate - £199 plus VAT 

Business rate – £599 plus VAT 
This rate enables you to train your whole team digitally, in a cost-effective manner. The business rate includes five digital log-ins. Five people can attend at any one time, and on-demand content can be shared more widely amongst your team. 

View our booking terms and conditions here.

*To qualify for the ABTA Member/Partner discount you must have a current ABTA Member/Partner number or your application must be in progress when the event takes place.


Event format

The event will be brought to you digitally, in a one-day format.

  • Professionally edited content will be streamed live via a custom event platform. 
  • Interactive workshops and online training sessions for smaller groups.
  • Submit your questions in advance or during the conference.
  • Network on the platform via chat or arrange 1:1 video meetings.
  • Visit sponsor hubs for exclusive content, guidance and resources.
  • Watch content after the event on-demand. 
  • Support and tutorials will be available.


Headline sponsor

Traditional enterprise software is clunky, expensive and not focused on how you can wow your customers with the ultimate service and experience. At Freshworks, we believe that you deserve better- providing customer-for-life software that’s modern, mobile and affordable- enabling you to deliver wow moments to customers all over the world. We work with industry leaders to streamline customer conversations, automate repetitive work and save time- ensuring that teams can collaborate to deliver world class customer engagement.


Feefo has a proud history of working alongside some of the world’s leading travel brands, helping build better relationships with their customers and collect unrivalled, traveller-led insight. Our unique platform ensures only genuine customers can provide feedback, with multiple feedback campaigns giving agents and vendors a 360-degree view of their customer experience, from the moment they book to the time they check out. Coupled with the latest in AI reporting, it’s never been easier for travel brands to understand the needs of their customers and create experiences to remember.

The Inspiretec offering is perfected from almost three decades of experience specifically within the travel industry. Our product and service stack presents end-to-end solutions for travel agents, tour operators, loyalty brands, hotels, conference destinations, OTAs and tourism organisations. Our mission is to help travel providers, tourism organisations and tour operators grow, by helping them leverage customer-first technology and end-to end digital solutions – solutions comprising our enterprise class Reservations platform, our best-of-breed travel specific CRM and our award winning in-house digital web agency. Our customers trust us to drive their growth and profitability, by investing in our industry expertise and technology systems. We serve our clients from our head office in the UK and our office in North America.

ABTA Partner+ Travlaw LLP are 100% committed to serving the travel and leisure industry – from tour operators and travel agents to airlines, hotel groups, event management companies and their insurers. We pride ourselves on being one of the top travel law firms in the UK. We are a large, experienced team of highly professional yet approachable lawyers who are tried and tested specialists in advising.

Workshop sponsor

Hill Dickinson is one of the UK's premier law firms known for its legal advice to the travel industry. It advises tour operators, cruise operators, travel agents and airlines across the industry on various aspects as diverse as the Package Travel Regulations themselves, right through to the smallest detail in drafting operators booking terms and conditions. Recognised as leaders in their field, ranked at number 1 in the Legal 500 they have particular expertise in defence of personal injury claims, commercial matters and regulatory issues. The firm acts as a trusted adviser to businesses, organisations and individuals. 

For details on how to promote your company at this event, contact Matt Turton on 

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