Booking.com expected to cut 3000 jobs worldwide

Amsterdam: Online travel agency Booking.com has announced that it plans to cut up to 3000 jobs worldwide due to a reorganisation of the company which will see almost all of its customer service operations outsourced to Luxembourg-based customer service outsource firm Majorel.

According to the NL Times, at least 2,700 employees will lose their jobs at the OTA. However, it is believed they will be offered the opportunity to join Majorel, which currently employs close to 67,000 people around the world.

Customer service employees told the publication that they found out about the restructuring through a video message from Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel. It is claimed that the majority of those who transfer to Majorel will be offered a six-month contract but there were concerns about what would happen to those who decline the move.

It represents Booking’s second mass layoff by the company in two years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, following Fogel’s announcement in August 2020 that around 25 per cent of the company’s workforce [approximately 4000 employees] would be made redundant. A month later, it was revealed that Booking.com was closing five of its global offices in Bellevue, Washington [US], London and Cambridge [England], Toronto [Canada], and Split [Croatia].

Earlier in the pandemic, Booking.com reportedly received a $4 billion loan in bonds from investors to “support the short-term financial health” of the business and €100 million in state aid [including €65 million from the Netherlands], despite posting a €4.6 billion profit in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

A spokesperson told NL Times that those who transfer to Majorel will receive a minimum six-month contract from Q2 onwards this year, dismissing concerns about job security for those affected.

On the contrary, a number of Booking.com staff members said that the outsourcing move would have a detrimental effect on its ability to help customers and manage their complaints.

Paul Downham, vice president for customer service at Booking.com, said: “Delivering outstanding support to our customers and partners 24/7 will remain vitally important to our business. We believe that working with the team at Majorel and leveraging their industry-leading customer experience expertise is the best way to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ and partners’ needs as we further expand the diversity of offering on Booking.com across multiple travel products and services.”

A spokesperson for Booking.com told ShortTermRentalz: “As part of our commitment to deliver outstanding support to our customers and partners 24/7 and our ambition to extend that same support across multiple travel products and services, we can confirm our intention to transfer most of our customer service employees outside of Manchester and Amsterdam to be employed by leading global customer service provider Majorel, from Q2 of this year.

“We believe that working with a team of dedicated experts is the best way to ensure we meet our customers’ and partners’ needs as we continue to expand the diversity of our product offering on Booking.com.

“Majorel is a key strategic partner for us, already employing around 2,700 employees that support Booking.com, and we look forward to continuing to leverage their industry-leading customer service expertise to help us scale up efficiently to meet the evolving demands of our business.

“We are fully supporting all employees impacted by these intended changes, including specific details on what employees in each location can expect, while ensuring continuity of service for all of our customers and partners,” they added.

The platform recently unveiled a new ad campaign featuring actor Idris Elba that will air during this Sunday’s Super Bowl, although it is not known how much Booking.com spent for its spot.

The purpose of the campaign is to promote the company’s flexible booking policies as it looks to capitalise on the expected travel bounce back this year.

As well as Booking.com, Booking Holdings also owns brands such as Kayak, Priceline and OpenTable.