Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!
How would you fix American?
Thinking about Ben’s recent post, I can’t wrap my arms around it. He points out a lot of (very legitimate) problems with the service, which other flight attendants defend, and then blames it all on management?
It’s pretty clear, at least anecdotally, that any of the aforementioned flight attendants don’t care at all, so I don’t know how management is just supposed to magically fix that. I’m sure there are some corporate culture issues that need to be addressed, but these flight attendants seem so far beyond that. They’ve already been provided with some degree of service standards (i.e. turndown service), but when they choose not to provide that, it’s somehow their bosses’ fault? That would be like if Starbucks messed up your drink and then blamed in on their bosses being out of touch with the stores. That may be true, but those things have nothing to do with each other.
Also, I’d imagine that it’s very difficult for management to actually enforce anything. There is no supervision once the plane is in the air, and even if management is the best ever in terms of employee treatment, it’s a seniority based system. This means that flight attendants don’t have much incentive to provide great service unless they really want to, because that has nothing to do with how they are evaluated/paid/scheduled etc. And if management wants to change that, they can try, but good luck getting the union to even accept some of that. I’m not exactly sure how Delta does all of this, but for you Delta fanboys out there, they don’t have unionized FAs (so they’re contractually entitled to a lot less).
Some of you may be wondering why Flagship Lounges (and Flagship First Dining) get, all in all, really good reviews. The main answer: premium customer service representatives. The agents that work in the clubs and lounges are part of a different work group that requires their own application to be hired than, say, a regular gate agent. Someone who is a standard gate agent needs to apply for transfer. This existed before gate agents were unionized and still exists today. (See the union contract, from their own website, here: [URL]https://www.american-agents.org/news/cwa-ibt-association-passenger-service[/URL]) Something like this would likely work for flight attendants (think JetBlue Mint), but again, good luck getting the union onboard, regardless of what management is able to throw at them.
So, Ben and the internet, with this in mind, how would you fix the first class service?
[QUOTE=”Oops, post: 67785″]]
So, Ben and the internet, with this in mind, how would you fix the first class service?[/QUOTE]
Add one more olive to each salad. 😉
And hire a new CFO who is given a mandate from the Board to set 5 and 10 year goals. Because Parker only manages quarter by quarter, at best year by year. It is impossible to justify spending money – [I]i.e.[/I] invest in your brand – when you are only looking at the next quarter. Cut Parker out. Give a new CFO a seat on the Board.
LCCs and Parker by his nature (though he started at AA) are reactive, not proactive. I am not a Delta-fanboy like Lucky and Gary Leff, but at least Delta seems to manage for the longterm. AA is always playing catch-up. It’s all Parker knows.