Internal matter or not, this policy is a poor one. Have I ever worked for ATA, no. But I have worked for commercial airlines since I was 18.
I was so surprised by this announcement that I sent an email to ATA regarding this policy. Their PR
department responded stating they "are very excited about rolling out this new product, but understand there are hurdles to overcome". I hope this means they are reconsidering it (the policy not the business class cabin).
The policy is hurtful to it's employees in that it goes against the entire industry standard. In fact, ATA employees traveling non-rev on OTHER AIRLINES are very likely to be placed in that airline's first/business class cabin, but could not sit in their own? JC
Additionally, how do you justify this policy to a pilot or flight attendant?
As a flight attendant, you can serve the passengers that sit in these seats, but you are NEVER EVER EVER to occupy one yourself.
As a captain you can be ultimately responsible for the safety and well being of the passengers on your ship, but BY
GOD, your skill and contribution do not warrant a premium seat....
That is ludicrous!!!!!
AirTran actually tried something similar (albeit even more segregatory than this policy), but it didn't last long, and was quickly withdrawn. It soured relations between senior management and the line employees for some time.
I don't understand how, in an industry that is rife with poor labor relations (and I don't care how great they are at ATA), why an airline's management team would introduce a policy that so clearly devalues it's employees. These people traveling on a space available basis wouldn't be taking seats away from revenue pax to begin with. They could even institute a policy that requires an additional charge for the premium cabin for employees (although LCCs AirTran and America West both got rid of their's).
If I were an ATA employee, I would be MAD AS
HELL. As an industry employee, I find it disgusting....