How do I begin... such love from the a.nutters board.
Let me reiterate some things I said above before I was attacked...
1) I never said I'd try to kill the program
2) I said, "Well, I have mixed feelings about participating in this project also. Not because it increases my work load..."
3) I also said, "And although I don't my (typo ((mind))) the added work, I want something for it. Allowing me to eat a meal is all the incentive I need."
Actually, if you re-read the post, I was stating my concerns with how the program is set up. Obviously, the trial period for this program, which is for the month of September only, will tell what works and doesn't. It appears, however, that there are problems with program from the outset.
Before I dive into those issues I see as potential problems, let me address the idea that I am a "sour apple." I was not speaking for myself when I was informing AA777flyer that flight attendants could kill the program. I was stating a simple fact. There are plenty of sour apples at AA
, and every other airline for that matter, but I am certainly not one of them. I am well aware of what my coworkers are and aren't capable of, and I am embarrassed on a regular basis by those with true "sour apple" attitudes.
This test period is coming on-line in a very limited market, and depending on the flight attendants on those flights, they have the very real capability of making the program work or fail. All that was in response to AA777flyers, "I don't think AA
really cares if the F/A's will like this or not. It will be part of your JOB! Ya know the thing you are paid to do, not sit at the back of the airplane and whine that you took pay cuts and have all this extra work because they cut back on staffing, work these long hours, don't get fed anymore, shorter layovers. If you don't like your work and don't want to do anything, go get a job with the TSA
and SkyChefs have a vested interest in this project, then AA
and SkyChefs need to have a vested interest in the flight attendants that bare the sole responsibility to make the program work. Like I said in my original post, allowing the flight attendants to eat a meal is all the incentive I need, and I am sure the majority of my coworkers will agree.
Now let me address the issues as I see problematic. AA
and SkyChefs want the flight attendants to pass out menus to all the passengers in main cabin. This is a big turnoff to the flight attendants. Although it is minimal added work, it is being perceived as unnecessary by the flight attendants I've talked with since this program was announced. Someone above mentioned adding it to the inflight magazine. That is the best idea I've heard for the program so far, and I've already submitted it to the company for review.
has surveys onboard the aircraft for flight attendants to hand out. In general, there are about 30 or so in each envelope. Those usually end up "lost or forgotten." Convincing a work group that is already disgruntled to pass out 166 menus is not an easy task. Offering real incentive, is. The incentive program SkyChefs has created is being perceived as an insult, only offering prizes based on drawings in which the flight attendants have to register for online. Real, tangible and guaranteed incentive is simple, easy, and cost effective.
Lets go back to my idea of allowing flight attendants to eat a meal. The combo boxes contain an assortment of fresh and shelf-stable products. The fresh items that go unsold will be thrown away at the end of each flight. Why not allow the flight attendants to eat what's left? You know, and I know, the flight attendants will eat those items anyway, but giving permission to do so will greatly change the attitude of a lot of flight attendants. In turn, they'll be more dedicated to make the program work. And it wouldn't have cost SkyChefs a thing, as the food would have been tossed anyway.
Flight attendants have expressed concern of becoming salespeople on board the aircraft. Someone above mentioned flight attendants sell liquor, so this isn't any different. It is. Flight attendants have never marketed liquor before. Passengers know it's available and buy when they want. This new In-Flight Cafe program requires flight attendants to market the program by 1) two announcements, one before takeoff and one inflight, 2) pass out menus to each and every passenger and 3) set-up displays on top of the cart. We can take this a step further and compare it to selling Duty Free. Even then flight attendants don't market the goods. There is a video that does that and a catalog in each passenger seat. That right there reiterates what a good idea it is to include the meal offerings in the inflight magazine.
When you look at the whole program, I agree it isn't a tremendous amount of added work. In fact, I look forward to being able to offer passengers the food. But convincing 26,000 flight attendants who are feeling tired, overworked and underpaid that its a good idea, isn't easy. But I wholeheartedly believe if SkyChefs were to offer tangible incentives instead of the, "you might win, you might not" idea, flight attendants will embrace the program and strive to improve it, streamline it, and make it a success. Flight attendants are among the most creative group of people I've ever met, and have the potential to make the program a bigger success than AA
or SkyChefs ever thought possible.
One more thing... Why do I think allowing flight attendants to eat un-used meals will be enough incentive? If you survey flight attendants about their current working conditions, here's what you'll hear complaints about: Long hours, too little rest, low pay and no food. Here is a simple way to address one of the top four biggest complaints of a substantial work group. Just like when AA
added MRTC, passenger surveys came back with not only high scores in comfort and leg roorn, but flight attendants were rated friendlier and the quality of meals on those flights with meals seemed to improve, even though the only thing different was more leg roorn. If flight attendants are offered these leftover meals, the day may not seem so long and they may not feel as tired, even though they were only fed a leftover meal.
I think the only person who needs a real attitude adjustment is Roger That, ie, reply #42.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.