Chicagoflight
Topic Author
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How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:58 am

More and more it seems I am reading about customer service meltdowns, rudeness at the ticket counters, rudeness in the aisles in flight, rudeness on the phone, and kookiness in the flight deck. Where do these employees get the carte blanche to treat passengers/customers this way and are they ever held accountable ? It really is a black eye for an airline to have even one employee be rude and discourteous to the people that pay the money to keep the airline flying. Is it part of an airline's culture to tolerate this type of "customer service?" I know unions play a big part in keeping bad employees at airlines but there is also a process where a consistently bad employee has documented instances that would eventually lead to their dismissal. Airlines really do need to start training their employees in the concept of empathy. All airline employees need to realize that in the end, they are in the CUSTOMER SERVICE industry and if they keep treating people in a way they would not want to be treated, there should be consequences ... but are there any ???

[Edited 2012-03-27 19:59:54]
 
FURUREFA
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:39 am

Quoting Chicagoflight (Thread starter):
I know unions play a big part in keeping bad employees at airlines but there is also a process where a consistently bad employee has documented instances that would eventually lead to their dismissal.

At every airline, union or non-union, a human resources program exists to counsel and, if appropriate, terminate employees who are not performing. This process, however, is highly confidential, very complete and thus often lengthy; all employers, not just airlines, follow such a rigid, evidence process to protect the company against wrongful termination suits and other legal action. The processes at various airlines typically include first verbal counseling, written counseling, a number of written warnings (typically three), and finally termination. It can take several years to terminate an employee.

In a union environment, the process can be even more painstaking, as the company must often demonstrate repeated attempts to guide and council the employee before termination as disciplinary action for performance almost always in binding arbitration. But many non-union environments also allow for a dispute resolution or appeals process after termination.

Note, however, that in both non-union and union environments, termination for non-performance reasons is much quicker and easier. Dismissing employees for attendance issues, for instance, is more "black-and-white", reducing the possibility of legal action by the terminated.

Finally, legal issues (theft/pilferage, etc.), substance abuse issues (drugs especially), though most employers have an alcohol rehabilitation program, and any workplace violence will ensure employees are terminated immediately and without recourse -even in the most militant union work environment.

In short, it is indeed a myth that counseling programs are not in place at airlines. They are, but their major goal is not to disciplinary, but to counsel, terminating employees only if they display consistent performance issues.
 
smi0006
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:38 am

Quoting Chicagoflight (Thread starter):
I know unions play a big part in keeping bad employees at airlines but there is also a process where a consistently bad employee has documented instances that would eventually lead to their dismissal

I think unions often cop a bad wrap in this regard on A.net. I am not sure if this is the case in the US, but I have been with two companies now (in Australia) where employees should have been fired, management tried and the employee called in the union.

The union’s stance:
‘Yup your right they gotta go! But you haven’t crossed you Ts and dotted you Is, if you try now they will bring an unfair dismissal case against you, which we will be forced to represent. Go back and try again, next time these are the steps you need to have in place.’

In my current work place (within the aviation industry) the union reps have a very good rapport with management. Management often seeks the advice of the union on how to handle situations; why because the union is our collective voice and experts on workplace laws.

There is government legislation that must be followed with or without unions; sometime I feel management need to step up their people management. Perhaps in the airline game, HR and proper people management have been neglected through cost cuts.

As a case study how about we look at Southwest? Aren’t they the most heavily unionised? But aren’t they reputed to be having some of the most satisfied employees? Surely this must be reflective of their levels of employee engagement and HR practices? They also have generally good customer service from what I hear. The bad apples must be gotten rid of there somehow and yet not a huge amount of union issues? Perhaps someone can delve into this more.
One the other hand labour issues are different from country to country, perhaps the legislation in Australia and the work of unions is very different.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 1):
Dismissing employees for attendance issues, for instance, is more "black-and-white", reducing the possibility of legal action by the terminated.

Of all the people I have seen fired in my 7.5 years in the industry, I'd say 98% of the people that were fired and stayed fired were let go because of attendance.

At my job there is a probationary period for new hires. I've seen some of the hardest workers not pass because of a couple attendance hiccups and I have seen others raise some real red flags with regard their work ethic pass probation because they have perfect attendance throughout the period.

Just the way it is...

[Edited 2012-03-27 21:41:28]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
notdownnlocked
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:53 am

What about those bad employees in the finance department that start and/or delete routes that cause red ink upon an airline finances. Same could be said about route planners, CEO's, CFO's and all others. The OP's question is way too vague. How about pilots, technical staff, FA's, FAA liaisons, schedulers, drug testers, tug drivers, engineers, and many others? How do you get rid of bad employees?

What are your prerequisites?
 
maxamuus
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:17 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
At my job there is a probationary period for new hires. I've seen some of the hardest workers not pass because of a couple attendance hiccups and I have seen others raise some real red flags with regard their work ethic pass probation because they have perfect attendance throughout the period.

Sadly, this is the game at my airline too. All you have to do is show up to work and you are golden. I have a co-worker who ROUTINELY sleeps thru half of his shift, yet since he has near perfect attendance management could care less.
 
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mayor
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:22 am

Quoting Chicagoflight (Thread starter):
More and more it seems I am reading about customer service meltdowns, rudeness at the ticket counters, rudeness in the aisles in flight, rudeness on the phone, and kookiness in the flight deck. Where do these employees get the carte blanche to treat passengers/customers this way and are they ever held accountable ? It really is a black eye for an airline to have even one employee be rude and discourteous to the people that pay the money to keep the airline flying. Is it part of an airline's culture to tolerate this type of "customer service?" I know unions play a big part in keeping bad employees at airlines but there is also a process where a consistently bad employee has documented instances that would eventually lead to their dismissal. Airlines really do need to start training their employees in the concept of empathy. All airline employees need to realize that in the end, they are in the CUSTOMER SERVICE industry and if they keep treating people in a way they would not want to be treated, there should be consequences ... but are there any ???

Yes, we know all that, HOWEVER, it should also be a two way street. The customers MUST realize that it's not a master/slave relationship, but one in which the employee and customer should work together to make things as smooth as possible and resolve any problems that crop up. Having said that, the employees must realize this, too.

Quoting notdownnlocked (Reply 4):
What about those bad employees in the finance department that start and/or delete routes that cause red ink upon an airline finances. Same could be said about route planners, CEO's, CFO's and all others. The OP's question is way too vague. How about pilots, technical staff, FA's, FAA liaisons, schedulers, drug testers, tug drivers, engineers, and many others? How do you get rid of bad employees?

What are your prerequisites?

I think it was perfectly clear that the OP is referring to frontline, customer facing employees, including aircrews.
There's a big difference between someone that makes a mistake in a cubicle in the HQ building and one that has a meltdown in front of a gate or plane full of pax. In the first, mostly it can be rectified without much trouble.....in the second instance, you have to correct things in front of all those passengers AND possibly, the media.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
tonystan
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:58 am

You seem to suggest that these people are simply "Bad people"?

Maybe there is a lot more to it then this.

For example, the recent meltodwn by the AA cabin crew member and the JetBlue Captain I do not think suggests they are "Bad people"! Just people who have developed a mental illness and who need help. Im sure otherwise they are very lovely people who would be good at their job.

You cant be so black and white!

Also, when I receive bad customer service, I notice that a lot of the staff are not up to the mark, I wont blame the staff, Ill blame the company and its management for creating such a bad working atmosphere for its employees!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
Chicagoflight
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:05 am

So in general I would say then that it is more of a company culture issue. A company that constantly drums customer service customer service customer service into the workday lives of its employees will have less issues with bad employees. In reading up on this subject and with the great replies on this thread I would say that the solution to the problem lies in the culture of the company. Without hard statistics, and I would think it would be tough to find such numbers, I would tend to say that companies that have more positive cultures and that treat their employees with respect would have fewer issues.

I would be interested to hear customer service experiences from reservations to check in to boarding and inflight to baggage claim say from Singapore Airlines frequent fliers v. Delta or United fliers v. Virgin America and JetBlue fliers. I would dare say that CULTURE plays a huge role in those experiences.
 
tonystan
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:36 am

Quoting Chicagoflight (Reply 8):
So in general I would say then that it is more of a company culture issue. A company that constantly drums customer service customer service customer service into the workday lives of its employees will have less issues with bad employees.

Absolutely not. I worked for a certain "5 star airline" that drilled into us that we must be the best, we must always do what the customer wants etc etc etc. Indeed the customer got a good service to an extent but it was provided by a nervous, robotic bunch of staff who were afraid of their own shadows because of the fear of being sacked for doing the slightest thing out of standard. So when they were required to think outside the box in order to help customers in unusual circumstances they were unable to do so for fear of breaking the rules THUS not providing good customer service at a time it matters. They may still have been all smiley smiley "yes sir", "yes sir", "I cant say no cos im not allowed but I cant do what you ask of me either sir" so just creating an atmosphere of false good customer service.

Quoting Chicagoflight (Reply 8):
I would tend to say that companies that have more positive cultures and that treat their employees with respect would have fewer issues.

Absolutely. But a positive culture does not neccessarily suggest that the customer is always going to be happy. To me a good culture is a company that listens to its employees and takes their suggestions on hand. A company that supports its employees in difficult situations (you can side with the customer obviously but you can also support an employee who is only trying to impose the rules they are hired to do etc) and allows them the freedom to look outside the box when it is required.

Personally I think what makes a good employee is freedom of thought, flexibility and openess with their employer. Unfortunately in large organisations this becomes impossible as no one really knows anybody and once that big boog of proceedures is published it leaves a very limited space for personalisation and scope!

IMHO when it comes to airlines, if you want better customer service go to the smaller airlines (or smaller basis of larger airlines). The only problem here is you start to lack consistency in hard product as the smaller airlines lack the ability to have a broad standard product.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
bojangles
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:49 am

Tonystan, that five star airline's name wouldn't happen to start with a 'Q' would it?  
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:14 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 9):
IMHO when it comes to airlines, if you want better customer service go to the smaller airlines (or smaller basis of larger airlines). The only problem here is you start to lack consistency in hard product as the smaller airlines lack the ability to have a broad standard product.

One exception is Sun Country Airlines, based in MSP. They have a very consistent hard product, if only because they fly just a small fleet of 737s. In that case, you always know what to expect. Further, the staff are fantastic; they tend to be more personable and treat people like human beings instead of just another Platinum, Gold or Nobody. The large companies in the States tend to have an older mix of aircraft that includes an unsavory mix of old narrow bodies and small, run-down RJs. I'll get flamed for saying that, but you can't argue that Southwest and Sun Country don't guarantee a more standardized hard product than the legacies, even if they don't offer the same service up front.

More on topic, I believe airlines actually get rid of poor staff (those not subject to seniority rights) by laying them off during downturns. They usually know who needs to go ahead of time and then pick them out when it's time to cut back. Firing people outright isn't done that often, if only because carriers would rather have average to slightly-below-average workers doing their jobs than go through the process of firing and hiring on a regular basis, which would tend to ruin morale and not necessarily guarantee better workers in the long run.
 
tonystan
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:23 am

Quoting bojangles (Reply 11):
Tonystan, that five star airline's name wouldn't happen to start with a 'Q' would it?

Oh I couldnt possibly comment! lol
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
G500
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:36 am

At least in the U.S is not as bad as Europe. There, particularly Italy, Spain and Greece, you married to your employees
 
checksixx
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:09 pm

The most common problem that would cause an employer hardship about letting someone go, would be lack of documentation. Sure you can still do it, but you may have legal action on your hands.

You have to document the behavior and corrective action. Once you have a paper trail, the process is easy.
 
chootie
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:17 pm

... knowing I will be Feathered, Tarred, and fed to the lions.

Has anyone event thought about the "Rif-Raf" of customers that are now flying due to the Lower prices??

Fly has become a commodity, and most folks have NO idea of how to behave themselves. It starts with the Hand bags that are WAY to large, and continues with the fools who have to keep talking on their cell phones while the person at the gate is asking them questions.

Long story short, 80% of the folks flaying need to take an etiquite course, or, perhaps learn how to be in society!!   
chootie
 
Rdh3e
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:47 pm

Quoting notdownnlocked (Reply 4):
What about those bad employees in the finance department that start and/or delete routes that cause red ink upon an airline finances. Same could be said about route planners, CEO's, CFO's and all others.

Yes, they get the canned all the time, you just don't hear about it because they don't whine and cry to a union about it. When someone gets canned in finance you would never hear about it, unless they are high enough up where they "resign".

[Edited 2012-03-28 07:18:57]
 
iad51fl
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:54 pm

Quoting chootie (Reply 16):
.. knowing I will be Feathered, Tarred, and fed to the lions.

I no tar, feathers or lions here, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

There are bad apples in every company, but there are also bad customers as well. I have seen agents who are as nice and helpful as can be turned into "mean" agents just because of pressure coming from customers.

What happens when a gate agent announces a major delay or cancellation? 80% of the people in the holding area come up to the desk, and 1/2 of those start demanding this or that... some not even willing to wait in line. In some cases it's 2 gate agents vs. 100+ passengers. The pressure starts to build, then the dam breaks and things are said and done that normally don't occur.

In my career as a agent, supervisor and manager I had many run ins with "bad" customers. Had one gentleman show up late (10 min before scheduled departure), with his newspaper, coffee and McDonalds apologizing left and right that it was his fault he was late and is there any way we can get him checked in and to the gate for the flight. I looked at the flight, checked him in and told him he was lucky... the flight was delayed about 25 minutes. He went into a rage, wanted compensation which I denied and then eventually stormed off to the checkpoint.

Delayed flight.....we get the "ok" to board, board the flight and are missing one passenger. The agent paged the passenger 4 times throughout the terminal and 3 times in the boarding area. We had to go or would miss our wheels up time. I stood in the boarding area and loudly gave the call for the flight. The passenger never showed up so we closed it up and sent the flight out. As we were closing the flight a man comes up asking when the delayed flight was going to board. We advised him that it just left and that we had paged him many times both in the boarding area and the terminal. The gentleman became irate, called me every name in the book. He had been sitting in the boarding area the whole time and just zoned out I guess. He even looked at me when I gave the last call. And before anyone asks... no he was not deaf as he heard everything I was saying after cussing me out and he did not have anything like a ipod or bluetooth earpiece in his ear.

There are many more and I won't bore you with those... so it is not only on the airline side. As for the "I pay your salary" crowd... just because you partially pay my salary does NOT mean you can bully me, talk down to me, or treat me as someone inferior to yourself. The attitude you give will eventually be the attitude you get back. The last thing an agent at the counter or the gate wants is you in front of them after a major delay or cancellation, and believe me... they are working as hard as they can to get you out of the line. Don't take the frustrations out on them as they had no dealings with the cancellation or delay of your flight... they are just the ones who are stuck with it.

Chris
Enjoying the view of KIAH approach end of 27. 29.980548, -95.271201
 
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mayor
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:10 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 12):
More on topic, I believe airlines actually get rid of poor staff (those not subject to seniority rights) by laying them off during downturns.

That would seem to imply that your "poor staff" have less seniority. Not necessarily, but then you knew that. People get canned all the time, you just don't hear about it. When I hired on with DL in '71, 7 ramp agents had just been fired for pilfering from bags. It always seemed (with DL) that it took alot for someone to get fired with DL, but when they did....they did. They didn't fire someone for just one infraction, but determined if there was a pattern, gave the employee every chance in the world to straighten up and if they still acted the same, then the ax came down.



As I mentioned previously and iad51fl has, also, it's a two way street. Customers should be expected to treat the employees just as well as they want to be treated.

Is there somewhere in the "passengers' bill of rights" where it says the pax have the right to treat the employees like crap?  


BTW, I sometimes think that some, angry, frustrated agents take out their frustrations with paying pax, on the non-revs.

[Edited 2012-03-28 08:12:11]
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
maxpower1954
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:17 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 19):
BTW, I sometimes think that some, angry, frustrated agents take out their frustrations with paying pax, on the non-revs.

In my over 30 years in the industry I've observed the same thing - but it doesn't seem as bad as it once was.
 
norcal
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:37 pm

Every place has a few bad apples, just like sometimes flights have a few bad customers.

The best thing that can happen is for HR to catch these people before they are hired, particularly at a union company.

One big issue is that unions have to defend any employee who is in trouble with the company. It doesn't matter what the union thinks about the employee, they have to do it otherwise face legal troubles. Bad apples usually try and sue anyone and everyone when the company tries to terminate them. It's unfortunate because often times fellow employees want to see the bad apples go.

It's analogous to a court appointed defense attorney having to defend a serial child rapist. The defense attorney knows his client is a piece of _____ but he still must defend him or potentially face disbarment. The union has to do the same thing, defend bad apples or face lawsuits that ultimately end up costing the rest of the members money.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the lawyers and our litigious society.

[Edited 2012-03-28 09:04:14]
 
flyboy80
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Flying has become absolutely misserable experience for many. And I agree with earlier posts that airline management hasn't taken accountablity for a lot it. The bag fees for instance have increased the carry-ons in the cabins, but the turn times are the same- now we are constantly providing a "dis-service" to customers by gate checking carry-ons on the airplane.

Passengers have become absolutely ridiculous as well with some of their expectations. The industry and it's services are catered for the average flyer in many cases- if you want first class service- you need to pay for it. Employees can't please customers when they aren't given the resources to do so.

Lastly, when you are constantly repairing your employers image, from events outside your individual control and caused by lacking competency somewhere else, eventually this will take away from dilivering quality customer service.
 
juantrippe82
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 6):
Yes, we know all that, HOWEVER, it should also be a two way street. The customers MUST realize that it's not a master/slave relationship, but one in which the employee and customer should work together to make things as smooth as possible and resolve any problems that crop up. Having said that, the employees must realize this, too.



Agreed, there are two sides to every story and individuals must learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and their every whim but at the same time there are those who don't belong in customer service.
Don't worry, I'm never wrong.
 
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mayor
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:25 pm

Quoting juantrippe82 (Reply 23):
Agreed, there are two sides to every story and individuals must learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and their every whim but at the same time there are those who don't belong in customer service.

There are some instances, where someone might be put in another, NON-customer facing job, either permanently or until they get their act together.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:32 pm

Quoting Chicagoflight (Thread starter):
they are in the CUSTOMER SERVICE industry

No, they are not. They are not running a hotel. They are in the transportation industry.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 3):
I've seen some of the hardest workers not pass because of a couple attendance hiccups and I have seen others raise some real red flags with regard their work ethic pass probation because they have perfect attendance throughout the period.

I have seen that as well. Attendance is most looked at in the airlines than anything else, they want you at work. Behavior comes second.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 25):
No, they are not. They are not running a hotel. They are in the transportation industry.

To some degree both points are true. The broad title is CSR, Customer Service Representative.... But yes, the main job is to get pax on the plane so they can go from A to B as quickly and safely as possible.
 
Chicagoflight
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
No, they are not. They are not running a hotel. They are in the transportation industry.

The transportation industry is a subset of the customer service industry. Transportation companies provide a service to customers for which the transportation companies are compensated.

Hospitality is also a subset of the customer service industry.

According to the U.S. Standard Industry Classification System ......

The service-producing sector includes the divisions of (1) transportation, communications, and utilities; (2)wholesale trade; (3) retail trade; (4) finance, insurance, and real estate; (5) public administration; and (6) services.

[Edited 2012-03-28 12:29:38]
 
sulley
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:28 pm

They don't get rid of them.

They promote them to management.

*ba dum tss*
In thrust we trust!
 
AirframeAS
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting Sulley (Reply 27):
They promote them to management.

Not always...... Your post is somewhat offensive as not all managers and supervisors are the bad ones.

And no, I am not even in management at my airline.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting Sulley (Reply 27):

They don't get rid of them.

They promote them to management.

*ba dum tss*

C'mon now....
 
sulley
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:46 pm

I'm in management myself... 'twas just a little joke  
In thrust we trust!
 
Chicagoflight
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:04 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 28):
Quoting Sulley (Reply 27):
They promote them to management.

Not always...... Your post is somewhat offensive as not all managers and supervisors are the bad ones.

And no, I am not even in management at my airline.

methinks he doth jest ... lighten up (Bill Shakespeare)

[Edited 2012-03-28 13:05:43]
 
737tdi
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:53 pm

Really? You are asking this just of the aircraft industry? Go to Walmart, McDonalds, Lowes, Discount tire. It's not just the commercial aircraft carriers. It's a attitude thing. People thinking they are more important or relative then you. It's nothing new. Rude people have to work so they do and we put up with it. To a point. I have sworn off of alot of companies because their employees treated me rudely.

I am an aircraft and auto mechanic and work on multiple cars per month. You will never ever see me in the Kaufman Auto Zone again due to disrespect and rudeness. It's just the way it is I guess.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting Sulley (Reply 27):
They don't get rid of them.

They promote them to management.
Quoting Sulley (Reply 30):
I'm in management myself... 'twas just a little joke

Was it? Or did they promote YOU so as not to fire you?
Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
 
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:07 am

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 1):
Dismissing employees for attendance issues, for instance, is more "black-and-white", reducing the possibility of legal action by the terminated.

But it takes a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to terminate people with attendance reliability issues thanks to FMLA. It's commonly misused and shields people for years in some cases.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
ridgid727
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:12 am

I have been at the airlines for years, and let me tell you, there is hardly any other industry where incompetance takes a back seat to seniority.
 
trent1000
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:03 am

How do they get rid of them? The same way as the other employees: the airline goes bust...
There will always be bad apples that spoil the bunch.
Or perhaps they are then employed by an alternative US airline. What goes around, comes around.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:08 am

Quoting notdownnlocked (Reply 4):
What about those bad employees in the finance department that start and/or delete routes that cause red ink upon an airline finances. Same could be said about route planners, CEO's, CFO's and all others. The OP's question is way too vague. How about pilots, technical staff, FA's, FAA liaisons, schedulers, drug testers, tug drivers, engineers, and many others? How do you get rid of bad employees?

What are your prerequisites?



Maybe I'm a bit defensive but, malfeasance is handled in our industry. As mentioned, attendance and punctuality are strictly enforced. We are one of the few industries where though you have sick time you can still get terminated/punished for being out sick. And, at least in the Baltimore, Washington area, if there's the threat of even an inch of snow and ice, schools, and government agencies close or grant liberal leave with full pay to their employees and little or no consequences. However, it's drilled into us that bad weather/hazardous driving conditions are not excuses for absence. Things have to be extremely bad like the "Snowmagedden" blizzards of 2009/2010 to relax the stringent attendance standards.

As with any industry, there are bad apples that ruin things for the rest of us. As with passengers you have 5% of the travelling public and 5% of airline employees making life miserable for the 95% of us who care and attempt to do the best job possible and for 95% of the travelling public that is courteous towards us and towards their fellow passengers and who follow the rules.
A lot of the excessive rules are government mandates and though we may not agree with them we have to make sure the rules are followed.

I've noticed even before I became part of our industry, airlines are fertile pickings for the yellow/sensational journalism. If it bleeds it' leads or if there's an abnormality that deals with a Boeing or Airbus it gets top billing headlines.

If you want rudeness, stupidity and lack of customer service you need not go through security at your local airport. Just pay a visit to your run of the mill hospital, government office, bank or especially courts and law offices. Try calling one of the giant communication's juggernauts like the one's that begin with an A and an SP and you get the endless phone tree from hell and then get someone with a thick foreign accent. They may not be rude but half the time you can't understand a word they are saying and you waste a precious commodity (time).
Getting back to the airline industry; a lot of folks realize they can complain and mild the company (airline) for all kinds of freebies such as upgrades and free trips. Customer care can be quite generous with such largess to an unhappy customer. Lots of luck getting such perks from your financial institution or DMV.

Quoting mayor (Reply 6):

Yes, we know all that, HOWEVER, it should also be a two way street. The customers MUST realize that it's not a master/slave relationship, but one in which the employee and customer should work together to make things as smooth as possible and resolve any problems that crop up. Having said that, the employees must realize this, too.



In a perfect world yes! But in today's world, customer rudeness and employee rudeness are sadly by-products of our "New Morality" society. With the breakdown of the family and lack of teaching of common courtesy and manners it's me, me and me.
When me and my sister were growing up if we used the airplane cabin as our trash receptacle it would just take that look from both our parents and we'd get with the program. In today's society, good manners and assertiveness are replaced by aggressiveness and intimidation. Sorry to be ranting here but, "meltdowns" on all fronts are the result of an extreme deficit of common sense and decency. An example: In elementary school, a boy who hugs a female classmate gets suspended and branded a pervert and gets on the perv registry while physical, emotional, and cyber bullying is running rampant and the authorities look the other way.
It wan't too long ago, that our outdated Post Office got all the bad press when their employees went postal and wasted their fellow employees. With the exception of the tragic Egypt Air Disaster more than 10 years ago there hasn't been any fatal aviation meltdowns. Let us all hope and pray this stays that way!

And then, we have all the school shoot em ups and collegiate campus psychos doing their thing causing injury and death.
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:28 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 37):
But in today's world, customer rudeness and employee rudeness are sadly by-products of our "New Morality" society. With the breakdown of the family and lack of teaching of common courtesy and manners it's me, me and me.

If we're just going to chalk it up to this and let it go, then the employees don't stand a chance.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:38 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 38):
If we're just going to chalk it up to this and let it go, then the employees don't stand a chance.

Though it may seem pedantic, if I had to come up with ideas to rectify the problem I'd seriously consider adding basic manners and courtesy and negotiatiing skills to my training programs. It seems these days, parents and our schools are getting a mediocre at best grade when it comes to teaching the concept of do unto others as you would done unto you. Then, maybe these instances would diminish or hopefully become a thing of the past. A book that should be made mandatory reading in the academic and business world is:

How to negotiate anything and get what you Want (not sure of correct title) by Herb Cohen. This book is about 20 years old but the information is as pertinent today as when Russia was called the Soviet Union. (The author refers to bad behavior and poor negotiation skills as Soviet Style).
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:20 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 39):

Maybe I'm too naive when it comes to the social skills of the younger generation. I would hope that my grandchildren would learn some manners, respect for others, etc. that I could be proud of.


Personally, I blame Dr. Spock for most of this.  
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:50 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 40):
Personally, I blame Dr. Spock for most of this.

He makes my list. Some other factors: the increasing influence of lawyers on everyday life. Our you sue me I'll sue you mentality. Our education system falling behind on education and teaching useful skills to kids.
The overall "New Morality."

Chances are your kids and grandkids are exceptions to today's lackadasical behaved society. You seem to be a good person and chances are you passed on your knowledge on to your kids and grandkids.
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gigneil
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:22 am

I don't think any reasonable person, including our FA and Pilot friends here, think airlines are effective at terminating the frontline employees that need it.

I don't know a single airline employee that doesn't think the very worst workers are totally overlooked by the system, and know the reasons behind it.

I also know very few airline employees that don't believe that, specifically, its union rules that protect the employees who know how to work the system.

For better or worse...

NS
 
tonystan
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:41 am

The problem (more so in the US i would imagine) is you cant just fire someone because they are "not doing a good job" or not being nice to people. They need a genuine reason that they are bringing the company into disripute in some way. Otherwise the company knows it will have a hefty lawsuit on its hands which could become public and expensive and may even be forced to take the worker back.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:39 am

Quoting gigneil (Reply 42):
I don't think any reasonable person, including our FA and Pilot friends here, think airlines are effective at terminating the frontline employees that need it.

I don't know a single airline employee that doesn't think the very worst workers are totally overlooked by the system, and know the reasons behind it.

I've worked in other industries and the same crap happens in those companies.
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:49 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 43):
The problem (more so in the US i would imagine) is you cant just fire someone because they are "not doing a good job" or not being nice to people.

Well, that's when they moved them to someplace where they aren't in contact with customers.


When I worked at SHV, we had this guy I worked with, get fired for drinking on the job (I couldn't tell). Apparently, this was not a new occurence and they had given him several chances, in the past, to straighten up.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
tonystan
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:45 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 45):
Well, that's when they moved them to someplace where they aren't in contact with customers.

LOL I have no problem with them doing that!
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4holer
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:03 pm

If USAirway fires Philadelphia, I would consider flying them again.
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
 
L1011Lover
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:50 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 9):
Quoting Chicagoflight (Reply 8):
So in general I would say then that it is more of a company culture issue. A company that constantly drums customer service customer service customer service into the workday lives of its employees will have less issues with bad employees.

Absolutely not. I worked for a certain "5 star airline" that drilled into us that we must be the best, we must always do what the customer wants etc etc etc. Indeed the customer got a good service to an extent but it was provided by a nervous, robotic bunch of staff who were afraid of their own shadows because of the fear of being sacked for doing the slightest thing out of standard. So when they were required to think outside the box in order to help customers in unusual circumstances they were unable to do so for fear of breaking the rules THUS not providing good customer service at a time it matters. They may still have been all smiley smiley "yes sir", "yes sir", "I cant say no cos im not allowed but I cant do what you ask of me either sir" so just creating an atmosphere of false good customer service.

...

EXCELLENT post!

Welcome to my RU list tonystan!

Best regards

L1011Lover
 
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zippyjet
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RE: How Do U.S. Airlines Get Rid Of Bad Employees?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:15 am

Quoting L1011Lover (Reply 48):
Absolutely not. I worked for a certain "5 star airline" that drilled into us that we must be the best, we must always do what the customer wants etc etc etc

As long as there's an overall lousy world wide economy, an employer's market, business models run by bean counters and lawyers, and politicians that are corporate CEO's doormats and clones you will have this climate of feat, intimidation and BS! Not just our industry but in almost all industries.

MBA's, lawyers, CEO's that make 477 times the amount of their average employees are going to proliferate this climate.
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