airtrantpa
Topic Author
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AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:30 pm

https://onemileatatime.com/american-air ... champions/

I cant believe doug parker and crew, are this out of touch with their employees. I don't really see how this will be successful, since a majority of AA people are not happy with their company. If I worked at AA I'd probably volunteer.

what are your thoughts?
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phxa340
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:38 pm

This sounds like Dougies final attempt at throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Ironically, brand champions could turn into a bad thing ... I have seen where you get highly engaged employees who have a ton of pride where they work , however if you consistently put them in front of disengaged employees or mad customers , they eventually too become angry and disengaged.

AA could fix their brand problem by going back to treating their employees and customers as an asset and fighting to keep both coming back, full stop.
 
MildBlueYonder
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:56 pm

Ah yes, “champions”, the age-old organizational euphemism of someone delegated collateral responsibilities but no additional time, pay, or resources, whose only purpose is to deflect the blame of continued underperformance away from leadership. I bet those volunteers are just lining up.

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TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:58 pm

I don't think it's bad per se. If employees don't have faith in management/Mr. Parker as some have purported, then perhaps they would have faith in each other to turn whatever needs turning around. The concept is right. Employees need to see employees doing a good job and enjoying it. That is the engine that truly works.
 
IPFreely
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:04 pm

airtrantpa wrote:
a majority of AA people are not happy with their company.


Do you have any proof of this?
 
airzona11
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:15 pm

In summary to first few posts, why is this bad? At a company the size of AA this can have a large impact and their employees are their greatest asset to build the brand.
 
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stl07
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:17 pm

I bet if DL did this, it would be all praise. It doesn't seem to bad to me. They are working to make their airline better. If they were so bad, they wouldn't be the world's largest airline anymore.
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L410Turbolet
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:22 pm

stl07 wrote:
If they were so bad, they wouldn't be the world's largest airline anymore.

Ryanair treats both its customers and employees like sh.t and they still keep growing like crazy.
 
airtrantpa
Topic Author
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:52 pm

IPFreely wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
a majority of AA people are not happy with their company.


Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.
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TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:54 pm

I have to say if a company wants to turn itself around then each employee has to focus on themselves, know their responsibilities in the company and realize that they themselves are ultimately responsible for the customer experience, not management. American has a lot of good things going for it and a rich history to back it up. Although a good work ethic is hard to teach, brand and company mission must be. Employees have to know and believe they are offering something unique in order for a company to thrive, not just be robotic. Every action counts, because a customer will be watching at all times and perceptions made. This program should be seen for what it is: an attempt by a company to try and fix, at least in part, what needs improving. This is a large operation. Company mission via memos simply get lost. Getting soldiers on the ground is where it's at.
 
alasizon
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:03 am

airtrantpa wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
a majority of AA people are not happy with their company.


Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.
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Pontius
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:06 am

airzona11 wrote:
In summary to first few posts, why is this bad? At a company the size of AA this can have a large impact and their employees are their greatest asset to build the brand.


The problem is that this program doesn’t improve fundamentals, it’s simply telling the employees that things are good.

It is a great way to take the most engaged employees and turn them into disliked management shills.

Two examples, the product changed at post-merger Delta, and post-private equity Frontier. One up market, one down market. Both groups struggled for 3+ years post transition, but when it became clear that management wanted to win and had a methodology, both employee groups made peace with the new normal and got on board. What does American want to be? Nobody knows, so they founder.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:18 am

The program appears to be more about telling employees what the mission ought to be, not necessarily how good things are, but what the brand should represent to each employee as they carry out their duties. This is of particularly importance to American as it is the airline with the most recent mergers/different cultures in its ranks. This can't harm if employees really want to be a better airline IMO.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:20 am

alasizon wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.


This might be the case. Management probably realizes that this is a problem but can't really address it directly, pitting one against the other.
 
n917me
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:29 am

Employees need to come together and start making a positive difference instead of blaming every little thing on management.
Is a FA sitting in the JS supposedly working FC with headphones on portraying a world class airline.. oh its management's fault . Is the gate agent who is too busy texting to pay attention to a customer in front of them.. ohh management's fault.
No not all are like that..
The change needs to start with the employees .
Take a look at your appearance when you start.. are you a wrinkled hot mess? Well that is the image you portray to the customer.
Employees need to start to take pride in theirselves first. Come in and make a difference.
The enployees are paid decent... and giving the employees an atta boy bonus boosts moral until the employee gets the check and spends it.
Yes. Management needs to change as well.. but everyone needs to work together instead of waiting for management to change.
 
Pontius
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:37 am

The FA in the jumpseat wearing headphones took one look at an Oasis F, correctly perceived that management has no interest in delivering a premium experience, then made commensurate choices.
 
winginit
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:47 am

stl07 wrote:
If they were so bad, they wouldn't be the world's largest airline anymore.


huh? What on earth is your logic behind that? If they were bad it'd be to such an extent that they'd have to sell planes?

On a related note, Delta passed them in revenue this year even though Delta has less planes.
 
jman40
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:49 am

alasizon wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.


Respectfully, as someone who has worked for three different organizations in a variety of capacities and departments the past 30 years (none anywhere close to aviation, I admit... just an avgeek here): Organizational culture comes from the top. I've worked for great leaders and horrible leaders, and the difference in culture is directly tied to their competence, engagement, appreciation of the workers and their work, and enthusiasm. Now, I've never worked anywhere as big as the world's largest airline, not even close. But I have seen it scale up and down based on the size of the organization. My experiences may or may not relate, but what I've seen is that great leaders who focus on customers and stakeholders get great work from the employees. Leaders who focus on bottom lines and shareholders don't. Not saying this is what is wrong at AA, just my experience in a very different industry, but one that is still customer-oriented.

I've left AA after 15 years as gold or platinum (I know, not a big deal), mostly over changes that all the airlines are following. But I look forward to seeing what UA, DL, and WN are doing these days, as my AA experiences these past few years have been annoyingly hit-or-miss on all fronts.

I just don't think asking AA employees to "volunteer" to be enthusiastic ambassadors is the solution. But I'll happily be proven wrong, as AA is still usually the best choice for my travel based on geography and price.

JM
 
alasizon
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:09 am

jman40 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.


Respectfully, as someone who has worked for three different organizations in a variety of capacities and departments the past 30 years (none anywhere close to aviation, I admit... just an avgeek here): Organizational culture comes from the top. I've worked for great leaders and horrible leaders, and the difference in culture is directly tied to their competence, engagement, appreciation of the workers and their work, and enthusiasm. Now, I've never worked anywhere as big as the world's largest airline, not even close. But I have seen it scale up and down based on the size of the organization. My experiences may or may not relate, but what I've seen is that great leaders who focus on customers and stakeholders get great work from the employees. Leaders who focus on bottom lines and shareholders don't. Not saying this is what is wrong at AA, just my experience in a very different industry, but one that is still customer-oriented.

I've left AA after 15 years as gold or platinum (I know, not a big deal), mostly over changes that all the airlines are following. But I look forward to seeing what UA, DL, and WN are doing these days, as my AA experiences these past few years have been annoyingly hit-or-miss on all fronts.

I just don't think asking AA employees to "volunteer" to be enthusiastic ambassadors is the solution. But I'll happily be proven wrong, as AA is still usually the best choice for my travel based on geography and price.

JM


Your observations aren't wrong, culture does start from the top. Change in culture however has to start from the bottom. If those at the bottom aren't willing to change and engaged on making a change, a change will never happen.

I don't think this is the "solution" per say but if it brings some good change and gets people connected to the new-AA brand and what that means, maybe it will help. Any change is an improvement right now over remaining stagnant.
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FSDan
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:09 am

TYWoolman wrote:
Employees have to know and believe they are offering something unique in order for a company to thrive, not just be robotic.


I think this is definitely part of the problem... DL and UA have made tangible customer-focused improvements over the last few years, from small things like UA offering stroopwafels as a snack and holding planes a few extra minutes for connections, to bigger things like near-fleet-wide AVOD on DL, UA's Polaris experience, DL's enhanced international economy soft product, etc. Meanwhile, AA's product has looked less and less appealing in comparison, and is quite obviously cost driven. If I was a frontline AA employee, I think I'd have a hard time buying into anything other than the route network...
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TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:17 am

FSDan wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Employees have to know and believe they are offering something unique in order for a company to thrive, not just be robotic.


I think this is definitely part of the problem... DL and UA have made tangible customer-focused improvements over the last few years, from small things like UA offering stroopwafels as a snack and holding planes a few extra minutes for connections, to bigger things like near-fleet-wide AVOD on DL, UA's Polaris experience, DL's enhanced international economy soft product, etc. Meanwhile, AA's product has looked less and less appealing in comparison, and is quite obviously cost driven. If I was a frontline AA employee, I think I'd have a hard time buying into anything other than the route network...


I agree. It's understandable that employees may feel they can only offer a substandard product (in relation to other airlines), but that is not the employees to judge, its the customers to judge. Employees need to just engage with the customer in a positive light as much as possible, regardless. Knowing what your company stands for, its history, its legacy and its mission needs to be communicated to the employee via the program. The employee can then make recommendations on service improvements within the new line of communication the program offers. It's a start.
 
NYCAAer
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:25 am

stl07 wrote:
I bet if DL did this, it would be all praise. It doesn't seem to bad to me. They are working to make their airline better. If they were so bad, they wouldn't be the world's largest airline anymore.


Largest airline in the world by a few metrics, such as fleet size and number of employees. But Delta is ahead in terms of revenue and light years ahead in profits. Delta realizes that customers will pay for a better product, and is able to upsell products to people who may have bought a lower cost ticket. American on the other hand, is hell-bent on taking as many passengers as it can get from Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier. With AA’s current mindset, I wouldn’t be surprised to see DL overtake AA as the world’s largest airline, and sooner rather than later.
 
MSPNWA
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:26 am

Sounds cheesy, but what huge corporation doesn't have these programs? The big thing is I don't need to know about this program. The author has ax to grind towards AA, and publishing internal communications isn't going to help anyone. It's counterproductive. But their ax gets sharper.

AA employees have their company in their hands. Do a good job, and the profits will follow. They need to understand that at the heart they are in a service industry. Good, friendly service is in general far more important to customers than material items. Complaining and doing a poor job will not lead to the utopia they yearn for. It's stupid that sometimes the leader has to be the ceremonial sacrifice, but maybe that needs to happen instead of this program.
 
NYCAAer
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:34 am

TYWoolman wrote:
FSDan wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Employees have to know and believe they are offering something unique in order for a company to thrive, not just be robotic.


I think this is definitely part of the problem... DL and UA have made tangible customer-focused improvements over the last few years, from small things like UA offering stroopwafels as a snack and holding planes a few extra minutes for connections, to bigger things like near-fleet-wide AVOD on DL, UA's Polaris experience, DL's enhanced international economy soft product, etc. Meanwhile, AA's product has looked less and less appealing in comparison, and is quite obviously cost driven. If I was a frontline AA employee, I think I'd have a hard time buying into anything other than the route network...


I agree. It's understandable that employees may feel they can only offer a substandard product (in relation to other airlines), but that is not the employees to judge, its the customers to judge. Employees need to just engage with the customer in a positive light as much as possible, regardless. Knowing what your company stands for, its history, its legacy and its mission needs to be communicated to the employee via the program. The employee can then make recommendations on service improvements within the new line of communication the program offers. It's a start.


Sadly, much of AA’s proud history is not something that current senior management reminds its employees of. This was the airline that pioneered the DC-3 across the country, then the DC-7 did it nonstop, followed by the first transcontinental service with the 707, and a host of other firsts, such as the first frequent flier program. Instead, often we hear about the proud history of Allegheny, Piedmont or America West on our internal website. There’s no brand purpose at the company as an airline known as American, nor is it forward-looking. Delta is very brand-conscious and although there might be reminders of the airlines that now make up the current Delta, the identity is definitely Delta. At AA, it feels like America West International.
 
Varsity1
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:41 am

alasizon wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.


The work groups aren't even fully integrated, from a merger that occurred almost a decade ago.

The employees feel beat down because everything at AA results in discipline, discipline and discipline. There is no vision or goal. We aren't driving to provide the best service, or the cheapest. We don't know what we are. A "legacy" airline that charges delta prices for spirit service and united reliability.

Flight crews and gate agents are told to pull the jetbridge early and leave customers behind just to block out on time, or even early. How would that make you feel about where you work?
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737MAX7
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:42 am

Sounds like a fantastic opportunity for AA to use new hires/kool aid drinkers to spread good propaganda about the company.
 
silentbob
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:52 am

IPFreely wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
a majority of AA people are not happy with their company.


Do you have any proof of this?

I know hundreds of employees across multiple work groups and they are all unhappy with the way management has treated their work group. Most love their job, but feel "stuck" due to airline seniority or other personal circumstance. The vast majority are both good people and good employees, it's not a matter of bad apples or bad attitudes. It's much more a matter of frustration and desire to ride it out, hoping for better times soon.
 
alasizon
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:15 am

Varsity1 wrote:
Flight crews and gate agents are told to pull the jetbridge early and leave customers behind just to block out on time, or even early. How would that make you feel about where you work?


Personally, I choose to focus on the flights we are able to hold and the delays we are able to take for when we can't get a hold. It isn't realistic that we will be able to hold for every flight and there are going to be passengers left behind.

737MAX7 wrote:
Sounds like a fantastic opportunity for AA to use new hires/kool aid drinkers to spread good propaganda about the company.

I think the intended goal was to get employees to understand the corporate vision and objectives behind the brand. Not many employees out there can tell you what they are and what the AA brand is supposed to stand for.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:41 am

NYCAAer wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
FSDan wrote:

I think this is definitely part of the problem... DL and UA have made tangible customer-focused improvements over the last few years, from small things like UA offering stroopwafels as a snack and holding planes a few extra minutes for connections, to bigger things like near-fleet-wide AVOD on DL, UA's Polaris experience, DL's enhanced international economy soft product, etc. Meanwhile, AA's product has looked less and less appealing in comparison, and is quite obviously cost driven. If I was a frontline AA employee, I think I'd have a hard time buying into anything other than the route network...


I agree. It's understandable that employees may feel they can only offer a substandard product (in relation to other airlines), but that is not the employees to judge, its the customers to judge. Employees need to just engage with the customer in a positive light as much as possible, regardless. Knowing what your company stands for, its history, its legacy and its mission needs to be communicated to the employee via the program. The employee can then make recommendations on service improvements within the new line of communication the program offers. It's a start.


Sadly, much of AA’s proud history is not something that current senior management reminds its employees of. This was the airline that pioneered the DC-3 across the country, then the DC-7 did it nonstop, followed by the first transcontinental service with the 707, and a host of other firsts, such as the first frequent flier program. Instead, often we hear about the proud history of Allegheny, Piedmont or America West on our internal website. There’s no brand purpose at the company as an airline known as American, nor is it forward-looking. Delta is very brand-conscious and although there might be reminders of the airlines that now make up the current Delta, the identity is definitely Delta. At AA, it feels like America West International.


Ok, well American has its work cut out for it. American did have a lot of "Firsts" so I think an effective way to portray that to employees is: You create more "Firsts". A "first" smile when you direct people to a gate. A "first" surprise look when you volunteer to offer water to a passenger who looks like they rushed to get to their flight, etc... etc...
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:56 am

NYCAAer wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
FSDan wrote:

I think this is definitely part of the problem... DL and UA have made tangible customer-focused improvements over the last few years, from small things like UA offering stroopwafels as a snack and holding planes a few extra minutes for connections, to bigger things like near-fleet-wide AVOD on DL, UA's Polaris experience, DL's enhanced international economy soft product, etc. Meanwhile, AA's product has looked less and less appealing in comparison, and is quite obviously cost driven. If I was a frontline AA employee, I think I'd have a hard time buying into anything other than the route network...


I agree. It's understandable that employees may feel they can only offer a substandard product (in relation to other airlines), but that is not the employees to judge, its the customers to judge. Employees need to just engage with the customer in a positive light as much as possible, regardless. Knowing what your company stands for, its history, its legacy and its mission needs to be communicated to the employee via the program. The employee can then make recommendations on service improvements within the new line of communication the program offers. It's a start.


Sadly, much of AA’s proud history is not something that current senior management reminds its employees of. This was the airline that pioneered the DC-3 across the country, then the DC-7 did it nonstop, followed by the first transcontinental service with the 707, and a host of other firsts, such as the first frequent flier program. Instead, often we hear about the proud history of Allegheny, Piedmont or America West on our internal website. There’s no brand purpose at the company as an airline known as American, nor is it forward-looking. Delta is very brand-conscious and although there might be reminders of the airlines that now make up the current Delta, the identity is definitely Delta. At AA, it feels like America West International.


And that non-history mentality you mentioned does have a lot to do with management. Mr. Parker is from America West. I actually see American Airlines today as a glorified America West with main hubs in Chicago and Dallas. And the merger with USAirways was a necessity to compete on scale, but not necessarily a great fit: to maintain merger efficiencies and value Philadelphia is favored instead of American legacy JFK/Boston, for example. In addition, Phoenix I feel will usurp efficiencies from Dallas and LAX when those two hubs are further maximized. Charlotte is a game-changer, however. And on a separate note in Miami, the Delta/Latam partnership over time will forever alter one of American's strongholds IMO. The later is definitely not good for morale, but they need to appreciate that they do have an extensive south american system still.
 
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Rookie87
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:00 am

airtrantpa wrote:
https://onemileatatime.com/american-airlines-employee-champions/

I cant believe doug parker and crew, are this out of touch with their employees. I don't really see how this will be successful, since a majority of AA people are not happy with their company. If I worked at AA I'd probably volunteer.

what are your thoughts?



That guy has a personal vendetta against AA. It seems like time after time, AA this, AA that...Jesus
So they are trying something, at least they're trying. Not the best effort but hey.
 
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chepos
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:14 am

TYWoolman wrote:
NYCAAer wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:

I agree. It's understandable that employees may feel they can only offer a substandard product (in relation to other airlines), but that is not the employees to judge, its the customers to judge. Employees need to just engage with the customer in a positive light as much as possible, regardless. Knowing what your company stands for, its history, its legacy and its mission needs to be communicated to the employee via the program. The employee can then make recommendations on service improvements within the new line of communication the program offers. It's a start.


Sadly, much of AA’s proud history is not something that current senior management reminds its employees of. This was the airline that pioneered the DC-3 across the country, then the DC-7 did it nonstop, followed by the first transcontinental service with the 707, and a host of other firsts, such as the first frequent flier program. Instead, often we hear about the proud history of Allegheny, Piedmont or America West on our internal website. There’s no brand purpose at the company as an airline known as American, nor is it forward-looking. Delta is very brand-conscious and although there might be reminders of the airlines that now make up the current Delta, the identity is definitely Delta. At AA, it feels like America West International.


And that non-history mentality you mentioned does have a lot to do with management. Mr. Parker is from America West. I actually see American Airlines today as a glorified America West with main hubs in Chicago and Dallas. And the merger with USAirways was a necessity to compete on scale, but not necessarily a great fit: to maintain merger efficiencies and value Philadelphia is favored instead of American legacy JFK/Boston, for example. In addition, Phoenix I feel will usurp efficiencies from Dallas and LAX when those two hubs are further maximized. Charlotte is a game-changer, however. And on a separate note in Miami, the Delta/Latam partnership over time will forever alter one of American's strongholds IMO. The later is definitely not good for morale, but they need to appreciate that they do have an extensive south american system still.


Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


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TYWoolman
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Re: AA

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:45 am

chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
NYCAAer wrote:

Sadly, much of AA’s proud history is not something that current senior management reminds its employees of. This was the airline that pioneered the DC-3 across the country, then the DC-7 did it nonstop, followed by the first transcontinental service with the 707, and a host of other firsts, such as the first frequent flier program. Instead, often we hear about the proud history of Allegheny, Piedmont or America West on our internal website. There’s no brand purpose at the company as an airline known as American, nor is it forward-looking. Delta is very brand-conscious and although there might be reminders of the airlines that now make up the current Delta, the identity is definitely Delta. At AA, it feels like America West International.


And that non-history mentality you mentioned does have a lot to do with management. Mr. Parker is from America West. I actually see American Airlines today as a glorified America West with main hubs in Chicago and Dallas. And the merger with USAirways was a necessity to compete on scale, but not necessarily a great fit: to maintain merger efficiencies and value Philadelphia is favored instead of American legacy JFK/Boston, for example. In addition, Phoenix I feel will usurp efficiencies from Dallas and LAX when those two hubs are further maximized. Charlotte is a game-changer, however. And on a separate note in Miami, the Delta/Latam partnership over time will forever alter one of American's strongholds IMO. The later is definitely not good for morale, but they need to appreciate that they do have an extensive south american system still.


Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


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Ok, wasn't aware of his history. So he has come back to his roots! He has a herculean task to get everyone on the same page!
 
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chepos
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AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:11 am

TYWoolman wrote:
chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:

And that non-history mentality you mentioned does have a lot to do with management. Mr. Parker is from America West. I actually see American Airlines today as a glorified America West with main hubs in Chicago and Dallas. And the merger with USAirways was a necessity to compete on scale, but not necessarily a great fit: to maintain merger efficiencies and value Philadelphia is favored instead of American legacy JFK/Boston, for example. In addition, Phoenix I feel will usurp efficiencies from Dallas and LAX when those two hubs are further maximized. Charlotte is a game-changer, however. And on a separate note in Miami, the Delta/Latam partnership over time will forever alter one of American's strongholds IMO. The later is definitely not good for morale, but they need to appreciate that they do have an extensive south american system still.


Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok, wasn't aware of his history. So he has come back to his roots! He has a herculean task to get everyone on the same page!


My friend, I have been a member of this site for 20 years (since 2000). In that time frame Don Carty, Gerard Arpey, Tom Horton, etc have been CEO. Many things have changed around here, one thing remains pretty much the same . Some AA employees will gripe and complain about the CEO, whomever is in power will always be the devil and the worst.


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airzona11
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:26 am

Pontius wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
In summary to first few posts, why is this bad? At a company the size of AA this can have a large impact and their employees are their greatest asset to build the brand.


The problem is that this program doesn’t improve fundamentals, it’s simply telling the employees that things are good.

It is a great way to take the most engaged employees and turn them into disliked management shills.

Two examples, the product changed at post-merger Delta, and post-private equity Frontier. One up market, one down market. Both groups struggled for 3+ years post transition, but when it became clear that management wanted to win and had a methodology, both employee groups made peace with the new normal and got on board. What does American want to be? Nobody knows, so they founder.


I guess that seems to be a negative perspective. They are still profiting hundreds of millions of dollars. Not saying they are perfect but they certainly are not all broke.

This is an inexpensive way to boost the brand and image. Taking the emotion out of it, that seems like a smart business decision.
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:31 am

Pontius wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
In summary to first few posts, why is this bad? At a company the size of AA this can have a large impact and their employees are their greatest asset to build the brand.


The problem is that this program doesn’t improve fundamentals, it’s simply telling the employees that things are good.

It is a great way to take the most engaged employees and turn them into disliked management shills.

Two examples, the product changed at post-merger Delta, and post-private equity Frontier. One up market, one down market. Both groups struggled for 3+ years post transition, but when it became clear that management wanted to win and had a methodology, both employee groups made peace with the new normal and got on board. What does American want to be? Nobody knows, so they founder.

Yep if you have a mission people will get behind you, Delta wants to be the best airline, frontier wants to be the cheapest airline, American can't decide if it's America west or usair, or American, by the way when delta merged with northwest, northwest still had red or green tails (legacy northwest, legacy republic) whereas today delta feels like one team whereas American still feels like it merged last week. Doug Parker has built a carrier out or merging airlines using just enough duct tape to hold it together then merge again, well there is no one to merge with now and all those old bodge jobs are coming back to haunt them.
 
dstblj52
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:35 am

airzona11 wrote:
Pontius wrote:
airzona11 wrote:
In summary to first few posts, why is this bad? At a company the size of AA this can have a large impact and their employees are their greatest asset to build the brand.


The problem is that this program doesn’t improve fundamentals, it’s simply telling the employees that things are good.

It is a great way to take the most engaged employees and turn them into disliked management shills.

Two examples, the product changed at post-merger Delta, and post-private equity Frontier. One up market, one down market. Both groups struggled for 3+ years post transition, but when it became clear that management wanted to win and had a methodology, both employee groups made peace with the new normal and got on board. What does American want to be? Nobody knows, so they founder.


I guess that seems to be a negative perspective. They are still profiting hundreds of millions of dollars. Not saying they are perfect but they certainly are not all broke.

This is an inexpensive way to boost the brand and image. Taking the emotion out of it, that seems like a smart business decision.

Every airline is making money in the US right now, the problem is when the next downturn hits AA is the most vulnerable airline, it has the most debt and the lowest profits, so when the pain comes their most exposed.
 
Tennhillbilly63
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Re: AA

Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:37 am

chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
NYCAAer wrote:


Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


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Doug Parker Did Not "go up the ranks at AA" . He was a financial analyst from 1986-91 and left for Northwest Airlines in 1991. In 1995 he landed at America West Airlines as the CFO .1995 is when he moved "up the ranks" to CFO. Doug Parker did not have long term ties to AA when he pulled off the Takeover in C-11 BK. BTW he was rejected by the Delta Folks in attempted takeover also called a "merger".
As history has proven Delta was the smart one.

https://keepdeltamydelta.blogspot.com/2006/12/letter-to-doug-parker-thanks-but-no.html
 
Tennhillbilly63
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Re: AA

Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:49 am

chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
chepos wrote:

Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok, wasn't aware of his history. So he has come back to his roots! He has a herculean task to get everyone on the same page!


My friend, I have been a member of this site for 20 years (since 2000). In that time frame Don Carty, Gerard Arpey, Tom Horton, etc have been CEO. Many things have changed around here, one thing remains pretty much the same . Some AA employees will gripe and complain about the CEO, whomever is in power will always be the devil and the worst.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


A team only plays as well as it is coached.The coaches are the difference makers and that's why team owners fire the Manager/Head Coach when they are Not performing well.

The America West management team at the present day AA has done numerous actions to remove any signs of the LAA including the logo on the airplanes. They are actually taking Maintenance Backwards in Technology with a computer program that was actually originally developed inn the late 1970's.
 
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NWAESC
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:04 am

AA doesn't seem to have any sort of "True North" right now. Until that changes, nothing will change.
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 273
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:44 pm

Years ago when I worked in banking it became more and more do a lot more with less and less. Who suffered other than the employees, the customers of course. How did management respond? Rolling out these "cheerleader programs" that were fake and phony as a $4 bill. There will never be a perfect work environment but if management looks after BOTH customers and employees (such as DL does) the brand is it's own champion. And DL is by far not perfect.
 
efg1588
Posts: 9
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:02 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:

I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.


The work groups aren't even fully integrated, from a merger that occurred almost a decade ago.

The employees feel beat down because everything at AA results in discipline, discipline and discipline. There is no vision or goal. We aren't driving to provide the best service, or the cheapest. We don't know what we are. A "legacy" airline that charges delta prices for spirit service and united reliability.

Flight crews and gate agents are told to pull the jetbridge early and leave customers behind just to block out on time, or even early. How would that make you feel about where you work?


For me, I feel this is and the inconsistency is their biggest challenge. For a few years, I was a lowly AA Gold when I lived in South Florida, and I few them simply for the convenience of MIA-Northeast nonstops. While I never had any complaints about the flight crew themselves, the inflight experience was nothing to write home about, and the ground staff (counter and gate agents) with that "beat down" feeling was definitely evident. While certain stations were definitely better than others, More often than not I started my trips with a scowl, someone yelling at people, etc. Despite being an "elite" flyer with them I never felt any different than a basic economy passenger, and after I moved back up north I took my, and my company's business elsewhere.

I understand that the fish rots from the head down and having bad senior leadership can demoralize an organization but it's that front line experience, not the leadership in Dallas, that people will remember the most.
 
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gatibosgru
Posts: 1707
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:10 pm

Yikes, nothing says "great place to work" like asking people to volunteer to say it. Sounds like a lot to do for no actual return.
@DadCelo
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: AA

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:25 pm

chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
chepos wrote:

Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok, wasn't aware of his history. So he has come back to his roots! He has a herculean task to get everyone on the same page!


My friend, I have been a member of this site for 20 years (since 2000). In that time frame Don Carty, Gerard Arpey, Tom Horton, etc have been CEO. Many things have changed around here, one thing remains pretty much the same . Some AA employees will gripe and complain about the CEO, whomever is in power will always be the devil and the worst.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



And as you know from being around this for 20 years, United was the worst airline, Delta was the worst airline, Continental was the worst, US Air was the worst, etc.... One poster touched on the Aviation "Employee Happiness" problem earlier.....Seniority! Everyone is trapped in a job for life at some point due to the heavy unionization of the industry. That is very difficult to overcome. Southwest is the only one to consistently be able to get culture to override seniority system that rewards all the wrong things.
Ever other airline has had periods of being loved and hated by their employees. Right now Delta is the big winner, in the 90's that was not the case in the 2030's or 2040's its not likely to be the case either.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 6588
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:34 pm

stl07 wrote:
I bet if DL did this, it would be all praise. It doesn't seem to bad to me. They are working to make their airline better. If they were so bad, they wouldn't be the world's largest airline anymore.


In operating revenues thru three quarters of 2019 (since AA hasn't reported 4Q results yet) they weren't: AA has been surpassed by Delta. Do you not even know the financials of your employer? That 'We're great - everything's fine' bubble deprives managers and employees alike of oxygen - people get stupid. You might look at AA's IDB rate, baggage mishandling rate, cancellation rate, and on-time rate vs. other U.S. carriers. Go back through a year's worth of monthly DOT reports: https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... er-reports
 
ROCDLFAN
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 2:43 am

Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:42 pm

IPFreely wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
a majority of AA people are not happy with their company.


Do you have any proof of this?


That statistic is in the article
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee."
 
Alias1024
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Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:46 pm

Pontius wrote:
It is a great way to take the most engaged employees and turn them into disliked management shills.

This!!!

Who doesn't like being cornered by their coworker, eager to evangelize about their employer? Even better, who doesn't like knowing that they sure as hell had better be upbeat in the conversation and watch what they say, because it will be all funneled directly to management?
:yuck:

From the program according to the article:
Hold at least five 1:1 conversations with a teammate on the brand each month (no minimum time requirement — this touchpoint could be as short as a two-minute chat). We will provide talking points.

Champions should regularly report comments and sentiments from these conversations through Facebook.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
Tennhillbilly63
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:45 pm

Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:47 pm

alasizon wrote:
airtrantpa wrote:
IPFreely wrote:

Do you have any proof of this?


I have 15 close friends who are AA employees, some are HP/US some are true AA employees Ive nown since working at TPA with AA, every single one of them LOve working for the airlines but hate working for AA. The only reason they stay is because of their seniority, One has almost 30 years with AA. That is proof enough for me.


A lot of employees "hate working for AA" when it's really that they hate the negative culture that they have all brought on themselves. Every single attempt to improve anything gets thrown back as "that's now how LAA/LUS did it" or "it doesn't matter" or "who cares, we are still doing XYZ wrong". There is more hatred for fellow employees/workgroups within AA than there is for management; of course all of that is blamed on management.

You can't fix a toxic culture if people aren't willing to step up and help make that change.



A team only plays as well as it is coached and is a direct reflection of its coaching.
Its hard to overcome years of beat downs with Contract Concessions and Chapter 11 BK.
Folks kept staying at AA hoping that things would get better and that has not been the case.
Last Year revealed the true mindset about AA management: Profit Sharing with the employees:
AAL= 1.4 % of annual salary
Delta - 14 % of annual salary

This year Delta gets 16.6 % profit Sharing equal to 2 months pay.
Now compare Delta's stock performance and Customer Service Survey ratings with AA . There might just be a direct correlation between performance and how employees are treated and compensated.
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: AA "American Champions" program

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:06 pm

To be fair to Parker employee relations were really bad at LAA and go back years. It seems as though the workforce at LAA never forgot the lean years when employees were forced to give concessions and there were rounds of layoffs. If you remember employees were all behind the US/AA merger. And in general, although not always, LUS crews were more satisfied and better customer oriented than the LAA crews (as evidenced for example by the First pre departure beverage rate)

Parker hasn't unified the workforce and remove the tarnish of the bad years the way DL has been able to. Remember DL employees fought off the take over attempt by Parker. Needless to say the profit sharing numbers in the post above this say quite a bit.

The US3 have embraced the ULCC business model to one extent or another. DL has been rather successful in part because it's found ways to mitigate the perception (like having AVOD at every seat). Employees naturally want to feel proud of the company they work for. When their company is seen as bottom of the barrel no surprise some employees will act like bottom of the barrel. Add in AA's operational challenges, some of them external (like the Max, weather prone hubs) and some them internal (like unwillingness to convert to rolling hubs) and it becomes a toxic brew.

Still, there are AA front line employees out there each day trying to make the flying experience great. It's not easy given the way air travel has become. Not to mention the way in which people interact with others, often totally obsessed with the phone screen in front of them rather than the human being standing front of them. I've seen the way people act in premium cabins and airline lounges. I've seen the way people rush the gate because the boarding process they believe shouldn't be applicable to them. I've seen the way people will stand in the aisle going through their bags looking for god knows what seemingly clueless to the 100 plus people still waiting to get to their seat. Or the people that allow their child to scream bloody murder on a red eye flight and make no effort to calm them down. I have to wonder if I was flight crew dealing with this day in and day out how jaded I'd become over time. I've seen the way I've become with 20 plus years of frequent flying.
 
TYWoolman
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: AA

Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:21 pm

chepos wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
chepos wrote:

Doug Parker started and went up the ranks at AA, under Crandall. He met his wife at AA who was also an employee (an FA).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ok, wasn't aware of his history. So he has come back to his roots! He has a herculean task to get everyone on the same page!


My friend, I have been a member of this site for 20 years (since 2000). In that time frame Don Carty, Gerard Arpey, Tom Horton, etc have been CEO. Many things have changed around here, one thing remains pretty much the same . Some AA employees will gripe and complain about the CEO, whomever is in power will always be the devil and the worst.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I hear you. The airline industry is awesome. I wish I worked within it. But there are bad apples in every industry. Not that it's necessarily the case with American or, where applicable, only American, but a passion for this industry is lacking. Workers need to understand how the industry as a whole evolved and where it's headed to put things in perspective. The American brand survived but seems like the culture is divided in sub-brand allegiances. Programs like this can help for the younger workforce and to try to get everyone on one brand focus, but it is not without risk. Management can be seen as passing the buck here if they sit idle.

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