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LAXSTEW
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DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:57 am

Need help from the DL DM/PMs on here please. Rumors swirling around the system that DL has sent letters to you all asking to send in pix of crewmembers reading, eating, (knitting?) on jumpseats...this after 2FAs were called into office after such pix were emailed to corporate. Sounds beyond ridiculous to me, but I suppose you never know.

So...anyone receive anything of nature?
 
jfrworld
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:08 am

I seriously doubt this. Why would are airline ask its customers to do its dirty work in turning it its employees for policy violations? To make it even more ridiculous - why would an airline ask its BEST customers to look for and call out behavior by its employees. The airlines have done a lot to shock me over the years, but I seriously doubt this one.

Now, there's nothing to stop individual passengers for reporting FA's on their own accord.
 
BMI727
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:09 am

Quoting jfrworld (Reply 1):
I seriously doubt this.

Yeah, it seems like this would call attention to the problem rather than fix it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
deltairlines
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:10 am

Yes there is a secret shopper program for invited Medallions run out of Sandy Gordon's office. It is a very limited number of Medallions in it, less than a couple hundred. You don't ask to join it (unless you were at the FlyerTalk Delta DO last year) but they ask you.

We are given a unique survey code identifying ourselves and it's a personalized survey that covers the entire range of the flight experience.

There is no place to upload photos, etc. of the sort. Truth be told, being one of the people in the program and knowing about 6-7 other people in there, we don't care if FAs are sitting doing whatever on the jumpseat as long as regular service is occurring - doesn't mean it needs to be constant, but not neglecting the F cabin on a 3.5 hour flight as happened to me earlier this year (and was duly noted in my survey).

What likely happened is someone sent in a complaint with these pictures through regular channels and it got filtered down to the FAs. Shame that management decided to punish the FAs for something as trivial as this - there's no need for a FA to be in the aisles constantly during a flight (said as a Diamond Medallion).
 
Cubsrule
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:18 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
It is a very limited number of Medallions in it, less than a couple hundred. You don't ask to join it (unless you were at the FlyerTalk Delta DO last year) but they ask you.

That's an interesting contrast with UA's program - www.ualsurvey.com - which sounds like a shorter survey but is also open to every passenger.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
deltairlines
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:21 am

Quoting cubsrule (Reply 4):
That's an interesting contrast with UA's program - www.ualsurvey.com - which sounds like a shorter survey but is also open to every passenger.

The Delta program is a much more indepth survey and goes directly to senior leadership. Part of the reason behind having so few people in the program and knowing exactly who is in the program leads to management being able to directly read responses, as well as the participant base having more detailed knowledge of the travel experience (so it's not going to be petty complaints that get mentioned but serious issues).

There is still the delta.com customer feedback form that any customer can use and I'm sure general trends get rolled up to management; this is just a more direct way of participating.
 
catiii
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:21 am

Quoting LAXstew (Thread starter):
Need help from the DL DM/PMs on here please. Rumors swirling around the system that DL has sent letters to you all asking to send in pix of crewmembers reading, eating, (knitting?) on jumpseats..

I really don't mean this to stir the pot, but could it be AFA (or pro-AFA F/As) trying to gin up controversy in an effort to support their cause?

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
there's no need for a FA to be in the aisles constantly during a flight (said as a Diamond Medallion).

As a Platinum Member, I second that.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:32 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 5):
Part of the reason behind having so few people in the program and knowing exactly who is in the program leads to management being able to directly read responses, as well as the participant base having more detailed knowledge of the travel experience (so it's not going to be petty complaints that get mentioned but serious issues).

UA may be able to filter similarly without expressly telling folks that's how they are evaluating the responses, as they ask for ticket number or Mileage Plus number. That means that if a manager wants to see what higher level elites are saying about XE service ex-IAD, for instance, that's easily doable.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Alitalia744
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:49 am

LAXStew,

There is no program with a goal of obtaining behavioral photos. It most likely is an unqualified rumor after a few FAs were reprimanded for service failures that were brought to management's attention by a paying customers that happened to be accompanied by photographs.

Over the years Delta, well in advance of the NWA merger, Delta solicited feedback on IFS, Product, etc by some of their Higher Value Customers. The program DeltAirlines is describing sounds like a program designed for IFS to obtain real-time feedback on service delivery as Delta continues to work toward a consistent premium experience for all Medallion customers. This is no different at any other airline.

That said, it is on the individual FA to uphold Delta's customer committment and Rules of the Road all while helping the organization deliver the company's Flight Plan. Rather than question whether Delta is "spying", question whether your peers are delivering a customer experience to the Delta standard.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:53 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 6):
I really don't mean this to stir the pot, but could it be AFA (or pro-AFA F/As) trying to gin up controversy in an effort to support their cause?

It's possible. If there are random spies taking photos of cabin crew, I'm willing to bet that they're most-likely on the DL payroll as ghost-riders. I mean really, do you really think that DL mgrs would ask their most prized customers, "Hey, can you keep an eye on our flight crews? We don't exactly trust them, know what I mean?"

[Edited 2011-08-29 19:06:00]
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LAXintl
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:03 am

Quoting cubsrule (Reply 4):
That's an interesting contrast with UA's program - www.ualsurvey.com - which sounds like a shorter survey but is also open to every passenger.

There is a more extensive survey which you are invited to take as is determined appropriate.

Quoting cubsrule (Reply 7):
UA may be able to filter similarly without expressly telling folks that's how they are evaluating the responses, as they ask for ticket number or Mileage Plus number. That means that if a manager wants to see what higher level elites are saying about XE service ex-IAD, for instance, that's easily doable.

And UA does indeed filter the surveys quite easily by both FF member level and things like crew base. Matter of fact the information is posted as such and rates things like ground staff and crew members against their peers in other stations.

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 8):
Rather than question whether Delta is "spying", question whether your peers are delivering a customer experience to the Delta standard.

   I would hardly call it spying if travelers are providing candid input whether this be via email, letter, phone call, or even a picture.

As long as crew members follow established company policy, and provide the service they are expected to render there is hardly a thing to worry about. For those that don't, we'll sooner or later if there is justice in life, things will catch up with them.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
deltairlines
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:04 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 9):
It's possible. If there are random spies taking photo of cabin crew, I'm willing to bet that they're most-likely on the DL payroll as ghost-riders

Just head over to FlyerTalk (not the Delta board specifically, as I've seen it on quite a few airline boards) to see reports of passengers using camera phones to snap pictures of various front-line personnel (be it FAs, airport customer service, etc.) that "mistreated" them and send it as a complaint. Such is life in a world now where camera phones are ubiquitous.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:20 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 11):
Just head over to FlyerTalk (not the Delta board specifically, as I've seen it on quite a few airline boards) to see reports of passengers using camera phones to snap pictures of various front-line personnel (be it FAs, airport customer service, etc.) that "mistreated" them and send it as a complaint. Such is life in a world now where camera phones are ubiquitous.

Or that too, the the jilted random clown who didn't get that snack box for free.
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Alitalia744
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:18 am

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 12):

Or that too, the the jilted random clown who didn't get that snack box for free.

Hope this is directed at the 'random clown' and not reflective of your sentiment toward all passengers - especially some of us HVCs who contribute a significant amount of dollars to Delta's bottom line, ultimately enabling your salary.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
n7371f
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:20 am

I'm Diamond and know a few people in the hdqtrs facility who work with in-flight. They would never do something like this. If I had to take a guess, this is a rumor started by the union folks clinging for relevance.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:31 am

I remember working in a large tourist attraction who often used secret shoppers. The results of the secret shopper visits were usually posted for everyone to see. I remember flipping through one review, and I was mentioned by name by the secret shopper, and it was a glowing review of how I handled a situation.

If I were Delta, I would be using actual secret shoppers a lot more often; it helps get a gauge of what the service level is, what is being done right, and what isn't been done right.
 
rising
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:48 am

Quoting LAXstew (Thread starter):
DL has sent letters to you all asking to send in pix of crewmembers reading, eating, (knitting?) on jumpseats

While pictures and videos might be taking it a little too far, the general idea of asking people to report behavior like this is long overdue in the airline business. Almost all retailers do this. Companies will hire secret shoppers to test employees and their responses to various situations to make sure employees are following company policy. As stated by a previous poster, if you do what you're trained and paid to do, you have nothing to worry about.

I think it boils down to professionalism. No reasonable person is asking a Flight Attendant to be constantly in the aisles offering coffee and water, and never allowed to rest or talk about non-work events, but more than anyone else they represent the airline to the public. Over the past few years I have seen many after drinks are served just sitting in the jump seat reading a magazine, or chatting with FAs many times saying negative things about their company. Not appropriate for the cabin of an aircraft and the more people that report it, the better, as these types do not represent the vast majority of hard-working, professional Flight Attendants at airlines worldwide.
If it doesn't make sense, it's probably not true.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:37 am

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 13):
Hope this is directed at the 'random clown' and not reflective of your sentiment toward all passengers - especially some of us HVCs who contribute a significant amount of dollars to Delta's bottom line, ultimately enabling your salary.

The "random clown" I speak of is descriptive of the person who is complaining about things which are beyond our control but feels they should take out their frustrations on us because we're in the uniform. I do value our customers and i'm well-aware who pays my salary, but there are those who decide, from the outset, that they deserve the royal treatment because they they missed their flight because weather or congestion, got bumped or denied an upgrade (because they're on a sale fare or award travel) and become belligerent in the process. If you're part of the demographic who is kind, respective, compliant and reasonable, consider yourself exempt from the "random clown" category. But if you're rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, a nuisance, consider yourself, well, a random clown.  
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blueflyer
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:50 am

It's a little bit more complicated to use secret shoppers in the airline industry than in retail. In retail, they work for cheap and don't take up floor space at the expense of a paying customer. In a plane, every secret shopper is one less revenue seat the airline can sell. A program such as described by DeltAirlines is far more common, doesn't cost anything in term of lost revenue and just as efficient because very frequent fliers come to learn the IFS processes and procedures of their favorite airlines almost as well as the cabin crew.

Even at airlines without a formal program in place, there are informal feedback channels, such as during the negotiations of travel contracts with large corporate customers where the names and phone numbers of executives in charge of cabin services, frequent flyer program, etc... are exchanged.

The only time I have ever read of an airline sending someone to catch its crew in the act was for a case where illegal malfeasance in the air was suspected. Photos and eyewitness account were turned over to the authorities who prosecuted the cabin crew members in question.
 
gigneil
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:54 am

I don't understand why more airlines don't do clandestine audits of their own service as it is. Actually hire people to do this work.

Once a plane departs, its basically anarchy for the crew members - they can do practically anything they want or do not want, and as long as they have likeminded crew members there's absolutely no accountability whatsoever.

Do I think all crews are lazy slackers? No. Most are very professional. They deserve to be recognized as well, and a real audit program would provide that feedback.

NS
 
Charlienoble
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:13 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 6):
Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
there's no need for a FA to be in the aisles constantly during a flight (said as a Diamond Medallion).


As a Platinum Member, I second that.


As a Cardboard Member, I third that LOL.

No offense intended, but after about three flights unless you are an idiot you've pretty much got the situation figured out regarding what constitutes a reasonable tempo for a Flight Attendant.

As for this "As a Medallion..." and "I'm Platinum" business...everybody knows that these aren't actual ranks, right? I love how airlines use fancy marketing names like Gold, Platinum and Diamond for people who give them a lot of (usually their employers') money. I guess Hemmorhoid, Backache, and Thrombo - though more accurate - don't have quite the same ring. "Elite" is my favorite. So much there I don't even know where to start.

Maybe they are on to something though. I should talk to the power company about Knighood for people who use a lot of electricity. At least then I'd feel a little better about the bill - like I was getting my money's worth. But still not quite the same thing as earning a real title like "Doctor" or "Commander".
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WNCrew
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:23 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 13):

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 12):

Or that too, the the jilted random clown who didn't get that snack box for free.

Hope this is directed at the 'random clown' and not reflective of your sentiment toward all passengers - especially some of us HVCs who contribute a significant amount of dollars to Delta's bottom line, ultimately enabling your salary.

Oh gracious! Never fear, we are never allowed to forget who "pays our bills" we just have to visit this site and we'll be "put in our place" relatively quickly. Seriously? You think we don't value our customers? We ARE allowed our own opinions...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
delimit
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:39 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 13):
Hope this is directed at the 'random clown' and not reflective of your sentiment toward all passengers - especially some of us HVCs who contribute a significant amount of dollars to Delta's bottom line, ultimately enabling your salary.

Not to call you out specificly, but...I really wish people on this forum would stop taking comments by airline employees made here as indicative of their attitude or job performance. Many of us enjoy the candid look their participation provides us and remarks like these really disincent it.

People complain about their jobs; it's human nature. Posting here is off-duty recreation and should not be read as anything else.
 
briboy
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:46 pm

I know on flyertalk, Air Canada does have an informal reporting mechanism on the quality of flights, from check-in to luggage retrieval. I know they also have special reporting channels for their top of top flyers.

In reading the reports on flyertalk, one can quickly see the main challenge is not the quality of service per se, but the inconsistency of service. If you are in a plane 50-100 or more times a year, one gets to know what is the baseline service, and where a crew individually or singularly exceeds or does not meet this service baseline. The other interesting aspect of reading the reports is how the Service Director's attitude often sets the tone for the flight.

It is good to see the airlines to have a way of getting feedback in these targeted ways.
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chootie
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:28 pm

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 17):
But if you're rude, obnoxious, disrespectful, a nuisance, consider yourself, well, a random clown.  

...You are soooo RESPECTED by me!!!!!
           
chootie
 
WindowSeat
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:46 pm

Hah! I got the invite for it and my personalised link and I never realised that this is the program. I thought it was just another fill out this survey kinda thing. Now that I see it's from Sandy Gordon and from what people have said here, I better start filling them out!
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
bjorn14
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:13 pm

Quoting jetjack74 (Reply 12):
Or that too, the the jilted random clown who didn't get that snack box for free

Must be the Rabbi who is suing DL.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
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mbmbos
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:17 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 8):
Rather than question whether Delta is "spying", question whether your peers are delivering a customer experience to the Delta standard.

Wow! That's a self-righteous comment if not downright authoritarian. Do you work for Delta?
"If I don't manage to fly, someone else will. The spirit wants only for there to be flying. As for who happens to do it, in that he has only a passing interest."
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BCEaglesCO757
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:12 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 19):
I don't understand why more airlines don't do clandestine audits of their own service as it is. Actually hire people to do this work.

Once a plane departs, its basically anarchy for the crew members - they can do practically anything they want or do not want, and as long as they have likeminded crew members there's absolutely no accountability whatsoever.

Anarchy ? Thats not even a bit strong more like outlandish,no ?

Most airlines do have something in place already. Corporate security. Anything else and they have to add 'case officer' to the title.

We hire people to do a job,but we show them we really don't trust therm or deem them compentent enough to do so by having people 'spy' on them. Now that works great for any work force right ? And I mean any industry not just airlines.

Nothing like having your boss look over your back 24/7.

I like this site,but the comments on here border between silly to outright asinine.


I mean it's not like they're surfing PORN, ( The head of Metro in Houston was caught doing this very thing a few weeks back. He still has his job and I'm not surprised. I suspect because a great deal of our population has done so. The amazing thing is that people will do it at WORK ! ) playing sudoku,bedazzled,solitaire,checking their fantasy baseball,football,etc. Ahhh yes...I shall sit in my office/cubicle and be 'productive" while I'm at it, let me log onto airliners.net and beat on those lazy bas-stids at DL for being slackers while working my flight.

Something that I'm sure some on here complaing about F/A's reading on a flight - Do as well in their 'spare' time in their office or place of work. No ?

Is this America or a police state ? Makes think of the special the other night on Saddam Hussein, where essentialy everybody in Iraq told on each other. Even family.


Just my two cents on the subject.
 

[Edited 2011-08-30 08:29:53]
 
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diverdave
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:16 pm

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 5):
as well as the participant base having more detailed knowledge of the travel experience (so it's not going to be petty complaints that get mentioned but serious issues).

Some of the most petty complaints on FlyerTalk originate from Diamond and Platinum Medallion flyers.

David
 
MNMncrcnwjr
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:19 pm

Have seen such activity but not out of the ordinary when done after all duties have been completed... DM 2yrs running will be 3 in two months ...(all by segs) and NO no letter or email regarding such from Delta...
CV340/580DC3DC9super80MD88/90DC10717273747576777A319/20CRJ2/7/9F27AVROJET31CITAT5/7/XSAAB340YS11Dash8E135/45/75
 
BCEaglesCO757
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:21 pm

Quoting alitalia744 (Reply 13):
Hope this is directed at the 'random clown' and not reflective of your sentiment toward all passengers - especially some of us HVCs who contribute a significant amount of dollars to Delta's bottom line, ultimately enabling your salary.

You may very well be a loyal flyer of DL and I'm sure they do value your business. Especially if it's top $$$ business.

But your last statement is the type of attitude many could do without. I pay your salary. Thats right up there with 'do you know who I am ?" Thats just my opinion and it's the worst thing you could do to a person no matter who you are and where you or that persons station is in life.

They know you pay a good amount for your ticket. I'm sure they know you're high mileage. And I bet they're willing to treat you as such.

But that last thing a person needs is someone who throws it in their face by actions,words and attitude.

If Bill Gates gets on a flight. I don't need him to tell me who he is. I KNOW. Regardless though, A crew member of employee doesn't need him to treat them like a peon or serf either. They're not.

The bad thing is sometimes people think they're the only person who has a pressing need at that moment. Screw the other 189-235 suckers on this bird.
 
PagoFlyer
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:33 pm

I always tell my "friends and family" when they travel on a pass or on a bought tkt...take names for bad service and good service.
 
ScottB
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:53 pm

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 28):
We hire people to do a job,but we show them we really don't trust therm or deem them compentent enough to do so by having people 'spy' on them. Now that works great for any work force right ? And I mean any industry not just airlines.

Nothing like having your boss look over your back 24/7.

When you're a flight attendant working on a flight, unless there's a supervisor riding with you, you really are unsupervised. A typical office/cubicle dweller can expect his or her boss to show up at the door/behind his/her back almost anytime, with no warning. If you work in a cubicle environment and start to loudly badmouth the company (or have an inappropriate conversation with a coworker or on the phone), you can probably expect to be called in by your manager. Telephone customer service staff can have a supervisor listening in on their calls unannounced at any time.

While we get the "we are primarily here for your safety" concept, customer service is also an important role for flight attendants. And your company does have a right to expect a certain level of performance in that regard, since delivering good customer service is part of retaining existing and attracting new customers.

I doubt your management expects you to be in the aisle constantly, but the frequency of service in the first class cabin should probably be comparable to what you'd expect in an upscale restaurant or bar; i.e. not waiting 30 minutes to have a drink refilled. On a long (non red-eye) flight in economy, I don't think it's unreasonable to have at least water offered every 90 minutes (give or take 30). While I think it's fine for the FA's to talk about work during their downtime, it's clearly not acceptable for the customers to hear them badmouthing the company, supervisors, schedules, etc. (so keep those discussions quiet or off the aircraft/out of the public areas of the terminal). Would you be happy with your crew hotel if you heard the maids talking about something disgusting they found in a room?

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 31):
But your last statement is the type of attitude many could do without. I pay your salary. Thats right up there with 'do you know who I am ?"

Why? In my job, I'm very cognizant of who pays my salary. But all too often (and on here) there seems to be this attitude of the passenger being the enemy from customer-facing staff, and that is very harmful to a company trying to retain loyalty from high-value customers.
 
blueflyer
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:00 pm

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 31):
Screw the other 189-235 suckers on this bird.

I'll second everything you wrote in your post except that last part. More to the point, I'd say "right back at you (F/As)." I have been on untold flights where we arrived late for one reason or another and a crew member gets on the PA with an announcement similar to "this particular group of passengers should be allowed to deplane first because of reason A, B or C, so everyone else please stay seated." Just as it's not for me to decide whether my time or self is more important than the other passengers', as you rightly pointed so, it's not for a F/A to decide for me whether my time is more or less important than another passenger's time.
 
greg3322
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:17 pm

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 28):
We hire people to do a job,but we show them we really don't trust therm or deem them compentent enough to do so by having people 'spy' on them. Now that works great for any work force right ? And I mean any industry not just airlines.

It isn't a matter of if we trust or don't trust the employees. Have you ever heard the term "trust, but verify"? It isn't spying, it is verifying that people are doing the job you hired them to do.

Secret shopper programs are in about every phase of retail. Resturants hire individuals to go eat and and then fill out a survey on the experience. Same with banks, clothing stores, hardware stores, etc. Why should an airline be any different?
 
FURUREFA
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:58 pm

It's also important that the program does NOT focus on specific incidents, but rather "trends".

I think it's also important to remember that co-workers can write up flight attendants too!
 
peanuts
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:22 pm

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 28):
Nothing like having your boss look over your back 24/7.

Simply put: when employees know they are being "watched" or "supervised", the phony ones behave accordingly. It's those phony freaks an employer is trying to weed out. Nothing wrong with that, society is full of them and it costs corporations billions of dollars a year in lost/missed revenue.

I have witnessed the most childish/belligerent behavior by flight attendants in the front cabin on transatlantic flights. There may not have been a confrontation about it with the customer at that time but realize customers don't forget and they will take their money elsewhere.

Most recently, I noticed a flight attendant roll their eyes constantly at a customer every time they requested additional toppings on their dessert. The only reason the coward was so rude and thought he could get away with his childish act was he thought that particular customer wasn't looking at him anyway. He must have forgotten (or not cared) about the other customers, including me, witnessing the entire event. It was pathetic and I felt embarrassed for his employer.

Throwing out the union card over these issues should be a non-starter. WN F/A's are union and they happen to be professional and friendly. Union or non-union, shouldn't make a single difference on how a F/A approaches their customer. Union or non-union, an employer has to have abilities to verify performance.

"Trust but verify" works. Again and again.

[Edited 2011-08-30 11:40:04]
 
ASFlyer
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:29 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 33):
Why? In my job, I'm very cognizant of who pays my salary. But all too often (and on here) there seems to be this attitude of the passenger being the enemy from customer-facing staff, and that is very harmful to a company trying to retain loyalty from high-value customers.

The attitude that you mention on here seems to be coming more from the "Don't You Know Who I Am" passengers rather than the employees. Employees are very well aware of where the $$$ comes from. They don't need to be reminded over and over again by the posters here. It gets old. We get it. Passengers pay some of our salaries. Don't forget, airlines get money in a variety of ways - cargo, sponsorships, frequent flier miles, the list goes on... Some of those things bring a little more to the bottom line than others.
 
BCEaglesCO757
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:43 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 33):
but the frequency of service in the first class cabin should probably be comparable to what you'd expect in an upscale restaurant or bar; i.e. not waiting 30 minutes to have a drink refilled. On a long (non red-eye) flight in economy, I don't think it's unreasonable to have at least water offered every 90 minutes (give or take 30).

I agree whole heartedly. I too expect service or a question answered within a reasonable amoujnt of time. I thought I posted that,but we are in agreement on that for sure. As I don't think it's too much to ask.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 33):
But all too often (and on here) there seems to be this attitude of the passenger being the enemy from customer-facing staff, and that is very harmful to a company trying to retain loyalty from high-value customers.

Yes.But.....but...sometimes passengers can come to the airport expecting the same attitude from employees and this is where the disconnect is. As it does work both ways. I held a position for a short time at CO where I dealt with passengers over the phone and I bailed out after a about a year or so. Most passengers were great and understanding though we managed to foul up. But there were always a few who cursed me out and called me every foul name in the book. I learned that people will say ANYTHING to you over the phone before they will to your face. But, thats not always true. A co-worker of my was punched in the face at the IAH BSO. Of course being a lady, I'm sure the guy who puched her felt pretty big. I'd be out of a job if I were there because I would have laid him out,hitting a lady. CO policy is to call HPD and never throw a punch back. EVER. Or you're gone. After talking with my GM and supervisors I opted to leave that department. I had gotten to the point where every call I took, I sat back and waited for the tirade I was sure to be coming. I loathed working for CO and for the first time I didn't enjoy work at all.

Employees need to have a great attitude coming into it,but it works the same with passengers as well.

I don't know if this is a statment on American society or not,but I was always glad to get calls from foreign stations. Non-US passengers were alot less belligerent,loud or just outright rude

Quoting greg3322 (Reply 35):
Secret shopper programs are in about every phase of retail. Resturants hire individuals to go eat and and then fill out a survey on the experience. Same with banks, clothing stores, hardware stores, etc. Why should an airline be any different?

I guess you can chalk me up as a person who thinks this is what is wrong with corporate america right now. Not just airlines. Greed, lack of loyalty to employees, as well as lack of appreciation. Trust me I get the trust but verify,but it just sound wrong,lol Perhaops companies would get better employees if they paid them a decent wage,listened to their opinions and input, or simply treated them like adults. Not children who need constant looking after. I GET what everyone is saying,but I still feel that by treating employees in such a way,you get such behavior. Not just F/A's.

Give employees proper resources or empower them to make decisions without fearing the hammer dropping from the boss is they don't. This stuff I read in Gordons Worst to First.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 37):
I have witnessed the most childish/belligerent behavior by flight attendants in the front cabin on transatlantic flights. There may not have been a confrontation about it with the customer at that time but realize customers don't forget and they will take their money elsewhere.

I love to laugh and goof while at work like most anyone no matter where you work. I think it's safe to say most everyone likes to have a lighthearted moment. I think most bosses can understnd that. At least I hope most do.

I'm not sure what type of behavior you saw,but ticket counter,F/A's....yeah. You have eyeballs on you pretty much 100% of the time so I agree. You have to check yourself and what you say,unless you're all the way in the back. But I'm not a F/A for my company so I'm not sure how they view things as acceptable and unacceptable.

Even the ramp has auditors who simply sit in the terminal and audit flights. Watching to see if the A/C hose is connected,wheels chalked,power connected APU shut down, etc At least at CO we do.
 
sevenfeet
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:42 pm

I'm a Diamond Medallion currently sitting in first waiting for my EWR->ATL flight to board.

My general experience with Delta cabin crew is that they are very professional. Rarely have I had a disagreement and nearly all the time it deals with seating of my unusual frame. Regardless of he situation, its their cabin and they need to manage it as they see fit. I've done surveys over the years but I'm not a part of any particular program right now. As far as I'm concerned, any fear of passengers taking pictures of FAs to turn into management is unfounded. Most of us are preoccupied with our work or other affairs.

I do use the forms that Delta distributes for rewards to employees who go above and beyond the call of duty for us. I consider it an important method of positive feedback.
 
catiii
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:44 pm

Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 20):
As for this "As a Medallion..." and "I'm Platinum" business...everybody knows that these aren't actual ranks, right? I love how airlines use fancy marketing names like Gold, Platinum and Diamond for people who give them a lot of (usually their employers') money.

Well aware. However DL views me as a high value customer based on the amount of business I give them (I own my own business so it's my money I'm giving them as my own employer), and views the Medallion group at large as high value and often solicits their feedback. Now why do you think that is? Probably because we drive a lot of revenue to their bottom line. I know that I have clients who give me a ton of business, and some that give me occasional business, and while I work to address their needs equally there is a "first among equals" mentality. In any event the point that I was making, and I believe DeltAirlines was making, is that as a customer in a group whom Delta views as important, and whose opinion and feedback Delta views as important and solicits, if we don't necessarily care if the F/A is sitting on the jumpseat doing whatever, than why should the airline?

Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 20):
No offense intended, but after about three flights unless you are an idiot you've pretty much got the situation figured out regarding what constitutes a reasonable tempo for a Flight Attendant.

Which is why DL solicits feedback from some of it high value customers, such as DeltAirlines. As a frequent customer you're more likely to notice if the service is off than say, some "idiot" who only flies occasionally.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:41 am

Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
As a frequent customer you're more likely to notice if the service is off than say, some "idiot" who only flies occasionally.

Agreed - but if there were a way to capture the feedback from frequent OAL fliers who only occasionally fly DL, it seems to me that from an improving service perspective, that might be better.

I have a couple of coworkers who fly plenty but don't fly DL much, but when they do fly DL it's full fare J to Asia (primarily because DTW is such a great hub). If there were a way to capture that group's feelings, it might be even more valuable, but I don't know how DL would do that.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
deltairlines
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:10 am

Quoting diverdave (Reply 29):
Some of the most petty complaints on FlyerTalk originate from Diamond and Platinum Medallion flyers.

That is true. And there are some people in the program (such as one MLB based flyer that you, me and another poster on this thread all know) that can get emotional when things happen that they don't like...
 
catiii
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:57 am

Quoting cubsrule (Reply 42):
If there were a way to capture that group's feelings, it might be even more valuable, but I don't know how DL would do that.

Agreed, and I don't know how they do it either.
 
ScottB
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:24 am

Quoting cubsrule (Reply 42):
I have a couple of coworkers who fly plenty but don't fly DL much, but when they do fly DL it's full fare J to Asia (primarily because DTW is such a great hub). If there were a way to capture that group's feelings, it might be even more valuable, but I don't know how DL would do that.

Well, they could certainly try to flag non-status passengers who purchase full-fare intercontinental business class fares on occasion, since they're still likely to be SkyMiles members. Take a sample of those, and invite them to take a survey in exchange for a voucher or some free miles.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:17 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 45):
Well, they could certainly try to flag non-status passengers who purchase full-fare intercontinental business class fares on occasion, since they're still likely to be SkyMiles members.

The problem is that it's tough to differentiate between those who fly a lot and only fly DL occasionally and those who only fly occasionally.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Charlienoble
Posts: 168
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:57 pm

Quoting catiii (Reply 41):
Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 20):
As for this "As a Medallion..." and "I'm Platinum" business...everybody knows that these aren't actual ranks, right? I love how airlines use fancy marketing names like Gold, Platinum and Diamond for people who give them a lot of (usually their employers') money.

Well aware. However DL views me as a high value customer based on the amount of business I give them (I own my own business so it's my money I'm giving them as my own employer), and views the Medallion group at large as high value and often solicits their feedback. Now why do you think that is? Probably because we drive a lot of revenue to their bottom line. I know that I have clients who give me a ton of business, and some that give me occasional business, and while I work to address their needs equally there is a "first among equals" mentality. In any event the point that I was making, and I believe DeltAirlines was making, is that as a customer in a group whom Delta views as important, and whose opinion and feedback Delta views as important and solicits, if we don't necessarily care if the F/A is sitting on the jumpseat doing whatever, than why should the airline?

Quoting CharlieNoble (Reply 20):
No offense intended, but after about three flights unless you are an idiot you've pretty much got the situation figured out regarding what constitutes a reasonable tempo for a Flight Attendant.


Which is why DL solicits feedback from some of it high value customers, such as DeltAirlines. As a frequent customer you're more likely to notice if the service is off than say, some "idiot" who only flies occasionally.

Fair enough, agreed that a smart airline is going to value the opinion of its cash cows...but I think in general the frequent flyer card is overplayed on here, as if the fact that people give one particular airline a lot of business makes them some kind of guru on air travel or life in general.

While a frequent flyer's opinion sheds light on a product's consistency, a newcomer's opinion is just as valid but in a different way...because that's where tomorrow's Medallions are coming from. And how the service strikes infrequent travelers matters because there are so damn many of them. Lest the plane end up a quarter full of frequent flyers who are perfectly satisfied with a product that actually sucks...and they don't know any better because they haven't flown anyone else since 1987.
"When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True Story."- Barney Stinson
 
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b727fa
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:20 am

The program DL has in place is to give our HVC's 12 certificates with which they can reward exceptional service from ANY member of the Delta system, RES, ACS, FA/Pilot, Mechanic even! They can give the "Job Well Done" certificate directly to the employee or call it in "anonymously" and the emp just "gets" the reward in their My Delta Rewards account.

So are they "ghost shoppers?" Maybe in a way--b/c we never know who's going to be there, where they're sitting (at a generic level), and what will "prompt" them to reward us. But they're "reporting" exceptional service...

Trust me, NO guest on any airline needs to have a "scheme" or Company promoted program for them "turn someone in."
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
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RE: DL Medallions "secret Shopping" F/A's?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:02 am

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 39):

Yes.But.....but...sometimes passengers can come to the airport expecting the same attitude from employees and this is where the disconnect is. As it does work both ways. I held a position for a short time at CO where I dealt with passengers over the phone and I bailed out after a about a year or so. Most passengers were great and understanding though we managed to foul up. But there were always a few who cursed me out and called me every foul name in the book. I learned that people will say ANYTHING to you over the phone before they will to your face. But, thats not always true. A co-worker of my was punched in the face at the IAH BSO. Of course being a lady, I'm sure the guy who puched her felt pretty big. I'd be out of a job if I were there because I would have laid him out,hitting a lady. CO policy is to call HPD and never throw a punch back. EVER. Or you're gone. After talking with my GM and supervisors I opted to leave that department. I had gotten to the point where every call I took, I sat back and waited for the tirade I was sure to be coming. I loathed working for CO and for the first time I didn't enjoy work at all.

My aviation career started in the early 1990s in air cargo. Later I transfered to passenger handling for LH in TXL (check-in, arrivals, lost luggage). THere was never a job where I´ve been insulted or threatened so often for matters beyond my control (and most often, if the brown mass hit the propellor, no supervisor was within reach and e.g. I wasn´t allowed to make decisions like issuing meal or taxi vouchers).
A colleague of mine had to flee behind a door to the ramp, while on one occasion I (and the security guard at the gate as well!) was glad to have a gorilla-seized loader in my gate (ramp operations were upset by an unexpected snowstorm, which caused half of the loaders to have to do de-icing on departing aircraft. The arriving aircraft´s luggage took a lot of time to unload because of lack of staff. And the loader with me, he was assigned to the arrival gate to unload the baggage trolleys brought to him by the aircraft unloading crew). Passengers, who were previously very aggressive to me (" If I don´t get my f*cking suitcase within the next five minutes, I´ll wallop you!"), just took one look at this 6.5 ft tall loader, with his shovel-sized hands, his previously broken nose and his crooked smile with some teeth missing and they calmed down immediately.
Air cargo was a lot more peaceful. Ok, sometimes you had to watch out for customers cheating the cargo company for storage fees, but generally they were all professionals, who knew what to demand and what to expect.

After two years on pax handling I had enough and went into maintenance.

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 39):
I don't know if this is a statment on American society or not,but I was always glad to get calls from foreign stations. Non-US passengers were alot less belligerent,loud or just outright rude

My favourites were passengers from East Asia and Turkey. The first usually behaved perfectly and received a firstclass service from me, well above what I had to do as per job description. The Turks usually knew chaos from back home and stayed cool (only once I had to help to sort out a mass fistycuff in my gate between elderly Turkish passengers. Standing in the crowded baggage claim area, I suddenly noted a commotion near one of the belts. Several middleaged to elderly Turkish passengers were going at each other, with the men punching each other and the women scratching and tearing each other´s hair. Unfortunately the sons waiting outside, seeing their parents fighting inside, stormed through into the sterile area to help them before the security guard could close the sliding doors. The result was about fifty persons fighting in a gate occupied by maybe 200 persons and more and more people getting involved. Fortunately around the corner some border police cops were just packing up their passport control computers. I called them for help and rthey went into the fray, seperating the fighters. In meantime the security guard and myself kicked the sons out of the sterile area.. But this was a fight between the passengers, probably started for a small issue, like somebody stepping on somebody else´s foot, which went out of control).

The worst passengers for me were (sorry to say) Americans, with a very aggressive, demanding attitude (what can I do if they had a very short stopover at FRA and their baggage didn´t make it from one plane to the other) and drunken German package tourists coming home from e.g. Mallorca.


Jan
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