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Tugger
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AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:39 pm

With its merger with USAir, the "new American Airlines" has revised its workers and retirees benefits:

Quote:
As part of the merger integration on policies governing this travel, American’s new executives made several changes that have angered American’s retirees and workers from the former US Airways. The new American, which was formed in December, has about 700,000 people who fly for free as part of its “non-revenue travel” program, including about 110,000 employees, plus 515,000 spouses, dependents, relatives, and friends. That huge group illustrates how many people American is allowing employees to take on free flights, including foreign-exchange students they host.
[...]
The biggest change was to split American workers and retirees into separate groups for seat priority, which is what other U.S. carriers do. The merged airline also eliminated fees American had charged workers for seats—US Airways had not—and scrapped a seniority system that US Airways had used to mete out seats. The airline also cut the number of free, one-way “buddy passes” that retirees receive each year, from two dozen to eight. (Current workers receive 16 per year.) The new program also gives new workers flight privileges on their first day, a change from American’s old system that required a waiting period.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...-to-their-flight-benefits#r=hpt-ls

Tugg
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Prost
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:52 pm

Hell hath no fury like pissed off old folks. I'm kidding!

In another message someone mentioned that retirees were cheesed off because employees would ride before retirees. Well, yeah, those employees might be going to work, enabling the airline to operate.
 
Mir
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:54 pm

So the only downsides I see here are bumping retirees down in priority and cutting the number of buddy passes.

I understand the anger about the buddy passes - the number should be standardized across current employees and retirees. As far as the priority goes, I don't see anything wrong with favoring current workers over retirees, but when you start putting the families of current workers on before retirees, that's problematic. The priority should be current workers, then retirees, then the families of current workers (not traveling with the employee), then the families of retirees (again, not traveling with the employee).

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SonomaFlyer
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:24 pm

They had to syncronize the two systems anyway and its not surprising they put the new policy in line with the industry. I can't say I disagree with retirees being pissed but 700k is a huge number of people with access to free flights.

The passriding system I was fortunate enough to enjoy growing up always prioritized retired folks and dependents below current active employees so to me at least, that change makes sense.
 
Prost
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:45 pm

I feel my partner deserves to travel at my seniority, as he's had to endure many missed holidays and birthdays due to the nature of my employment.
 
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chepos
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:05 am

In my opinion us active employees should have a higher priority than a retired employee. That being said I do not think children or spouse should go ahead of retirees. I do not think that when my husband flies solo he should be at the same priority as an active employee. He should be cleared after active employees have been cleared, now if the spouse, children/dependant is traveling with the active employee they should have the same priority.
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Prost
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:10 am

I'll agree to disagree. My partner and I have gone on vacation together, but weren't able to leave the same day. If he didn't travel at my seniority he wouldn't have made the flight. Again, our families have to deal with the strangeness of our schedules, and the flight benefits are a small compensation for that. Again, just my opinion, and I don't mean to disparage opposing opinions, I'm just glad family is at my seniority at my carrier.
 
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Boeing717200
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:09 am

LOL.. From the article:

Retirees argue that the new rules will cost the airline huge sums of money and that it creates incentives for new employees to plot how to plan free trips more than to learn their new jobs. “Shouldn’t they be looking at a cost-benefit analyst on something like this?”

What a dumb argument.
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777Jet
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:57 am

Sounds like the age of 'entitlement' is alive and well  
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LONGisland89
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:10 am

I can understand the change in retiree priority but going from 24 to 8 D3 passes a year stinks. AA does make money off of nonrevs (pennies comapred to regular revenue pax)...so if you have people willing to pay for a seat when the seat would otherwise be going out empty...why not?
 
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:38 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
I don't see anything wrong with favoring current workers over retirees, but when you start putting the families of current workers on before retirees, that's problematic

As an airline ex-employee, I don't actually see why retirees should get any benfit. *shrug*
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mhkansan
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:39 pm

Quoting longisland89 (Reply 9):

I can understand the change in retiree priority but going from 24 to 8 D3 passes a year stinks. AA does make money off of nonrevs (pennies comapred to regular revenue pax)...so if you have people willing to pay for a seat when the seat would otherwise be going out empty...why not?

Uh, Doug was pretty clear in the town hall that D3s don't make AA any money at all. In fact, he considers D3 passes lost revenue. These people never had anything to do with American Airlines yet they get to fly around for pennies because they know an airline employee. I think that's pretty generous... Now that dependents, registered companions, etc have unlimited travel systemwide, there's no good reason to give away 24 one-way passes a year. That's crazy and prudent for a lean airline to trim.

As for retirees, I get that they gave their lives to the airline, but again, they now have unlimited free travel systemwide... And they're complaining that they go behind active employees (who might be getting back to work?).

I think AA's new travel program is quite improved.
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:04 pm

Seems fair to me; and similar to the way the DL system was when I worked for them. 24 buddy passes is insane, especially for retirees. Both of my girlfriend's parents are retired from American, and even they agree. I agree with retirees getting flight benefits, at a lower priority than active employees, but giving away that many buddy passes is lost revenue. there's an opportunity cost for those seats.
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questions
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:44 pm

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 12):
but giving away that many buddy passes is lost revenue. there's an opportunity cost for those seats.

Please clarify. Apologies for not having the lingo down. Are buddy passes space available? In other words you don't fly on a buddy pass unless the airline is going to fly the seat empty? If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?

Or... do you have to look at it from a larger revenue management perspective and question why so many seats are going out empty vs just looking at it on a per flight basis?
 
777ord
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:01 pm

I worked for AA when any Y class seat for seniority under 5 years cost like $11/leg. So, now that it's free, and based on your check in time still, is a HUGE improvement.

I do not see why someone who does NOT work for the company should board before those who do? Oh you DID work for the company.. Great. Well, someone else does and doesn't need your decision to retire to bump him/her off their commute flight to work. Sorry, shouldn't have retired...

It's just like seeing someones daughter beat me on the standby list because her dad has 25years with UA.. Great. But YOU don't....

Respect your employees. who will in turn respect each other, who will serve our customers... I don't care you're retired.
 
HPRamper
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:04 pm

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 11):
Uh, Doug was pretty clear in the town hall that D3s don't make AA any money at all. In fact, he considers D3 passes lost revenue. These people never had anything to do with American Airlines yet they get to fly around for pennies because they know an airline employee. I think that's pretty generous... Now that dependents, registered companions, etc have unlimited travel systemwide, there's no good reason to give away 24 one-way passes a year. That's crazy and prudent for a lean airline to trim.

As for retirees, I get that they gave their lives to the airline, but again, they now have unlimited free travel systemwide... And they're complaining that they go behind active employees (who might be getting back to work?).

I think AA's new travel program is quite improved.

Agreed on every point.   

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 12):
Seems fair to me; and similar to the way the DL system was when I worked for them. 24 buddy passes is insane, especially for retirees.

I think back in the day at HP we got something like 8, and even then they were not easy to get rid of, with family and such already flying for free (even my girlfriend's daughter at the time could fly free under my benefits) they often expired, or we'd give them away to other coworkers. 24 boggles my mind.

Quoting questions (Reply 13):
In other words you don't fly on a buddy pass unless the airline is going to fly the seat empty? If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?

Technically, if the airline makes zero money off a buddy pass and zero off an empty seat, it's still better to fly with an empty seat. That nonrev has body weight and baggage that directly affect fuel burn, and they are likely utilizing the free drink service on board. Those incremental pennies add up.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:05 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 1):

In another message someone mentioned that retirees were cheesed off because employees would ride before retirees. Well, yeah, those employees might be going to work, enabling the airline to operate.

I admit that this is my single greatest peeve--I get boarded after a part-time agent for a DL connector with a 2014 date of hire. If someone is going to work--fine--but the last time it happened I was trying to get to MSP for the funeral of an old friend and I was bumped by a very smart-mouthed 20 year old who said "Tough luck" to me as she marched on to the last seat. After 38 years of loyal service I don't think giving retirees two passes a year at the same level as regular employees will kill them.

Buddy passes are a disaster. I never tell a soul that I have them. They are frequently abused (and it is very easy to check to see who the abusers are) and some specific destinations with repeated problems are permanently embargoed (cities in Africa and MNL should be on the list). DL has repeatedly warned that they see these tickets offered for sale on eBay and if the catch you it is your job.

All employee, retiree and buddy passes are standby. Working employees traveling on company business can book positive space (like going to ATL for training).
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thegman
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:07 pm

Quoting questions (Reply 13):
Please clarify. Apologies for not having the lingo down. Are buddy passes space available? In other words you don't fly on a buddy pass unless the airline is going to fly the seat empty? If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?

Or... do you have to look at it from a larger revenue management perspective and question why so many seats are going out empty vs just looking at it on a per flight basis?

I think the lost revenue comes from having to operate the pass system as in using reservations employees to issue them. Also, front line customer service agents having to deal with the buddy pass customers when inevitably the buddy pass rider gets stuck somewhere and begins to freak out.

While traveling non-rev as a dependent of my mother I witnessed many buddy pass people who had to lean on the airport agents to get things done because of their unfamiliarity with the system compared to me who has a lot of experience with the system and is empowered with the listing tools and not limited to one PNR that needs to be changed. I could just look up open seats and make a new listing, buddy pass people often have to ask agents and then the agents have to modify.

Now, since I have become too old to be on my mom's pass I strictly buy revenue tickets. Often times the buddy passes aren't much cheaper than a confirmed ticket and buddy passes are so difficult to use it makes them worth less than the paper they're printed on.

My $0.02.
 
Stealthz
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:12 pm

Quoting questions (Reply 13):
In other words you don't fly on a buddy pass unless the airline is going to fly the seat empty? If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?
Disclaimer I am not in the airline industry but have a grasp of sales, marketing and "yield"management(different names in different industries)
I would not be concerned about all those buddy passes taking up empty seats (although there is a cost involved), the situation gets more complicated when you try to figure what those "buddies" might have spent had they not had access to free travel.
Let's say retiree "x" had 24 buddy passes and his friends used all those.. at 100kg each that is 2.4 tonne times, let's say 100,000 retirees = 240,000 tonne AA has hauled around for free.. did the oil companies give them free fuel for that??

How many of those are travelling because it is free, how many would have travelled anyway even if they paid?
Lets assume half would travel anyway, that is eight paying pax, maybe only a quarter of those will travel AA... that is 200,000 paying pax for AA V 2.4M free flights(And potentially revenue for other carriers as well)
Maybe some nice discounts would keep more of those now paying "buddies" with AA and the math is even better!
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IrishAyes
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:23 pm

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 7):

LOL.. From the article:

Retirees argue that the new rules will cost the airline huge sums of money and that it creates incentives for new employees to plot how to plan free trips more than to learn their new jobs. “Shouldn’t they be looking at a cost-benefit analyst on something like this?”

What a dumb argument.

I completely agree. Especially coming from someone who retired in 1995. The airline industry has literally undergone a 180 degree transformation in the nearly 2 decades that have transpired since then. Her vantage point comes from pre and post-deregulation, not post 9/11, fuel spikes, Chapter 11, consolidation, ULCCs and the like.

Airlines have to make tough financial decisions and when you're that far removed from the company, how dare she have the nerve to make a statement like that??? So irksome.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:35 pm

My take on this is that retirees need to take a seat. As an employee, I am expected to be at my job on time. If I'm late or miss a day because I'm traveling, that is a huge no-no and could cost me my job. Everyone knows this, even retirees. If I ever get to retire with flight benefits, I will simply wait. There's much less consequence when you don't have a job to go to.

Also, I feel sorry for US Airways employees switching to listing by check-in time. I hated playing that game and am very happy now being cleared by seniority.
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:38 pm

Quoting questions (Reply 13):
Please clarify. Apologies for not having the lingo down. Are buddy passes space available? In other words you don't fly on a buddy pass unless the airline is going to fly the seat empty? If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?

So I can't speak specifically for AA... this is going off of when I worked at DL/OH back in 2003-2006.

Buddy passes were fared as a certain cost per mile. For arguments sake, let's say it's 2CPM. Internationally, there was also the cost of taxes, and I want to say that the domestic CPM was lower than the international CPM, though I can't remember for sure. The general idea was that it was enough to cover costs (fuel, food, etc.). I once booked one of my friends a flight to Spain on a buddy pass. I think he paid something like $80, and the load was light so he confirmed to J. Not a bad deal.

At DL it was loudly stated that anyone traveling on your buddy pass was representing you. If they had foul behavior or didn't dress acceptably, etc. it was on you, and your flight benefits would be witheld for a period of time as penalty. We also had a rule that if you missed your shift because your were non-reving somewhere that you'd loose your flight benefits for 30 days, though I never saw it enforced.

We got 8 buddy passes a year, and I'll say that the scenario of a travel savvy friend on a low load flight was fairly atypical (at least in my experience). Most folks gave them to people without explaining how the system worked. Buddy passes were stand by, and they were the lowest boarding priority. We had a 1, 2, 3, 4, 4A, 4B, type of tiered system. Employees on company business were positive space, treated as revenue passengers outside of this tiered system. S1's were reserved for critical things. We had a coworker who's mom got really ill and the company gave her a S1 priority so she could get home (though those were pretty rare). Active employees were S2 or S3 (we got unlimited S3's, and a quota of S2's, so if you were traveling international and really wanted a shot at J you could burn an S2 to jump ahead of the other S3's). S4's were company subsidiaries... as a Comair employee, if I flew on say ASA, I would be an S4, since I was on another companies metal, other than DL. 4A's were retirees, and 4B's were buddy passes. Within each of those tiers, the order was based on the employees hire date. So a buddy pass of a 10 year employee would ride ahead of a buddy pass of a 5 year employee. Same for all of the other tiers. Everything was based on how long you'd been with the company, which in my mind is the only fair way to do it.

So all of that said, most of the buddy pass travelers I saw had no idea that they were behind everyone else and their brother and that they were actually standby. The problems come to play when they don't know this. Half the time the employee that listed them either wasn't in reservations (say a maintenance employee) and maybe didn't understand all of the lingo, or just booked their friend on the day they wanted to travel with no consideration of load. Half the time they didn't even know they were standby. Then you have to explain the whole process to them, and they inevitably ask "but I paid for this ticket, how am I on standby". At the end of the day, even if the "fare" covers fuel and taxes, there's also an opportunity cost of maintaining this whole system. Agents have to find other options, relist them, get them on other flights, explain the whole thing; and that's all time taken away from that platinum revenue customer with a full fare F ticket who just missed his connection to Asia.

Then this whole process gets repeated on the other end. They've been relisted and moved to 7 different flights through 3 connecting cities to try and get them where they're going 2 days before Christmas. What a shocker, none of their checked bags make it. Now you have to take a claim, explain that you're technically a non-revenue passenger, so we won't pay $50 to deliver your luggage to you. Two days later their bags finally make it to the airport and they complain about coming to pick them up. Then three days after that they show up to do the reverse of this cluster to try and get home.

In the almost 4 years I worked under DL (with 8 buddy passes a year), I only ever issued 3 of them. They're (or at least were at that time) just a royal pain.

[Edited 2014-06-05 07:44:22]
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silentbob
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:46 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 16):
Buddy passes are a disaster. I never tell a soul that I have them

I was the same way, I may have given out one per year.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 16):
After 38 years of loyal service I don't think giving retirees two passes a year at the same level as regular employees will kill them.

US used to give current employees and retirees a limited number of "vacation passes" that bumped them up to SA1 priority (top level space available), I thought they were going to continue that in some way moving forward.
 
bluefly
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:49 pm

As far as I am aware, the LUS boarding priorities for non revs are being adopted but will adopt the standard LAA titles (i.e. D1, D3):

SA1 - Vacation Pass
SA2 - Emergency travel for retired employees
SA3 - Personal travel for active employees (mainline or wholly owned subsidiaries) and their accompanying eligible family members and/or Guest Pass riders
SA4 - Personal travel for retired employees and their accompanying eligible family members and/or Guest Pass riders. Unaccompanied eligible family members of active mainline/wholly owned subsidiaries. Employees on leave/furlough.
SA5 - Unaccompanied family members of retired employees. Express (Ealge) non-wholly owned active or retired employees flying on a US mainline flight (when a ZW employee is traveling space available on a ZW operated flight, they are boarded before all other non revs)
SA6 - Unaccompanied family members of non-wholly owned Express active or retired employees
SA7 - Unaccompanied Guest Pass travelers
SA8 - Oneworld carrier employees and eligible pass travelers flying on an interline agreement
SA9 - OAL employees and their eligible family members flying on and interline agreement

I can understand the LAA retirees being so upset over such a change in their boarding priority, but come on. More often than not, pass privileges are being used by employees who are commuters that are trying to get to work. Even below active mainline and wholly owned employees, retirees still have a decent chance of getting on.

The 8 buddy passes can actually be used as 16 oneway passes, and I have a feeling that the 24 passes refers to the number of one ways (someone correct me if I'm wrong). As others have mentioned buddy passes are often not worth it. Whenever I have a friend or family member ask me about them, I ALWAYS encourage them to book a real ticket and often help them try to find the lowest price. In some cases a real ticket (especially when booked far in advance) is often much cheaper than a buddy pass. I really only feel comfortable giving someone a buddy pass when I know I will be traveling with them. Also, uneducated buddy pass travelers are always an issue and I have had to report several for their obscene and unprofessional behavior - one even tried to pay a revenue passenger to take another flight!

[Edited 2014-06-05 07:54:33]
 
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kanban
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:56 pm

How about giving free passes to retirees of the company's airframe and engine suppliers? nobody would be going anywhere without our past efforts.
 
ripcordd
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:04 pm

The airlines point that Buddy Passes cost the airline money is that out of the half million buddy passes each going out before if they cut them some of those people would be forced to buy tickets and hopefully they will buy AA tickets. Makes sense its still a very nice program buddy passes are such a pain most of the time anyways. Since the airlines cut pensions most retired airline employees are not retired they are forced to keep working for another company. Bottom line they cant make everyone happy and its just something you have to deal with.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:20 pm

Quoting questions (Reply 13):
If that's the case how is the airline going to make money flying an empty seat?
Quoting thegman (Reply 17):
I think the lost revenue comes from having to operate the pass system as in using reservations employees to issue them. Also, front line customer service agents having to deal with the buddy pass customers when inevitably the buddy pass rider gets stuck somewhere and begins to freak out.

Less these two things and more this...

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
the situation gets more complicated when you try to figure what those "buddies" might have spent had they not had access to free travel.

United pre-merger had a deal where each employee got a handful of "discount codes" that they could give to friends for a 10% discount on the fare for a given itinerary. I think if you coupled this with a reduced number of buddy passes it would be a nice little boost for revenue.
 
philvardon
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:45 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 4):
I feel my partner deserves to travel at my seniority, as he's had to endure many missed holidays and birthdays due to the nature of my employment.

I am a doctor and have had to miss many holidays and birthdays due to my roster, shift hours or not being able to get cover. I accept that it is part of the job that I do. If I don't like it, I can go and do something else. If my partner doesn't like it then they either have to learn to live with it or move on.... I don't get any free stuff for being a doctor: no free travel, no buddy passes, technically no priority access to healthcare services (although I admit it does happen).

Quoting scbriml (Reply 10):
As an airline ex-employee, I don't actually see why retirees should get any benfit. *shrug*

I don't get why retirees should get free travel either. It does seem a bit odd that now you've finished working for a company, you still get benefits. People who are provided with a company car, or company funded accommodation don't expect to continue to have use of these wrok-related perks once they retire!
 
777ord
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:57 pm

Quoting philvardon (Reply 27):
I don't get why retirees should get free travel either. It does seem a bit odd that now you've finished working for a company, you still get benefits. People who are provided with a company car, or company funded accommodation don't expect to continue to have use of these wrok-related perks once they retire!

Well said! If travel benefits are SO important, why did you leave then?
 
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par13del
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:25 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
I understand the anger about the buddy passes - the number should be standardized across current employees and retirees.

I actually don't understand the concept of the buddy pass, when I was in the industry only pliots and FA's got fully free tickets, every other employee were discounted up to 90%, and only your family were eligble, no "buddies".

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
As far as the priority goes, I don't see anything wrong with favoring current workers over retirees, but when you start putting the families of current workers on before retirees, that's problematic.

Totally agree

Quoting Mir (Reply 2):
then the families of current workers (not traveling with the employee), then the families of retirees (again, not traveling with the employee).

To me this specific instance would be on a first come first serve basis.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 10):
As an airline ex-employee, I don't actually see why retirees should get any benfit. *shrug*

As as an airline ex-employee I sometimes wish I had stayed through to retirement so that I could get the travel benefit, mine only lasted for a month after I resigned.

It is a benefit that was included as the compensation package when joining the industry, so I have no problem with ex-employees receiving that benefit. A number of industries offer benefits to retired employees, as long as it is for a product or service that your former employer currently offers, I see no problem.
 
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:58 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
Quoting Mir (Reply 2):As far as the priority goes, I don't see anything wrong with favoring current workers over retirees, but when you start putting the families of current workers on before retirees, that's problematic.

Giving 2 vacation passes a year to each retiree is not going to inconvenience any working employees. I might point out that their jobs would not exist post-deregulation and post 9/11 had we retirees not taken the pay cuts, furloughs and lost benefits in health, retirement and other areas. Try waking up one morning and finding out that your paycheck has just been cut 43%. We worked our tails off so that there would still be an airline for them to come to work at.

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
As as an airline ex-employee I sometimes wish I had stayed through to retirement so that I could get the travel benefit, mine only lasted for a month after I resigned.

At most airlines you have to serve a minimum amount of time to get lifetime passes--at mine I think it is ten years.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
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mayor
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:39 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 10):
As an airline ex-employee, I don't actually see why retirees should get any benfit. *shrug*

It's called a reward for loyalty and a job well done. Quite a lot of disrespect on this thread for the retirees, I've noticed.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 11):
Uh, Doug was pretty clear in the town hall that D3s don't make AA any money at all. In fact, he considers D3 passes lost revenue. These people never had anything to do with American Airlines yet they get to fly around for pennies because they know an airline employee. I think that's pretty generous... Now that dependents, registered companions, etc have unlimited travel systemwide, there's no good reason to give away 24 one-way passes a year. That's crazy and prudent for a lean airline to trim.

As for retirees, I get that they gave their lives to the airline, but again, they now have unlimited free travel systemwide... And they're complaining that they go behind active employees (who might be getting back to work?).

Not sure how AA's buddy pass system works, but with DL, those people are still paying a fare and if a seat is empty and the seniority date and standby priority (S-4) comes up, they get a seat. Otherwise that seat might be empty (no revenue, there).

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 12):
but giving away that many buddy passes is lost revenue. there's an opportunity cost for those seats.

See previous reply.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 14):
Respect your employees. who will in turn respect each other, who will serve our customers... I don't care you're retired.

Again, no respect.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 15):
Technically, if the airline makes zero money off a buddy pass and zero off an empty seat, it's still better to fly with an empty seat. That nonrev has body weight and baggage that directly affect fuel burn, and they are likely utilizing the free drink service on board. Those incremental pennies add up.

At least with the buddy pass, the fare they pay would at least cover part of the cost of providing that seat.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
I would not be concerned about all those buddy passes taking up empty seats (although there is a cost involved), the situation gets more complicated when you try to figure what those "buddies" might have spent had they not had access to free travel.
Let's say retiree "x" had 24 buddy passes and his friends used all those.. at 100kg each that is 2.4 tonne times, let's say 100,000 retirees = 240,000 tonne AA has hauled around for free.. did the oil companies give them free fuel for that??

Let's not go down that road. Using that logic, there's no reason for the airline to give out passes to anyone, considering that they're not covering the cost of those seats.  
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
AA767400
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:11 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 30):
I might point out that their jobs would not exist post-deregulation and post 9/11 had we retirees not taken the pay cuts, furloughs and lost benefits in health, retirement and other areas. Try waking up one morning and finding out that your paycheck has just been cut 43%. We worked our tails off so that there would still be an airline for them to come to work at.

You have got to be kidding? Such entitlement!

You weren't forced to stay at said airline if your pay was cut. Pay-cuts are a harsh reality, but if you can't live off of that salary, then it's time to move on to something that will. But alas, you won't. Because you like the days off, and the seniority system which merits on longevity, and not performance.

Retirees should go after active employees - period!
"The low fares airline."
 
ripcordd
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:16 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):

Mayor the theory is that buddy passes or not the people are still going to fly if they take them away they are forced to buy tickets then.
Dr.Phil retire flight is part of their compensation package most jobs besides pilots for the airlines make well below avg so it is seen as part of their pay for the years they put into the company.
 
sk736
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:21 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 4):

Well, it was your choice wasn't it? I presume nobody forces you to work for your current employer?
 
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mayor
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:22 pm

Quoting ripcordd (Reply 33):

Mayor the theory is that buddy passes or not the people are still going to fly if they take them away they are forced to buy tickets then.

There's the other side of that coin, too.........many of those people wouldn't fly at all, if it wasn't for the reduced fares of the buddy pass.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
HPRamper
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:50 pm

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 20):
Also, I feel sorry for US Airways employees switching to listing by check-in time. I hated playing that game and am very happy now being cleared by seniority.

Yikes. Listing by check-in time is so much more stable. You list yourself, and you can rest easy knowing some jackass 30-year left-seater isn't going to strut up and bump you at the last second leaving you high and dry a thousand miles away from home when you have work in the morning. I've seen that WAY too many times. Of course, for someone with very high seniority I'm sure it's very comforting knowing that at any point they can walk up and cut in front of a dozen college-age ramp workers.

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
I actually don't understand the concept of the buddy pass, when I was in the industry only pliots and FA's got fully free tickets, every other employee were discounted up to 90%, and only your family were eligble, no "buddies".

It seems quite unfair to me that pilots and FA were given preferential treatment.
 
mhkansan
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:12 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):
Not sure how AA's buddy pass system works, but with DL, those people are still paying a fare and if a seat is empty and the seniority date and standby priority (S-4) comes up, they get a seat. Otherwise that seat might be empty (no revenue, there).

Again, Doug was pretty clear in the town halls that the (very cheap) fares buddy passes pay go to support the numerous IT and personnel resources AA devotes to its nonrev travelers. He was quite adamant that the passes don't make the company any money at all.
 
ExL10Mktg
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:15 pm

Quoting longisland89 (Reply 9):

I can understand the change in retiree priority but going from 24 to 8 D3 passes a year stinks.

Your math is wrong. It went from 24 one way passes to 16 one way passes or realistically, from 12 round trip to 8 round trip. BUT at the same time, spouse/domestic partner/registered companion went to unlimited (the same as the employee) and thus their travel no longer comes out of the pass bank. I think it's fair to say that partner/companion (as a D2) used at the very least 4 of those 12 RT passes and likely more so this is effectively an INCREASE in available D3 buddy passes. People are always so quick to jump the gun with only partial information especially in highly complex issues such as this one.

As DP explained, in merging the two different systems there had to be some changes on both sides. The retiree policy reflects legacy US and the industry as a whole. While I can understand the retirees argument, there is an equally good argument for the change i.e. they can and should plan their travel more flexibly than an active employee since they don't have to worry about their work schedule. As far as the complaint about the employees' designated companion going ahead of them, they need to look at it not as a benefit for the traveler but as a benefit for the active employee -- just as they enjoyed before retirement.

Having a half dozen different priorities for D2 travel doesn't make much sense. It makes for an overly complex system that would require monitoring at the gate (are they with the employee or not) and doesn't gain much. The reality is that most of the time, all of the D2s are accommodated or none of them are. It's pretty rare anyway that on a given flight there are more than half a dozen on the list.

What we have here is nothing more than a small group of people complaining about a minor change. Any change will produce that. Nine times out of ten, after the change is implemented most of the grumblers admit it wasn't as bad as they thought.
 
ripcordd
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:28 pm

Spouses dep children and reg companion have been unlimited at AA for a long time, parents used to take a buddy pass they no longer do so now parents are unlimited as well.

Mayor there were half a million buddy passes being used around the system the company made $0 off it if 10% of those people but tickets the company makes $$ that was the logic in reducing the buddy pass.
 
philvardon
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:42 pm

Quoting SK736 (Reply 34):
Dr.Phil retire flight is part of their compensation package most jobs besides pilots for the airlines make well below avg so it is seen as part of their pay for the years they put into the company.

I do understand that a lot of people working for an airline aren't on huge wages. But that can be said for huge numbers of people working in other service industries. To the best of my knowledge, in the UK at least, people may expect some perks whilst they work for a company but don't get anything once they have retired. Perhaps some of the UK and Europe-based cabin crew could tell us what happens for them when they retire?

I have already put in a good 10 years working for the NHS here in the UK. I could make far more money by going to work in the private sector or moving abroad. I haven't done that because I have loyalty to the concept of the NHS (as do many thousands of Nurses, Physios, Radiographers, Domestic Staff, Admin Staff etc who work for the NHS). When I retire I am likely to have put in 40-45 years of 'loyal' working - I will get the pension that I have saved for and nothing else. That is the situation for everyone in the NHS, a large number of whom are paid below average wages.
 
777STL
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:54 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):

It's called a reward for loyalty and a job well done. Quite a lot of disrespect on this thread for the retirees, I've noticed.

Current employees that are currently contributing to the company should have priority over retirees. It's not disrespect, it's common sense.

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):
Again, no respect.

So what, we should bow down to you in homage for being a gate agent for thirty years? I don't get this "no respect" victim mentality.

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 32):

You weren't forced to stay at said airline if your pay was cut. Pay-cuts are a harsh reality, but if you can't live off of that salary, then it's time to move on to something that will. But alas, you won't. Because you like the days off, and the seniority system which merits on longevity, and not performance.

They were probably over paid to begin with. There are enough young and dumb out there willing to work the same job for near minimum wage. Without artificial wage protection provided by the union, it would have been a lot worse.
PHX based
 
bobnwa
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:56 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
I actually don't understand the concept of the buddy pass, when I was in the industry only pliots and FA's got fully free tickets, every other employee were discounted up to 90%,

I have been in the industry for over 30 years with three different airlines. I do not know of a single airline that gave free travel to pilots and F/A. Please tell which airlines you worked for. I would be interested in who they were.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:05 pm

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 42):
I have been in the industry for over 30 years with three different airlines. I do not know of a single airline that gave free travel to pilots and F/A. Please tell which airlines you worked for. I would be interested in who they were.

Same here. In the industry since 1978 and with seven different U.S. airlines, and I never heard of such a thing.
 
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par13del
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:20 pm

Quoting philvardon (Reply 40):
That is the situation for everyone in the NHS, a large number of whom are paid below average wages.

This is not a right or wrong issue, various nations and their industries have evolved differently, in some countires, retirees are looked on as persons who assisted in building the company and should be honored, eventually it evolved into a benefit which was defined at commencement of employment.

Quoting philvardon (Reply 40):
I have loyalty to the concept of the NHS

And some companies use benefits to encourage and stimulate this type of loyalty, its a choice.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:29 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 36):
Yikes. Listing by check-in time is so much more stable. You list yourself, and you can rest easy knowing some jackass 30-year left-seater isn't going to strut up and bump you at the last second leaving you high and dry a thousand miles away from home when you have work in the morning. I've seen that WAY too many times. Of course, for someone with very high seniority I'm sure it's very comforting knowing that at any point they can walk up and cut in front of a dozen college-age ramp workers.

Yes, this is the way it used to be, and I agree it was likely tougher in the old days. Now, however, you can get an idea of who is listed online and their seniority before making plans. There are far fewer surprises that way.
 
cslusarc
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:30 pm

Do buddy passes expire, or can an employee accumulate them?
--cslusarc from YWG
 
Maverick623
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Quoting Prost (Reply 6):
I'll agree to disagree. My partner and I have gone on vacation together, but weren't able to leave the same day. If he didn't travel at my seniority he wouldn't have made the flight. Again, our families have to deal with the strangeness of our schedules, and the flight benefits are a small compensation for that. Again, just my opinion, and I don't mean to disparage opposing opinions, I'm just glad family is at my seniority at my carrier.

Sorry, my ability to make a living trumps your ability to go on vacation.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 16):
but the last time it happened I was trying to get to MSP for the funeral of an old friend

Any airline employee worth their salt knows that you buy a ticket when you really need to be somewhere.

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):
Quite a lot of disrespect on this thread for the retirees, I've noticed.

Respect is earned, not given. When you disrespect an active employee by saying your vacation is more important than their job, you get no respect in return.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
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usxguy
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:55 pm

At my airline, eligibles are cleared AFTER employees - unless flying WITH employee, and retirees board after current staff & eligibles.

what's wrong with that?
xx
 
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scbriml
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RE: AA Adjusts Flight Benefits For Workers & Retirees

Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:55 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 31):
It's called a reward for loyalty and a job well done. Quite a lot of disrespect on this thread for the retirees, I've noticed.

I've worked for the same company for the last 33 years. I've worked through hostile takeovers, downsizing, rightsizing, business process re-engineering, mergers, acquisitions and divestments. I've had pay freezes and pay reductions. I get some very nice benefits now, but, like the vast majority of folks, those benefits will cease the day I retire.

I simply don't see the need for airline retirees to qualify for concessional flights. It's not disrespectful.
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