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passengerpigeon
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:51 pm

Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:11 pm

I am sorry if this question is too subjective or flame-prone, but which airlines, past or present, were generally regarded as not being nice places to work in terms of employee happiness and employee-corporate relations? What are some examples of gripes crew had with the airline?
Last edited by passengerpigeon on Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:19 pm

Delta is usually heralded on here as being amongst the best airlines for staff treatment and relations, so much so I believe some aren’t unionised (correct me if I’m wrong somebody please).
752 753 A332
 
NWAESC
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:20 pm

Then: Eastern
Now: American
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
VSMUT
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:47 pm

Ryanair
CityJet
Swift Air (the Spanish one)
SAS Ireland
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:20 pm

NWAESC wrote:
Then: Eastern
Now: American


As a former rEAL pilot, I’d disagree. Great pilot culture, the management at base CP and below was fine, the history with Rickenbacker was there in the culture, good and bad. Now, union-management relations especially with Lorenzo was another story.

Also Northwest under Nyrop and National under Maytag were famous for groups hating each and going on strike for long times.

GF
 
NWAESC
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:26 pm

Fair enough!
And as an ex-NW employee, I have to say that life at the Red Tail wasn't nearly as bad as some have made it out to be (Dasburg, Anderson, Steenland era).
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:09 pm

Ryanair is famous for this. Nobody likes working for Ryanair, they're a really bad employer. However if you're unemployed, you gladly accept any job including Ryanair. It gives you a chance to build up experience and meanwhile search for another job. People come and go all the time, nobody works for Ryanair long-term.
 
QR1350
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:44 pm

My mate is a Ryanair pilot and he does have some good stories. Nothing unsafe or risky or anything like that. Just random moments when he’d say, oh and I had to pay £2.50 for a bottle of water. You’d think the pilot could get one the house...
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:24 pm

QR1350 wrote:
My mate is a Ryanair pilot and he does have some good stories. Nothing unsafe or risky or anything like that. Just random moments when he’d say, oh and I had to pay £2.50 for a bottle of water. You’d think the pilot could get one the house...


And, in days long past, pilots had lots of ways to “get back” at bad employers. I had a friend at UA who once flew SEA to JFK at F190, burned tons of kerosene as part of unofficial work action. We did the same at EA. Now, it’s all recorded, reviewed and discipline or termination applied. When I flew checks, came into work, there’s a Cessna 310, engines idling on the ramp, nose chocked. Inside was the pilot, drinking coffee. “What’s up?” “Oh, the boss thought he’d save by taking off salary and paying by the hour. Now, he’ll buy more engine maintenance and pay me more.” Boss got the idea pretty quickly and went back to the old scheme.

GF
 
N649DL
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:59 pm

Most airlines have had waves of terrible leadership and probably more bad than good when taken all into account.

Lorenzo at Texas Air and chopping away Eastern in favor of beefing up Continental was probably when airline CEO morale hit rock bottom for it's time. Then Smisek came around for the UA/CO merger which even today, UA is still trying to recover from in some ways.

NW had some shady corporate leadership over the years, especially in the early 2000s. Also TWA was nearly destroyed by Carl Icahn as well (sad because they were going through a bit of a renaissance in the late 1980s.)
 
VSMUT
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:37 pm

QR1350 wrote:
My mate is a Ryanair pilot and he does have some good stories. Nothing unsafe or risky or anything like that. Just random moments when he’d say, oh and I had to pay £2.50 for a bottle of water. You’d think the pilot could get one the house...


Incredible how quickly we pilots let standards fall. Paying for food and drink as a crewmember, it's totally nuts, I have never experienced anything as outrageous anywhere :roll: Don't forget having to pay for uniforms and no salary when going to the simulator, all at the airlines discretion.

It's not like food and drink is optional for a human being, plus airport security happily steals all our liquids.
 
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ricport
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:31 pm

PMUA had a completely toxic relationship with employees thanks to Tilton.
 
PI4EVR
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:11 pm

USAir/USAirways in the mid-90's to 2001, while not really toxic, was more troubled. Employees not very open or receptive to the company direction. A union movement in the mid-90's resulted in representation by the CWA for Reservations and Station agents, and more the result of simply not trusting the company. Management changes at the top during these years also sent mixed messages as to direction and potential success. The company lost a lot of money from 1989 onward until profits were made while Stephen Wolf was on board. He created the brand change to USAirways and the revised brand logo and colors for the fleet, but once he and his management group left things deteriorated once again. By the mid-2000's the airline was on the verge of collapse and the rest is history when HP stepped in from PHX.
I think it was more toxic for employees from the public opinion of US. The reputation of being "Useless Air" or "USScare" is a tough motivator for employees to overcome easily. Pride and accomplishment is hard to muster when you're told what a lousy airline you work for by family, friends, neighbors from their last flight and customers on the phone or in your face. The general opinion was "We continue to succeed in spite of ourselves."
 
cofannyc
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:25 pm

I think it also depends on what role you have in the airline. I have worked at four airlines (all in office jobs at HQ). At two of them, the front line employees would absolutely describe the culture as toxic, but at HQ, the culture was amazing and they were great places to work.
 
DeltaConnection
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:58 am

American is currently a mess. So are many regionals, either as a whole or varying from department to department.
 
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Veigar
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:08 am

I don't think anything now will be as bad as the Lorenzo ruled airlines.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Worst airline corporate culture

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:16 pm

Veigar wrote:
I don't think anything now will be as bad as the Lorenzo ruled airlines.


I might debate that what Carl Icahn did to TWA was more ruthless than any vampire. The Karabu agreement should earn him a special place in Hades - stuck in the last row of coach in the middle seat on an MD80 with two enormous people squeezing him to death. Over and over and over again.

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