Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sorry I've been so quiet...

Since November, flying has been a bit of a whirl-wind. Lots of unknowns for many about what's going on with the airline that I hold so dear to my heart...work-rules, and/or what the future may hold.

I've tried keeping away from much of the negativity that has plagued the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and have kept mostly to myself to absorb the goings-on. Trust me, it's not been a fun ride.

Seeing schedules diminish, layovers diminish, and seeing how the executives continuously blame labor for the airlines demise, has really been harmful. I can understand that the general public doesn't know what it actually takes to run an airline, however what they don't realize, is what it costs.

You have executives who are sitting in posh luxurious offices (or owning luxury condos) making decisions for their employees...to try to keep the airline afloat. Then you have the flying public who wants cheap air fares, yet want the luxuries they once had...ie. Silver pots, caviar, free blankets, movies, pillows, magazines, free checked baggage...and they don't want to think about the fuel cost between point A and point B, airport landing/take-off fees, FAA delay fees, internet costs, food costs, or maintenance fees.

Sadly, labor costs haven't increased in over 10yrs. The executives keep blaming labor for the airlines downfall. With the uncertainty of the future, flight attendants, pilots, and ground workers have started committing suicide, freaking out in-flight, endangering those around them....all the while corporate officials continue to blame fuel, and labor for the continued losses.

How can this be? Employees don't make the decisions on what routes to fly to, or stop going to. Employees don't make the decisions on what amenities to have or take away in-flight. Employees don't make the decision about adding more seats on planes, or nickle and diming for every possible penny the customer has.

It's also not the employee who makes the decision to make Business Class the same as First Class to appease the frequent traveler who pays for the cheapest coach ticket, then request an upgrade to Business Class...and expects the same service and/or amenities of that in First Class. It's not the employee's who make the passenger pay for over-sized bags, it's not the employee's who make the decision on charging for food. That lies on the executives, who sit in huge offices with multiple secretaries typing their letters.

I'm sure the founder of the airline would roll over in his grave if he saw the way the current executives were running this airline. I'm also sadden to think that a judge would side with 'management' about how to get the airline back to profitability, instead of look at the books and ask why they have multi-million dollar condos in cities around the world, or why there are so many 'managers' in the offices that sit around and do nothing except occupy a desk.

What we need to do is go back to the basics. Make the employee happy, who in turn make the customer happy. Make First Class an item that people want to purchase, and not downsize it by making Business Class the same. Make each Class of service different so people want to pay for the class, and not ruin it by buying a cheap coach fare and demanding an upgrade because of a slight delay.

Sorry that this seems to be a bit of a whining post.....I'm just sad to hear that labor is the fault of so many things when surely, management is at fault and haven't negotiated in good faith in the last 10+yrs.