All major airlines are going to have their fair share of both good and bad press over the year. While American had some great 2014 highs (a 10 percent employee pay raise), they took their fair share of blows, whether deserved or otherwise — here are four of the most memorable.
Early this year the labor disputes at American Airlines took another unfortunate turn. In contrast to the other major carriers, American does not have a profit sharing agreement with its employees, which has created an antagonistic environment between management and unions. When quizzed on this lack of profit sharing, CEO Doug Parker stated “It’s just not the right way to pay 100,000 employees that don’t have that much impact on the daily profits.”
First of all, this incident was in no way the airline’s fault. However, it’s never a good day for an airline when the brand’s name is included in headlines that also includes the word “assault.” Here’s what happened: a flight attendant was hit in the buttocks by a female passenger forcing the plane from Dallas to land almost as soon as it took off. To make matters worse, the flight was cancelled after mechanical faults created a lengthy delay, which forced the crew to be bumped from the long flight due to regulations. American opened up an internal investigation to look into the whole debacle. Not a good day for anyone.
Terrifying videos have emerged of the moment an American Airlines flight from Seoul to Dallas was rocketed by severe turbulence: recently served food sent flying into the ceiling and carts rolling down the aisles. Though it is hard to blame an airline for the wills and whims of the weather it was certainty not a good story for the American Airlines brand. The flight had to make an emergency landing in Tokyo.
The holidays can be a stressful time for a lot of us. You’ve got to fight the crowds to get home in time for the turkey, then there’s all that wrapping and shopping to do. Perhaps this is what contributed to the very grouchy Grinch on a Christmas flight from LaGuardia to Dallas. He was not happy at being wished Merry Christmas by gate agents and flight attendants and launched a verbal attack on the staff before being swiftly taken off the flight. Merry Christmas indeed.
[Photos: American Airlines]