An American Airlines cabin crew member used a recent employee Q&A session with CEO Doug Parker to raise some concerns about her recent trip as a passenger in the business class cabin of an international flight on the airline. The outspoken employee told her boss a gate agent’s rude reaction to emotional support animals left her wishing she flew Air France.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, perhaps deserves credit for his efforts to schedule face time with rank-and-file workers in the midst of mounting employee morale issues. Based on the frank comments American crew members have made at the regular roundtable discussions, the airline executive is either incredibly approachable or incredibly loathed.
In January of last year, a captain tore into the CEO over the uncomfortably cramped conditions in the lavatories of airline’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The dressing-down led the Parker to make the surprising admission that he had not personally flown aboard the then brand new planes. More recently, a flight attendant had no concerns about telling the American Airlines head honcho that when it comes to premium cabin service, the carrier’s standards “suck compared to United and Delta.”
This week, View from the Wing’s Gary Leff gave us yet another fascinating behind the scenes look at the latest chance for groups of American Airlines employees to meet with their CEO. Once again workers were not afraid to air their grievances in a very direct manner.
When a flight attendant highlighted the differences between recent off-duty journeys as a passenger on Air France and a similar trip on American Airlines, she summed up the experience succinctly, saying, “…we had super bad experience with American.”
The cabin crew member said she was surprised to receive a post-flight survey from Air France, but not from American. She also noted that the primary cause of her dissatisfaction was the way she was treated by gate agents who were apparently vocally displeased that she was traveling with not one, but two emotional support animals.
Parker seems to have learned a trick or two from his experience dealing with disaffected employees in recent years. Rather than addressing her animal companion-related issues head-on, he instead offered the most politically polished responses. “Our survey results do show us, particularly on international flights, other than 767s which are old, the product that we’re putting out there and the product that our flight attendants are delivering is as good as any international carrier out there,” Parker replied in the especially deft comments reported by Leff.
[Featured Image: Adam Jeffery/CNBC]