United Airlines might only have announced its intention to cut staff in its Polaris international business class cabins last week, but it seems that the carrier was ready for a negative reaction to the news. A limited circulation document outlined the rationale behind the airline’s unpopular choice.
United Airlines may just have only announced last week that it would be cutting jobs in 2019, but, as the Chicago Business Journal reports, it appears that the carrier was well-prepared for the possibility of a negative reaction to this news from its staff.
The cuts are due to impact the 25,000 crew working in the carrier’s Polaris international business class cabins and will take effect on February 1.
The announcement to cut jobs was met with initial anger and, according to documentation seen by the outlet, it seems that United had already written a statement to help calm the situation. This document, as seen by the journal, was reportedly given to crew based at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The outlet reports that the airline’s management team attempted to withdraw the document and unnamed sources report that it achieved only a very limited circulation.
In the memo – as seen by the outlet – John Slater, the airline’s senior vice president of in-flight services, is quoted as admitting that “any reduction in staffing can be an unpopular decision” but said that the decision to make these cuts was made “after a very thoughtful process.”
“Competitive staffing is an important part of our growth strategy and consistent with what we’re doing in other parts of the airline to become more efficient. While these changes are often difficult, they put us in a position to continue growing as evident by more than 2,000 new flight attendants we’ll be bringing on board over the coming months,” he explained.
Slater added that, “With the adjustments to our Polaris service flow… we’re confident that we’ll continue to provide the high-quality experience our customers have come to expect on these aircraft.”
[Photo: Joe Cortez/FlyerTalk]