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Alaska Airlines Passengers Now Called “Guests”

Alaska Airlines Passengers Now Called “Guests”

Old May 11, 20, 9:25 pm
  #1  
gcv
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Alaska Airlines Passengers Now Called “Guests”

I went on line to Alaska’s web site today to check on how Alaska is addressing the pandemic as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. I never noticed it before, but Alaska is now referring to paying passengers as “guests” on its aircraft. Prior to that we were passengers and customers.

I don’t know if designating passengers as guests is intended to make us feel better about flying during the pandemic, or make us feel appreciate more by Alaska, or if legally there is a distinction between a “passenger” and a “guest” that somehow limits Alaska’s liability should a guest - but not a passenger according to Alaska - have some sort of issue related to COVID-19.

It just seems odd to me. When I get on a flight I typically don’t feel like a guest, but someone who is paying for a seat to get between two points. I am skeptical because even though airlines are legally required to give passengers a full refund without a fee should a flight be cancelled, many airlines are coercing passengers to take a voucher for a future flight in lieu of a refund. Some airlines intentionally have been misleading customers about their rights.
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Old May 11, 20, 9:39 pm
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I prefer passengers the best. Guests is odd but I don't prefer being called a "customer" and being thanked for my "business". I'd rather be thank for flying with us (them) today.
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Old May 11, 20, 10:19 pm
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It’s not new. Alaska took the wording over when they took over VX:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300310249.html


Virgin America is thanking its loyal guests by offering Elevate® frequent flyer members 999 bonus points when they register at www.virginamerica.com/party-favor-points ,* and by launching one of the airline's biggest network-wide fare sales of the year with fares from $39.** Tickets are available now at www.virginamerica.comand 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474)****and must be purchased by 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 10.

"As the only airline headquartered in San Francisco – the innovation capital of the world, Virgin America's mission from day one has been to raise the bar at 35,000 feet," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "Inspired by the Bay Area community and our flyers, our Teammates have helped reinvent air travel – not only by delivering brilliant guest service, but by leveraging the best in design, technology and entertainment to make flying fun again. Along the way, they've shaken up the entire airline industry for the better. We are a product of the Bay Area – and as we celebrate our ninth anniversary, we are incredibly thankful to the local flyers, partners and community leaders who believed that an airline could change how people fly."
It also predates COVID when used by Alaska:

https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2019-...llBeforeYouFly

Note the date for the press release (2019).
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Old May 11, 20, 10:55 pm
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The word "guest" suggests a higher level of hospitality, and often is a cue or reminder for employees (the hosts) to deliver better service. That said, it's probably a bit overdone. Disney was maybe the first to use the term, dating back to when they opened Disneyland in the 1950's (former cast member).
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Old May 11, 20, 11:12 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
It’s not new. Alaska took the wording over when they took over VX:
And limited use prior to that. Gold Guest Upgrades, for example.
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Old May 11, 20, 11:38 pm
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Lots of previous use. Guest Pass for family/friends standby travel, for example:

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...uest-pass-faq?
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Old May 11, 20, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by flytoeat View Post
The word "guest" suggests a higher level of hospitality, and often is a cue or reminder for employees (the hosts) to deliver better service. That said, it's probably a bit overdone. Disney was maybe the first to use the term, dating back to when they opened Disneyland in the 1950's (former cast member).
I work at Target - and we use "guest" as well, it's a huge culture thing, and Target modeled Disney a few years back. You should see how guests trash the place, though.
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Old May 12, 20, 1:28 am
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Maybe AS is deepening its ties with Disney - "be our guest"
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Old May 12, 20, 1:49 am
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This is not even remotely new.
It helps to avoid the "cattle" sensation.
Similar to how Continental preferred to put a business spin on things.
In the end, it makes no difference. Just another policy dreamed up by a bunch of people that sit at desks and argue about trivial policies!
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Old May 12, 20, 4:44 am
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Makes sense. When I have guests over, I also charge them for food and for sitting where they want to.
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Old May 12, 20, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by flytoeat View Post
The word "guest" suggests a higher level of hospitality, and often is a cue or reminder for employees (the hosts) to deliver better service. That said, it's probably a bit overdone. Disney was maybe the first to use the term, dating back to when they opened Disneyland in the 1950's (former cast member).
This. The Marketing VP is behind this. She wants employees to think of the airplane "like a dinner party"

(Side note: Who still has dinner parties in 2020? And even if some affluent older people do, how many of Alaska's employees do??)

I don't get the sense that the term took hold among employees at AS the way it may have at Disney and Target.

The above notwithstanding, AS employees do still manage to provide generally very high and personal levels of service. They probably would do exactly the same if management used the more accurate term passenger.
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Old May 12, 20, 8:46 am
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It's hard to argue with AAG's superior customer service culture, and the huge challenge they successfully undertook in the acquisition of Virgin. Two very different cultures were merged, despite a lot of expected grumbling. Whether they call us guests or flatulent sheep, they understand the importance of maintaining that competitive advantage.
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Old May 12, 20, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by gcv View Post
I went on line to Alaska’s web site today to check on how Alaska is addressing the pandemic as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. I never noticed it before, but Alaska is now referring to paying passengers as “guests” on its aircraft. Prior to that we were passengers and customers.

I don’t know if designating passengers as guests is intended to make us feel better about flying during the pandemic, or make us feel appreciate more by Alaska, or if legally there is a distinction between a “passenger” and a “guest” that somehow limits Alaska’s liability should a guest - but not a passenger according to Alaska - have some sort of issue related to COVID-19.

It just seems odd to me. When I get on a flight I typically don’t feel like a guest, but someone who is paying for a seat to get between two points. I am skeptical because even though airlines are legally required to give passengers a full refund without a fee should a flight be cancelled, many airlines are coercing passengers to take a voucher for a future flight in lieu of a refund. Some airlines intentionally have been misleading customers about their rights.
I think you are way overthinking this...

Regards
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Old May 12, 20, 9:25 am
  #14  
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The accounting department realized how much money the company could save by replacing "passenger" with "guest." It is kind of like taking the olives off of the salad. The storage space required with, in the aggregate, dozens, if not hundreds of bytes of storage saved could mean we are able to enjoy a beverage selection again approximately .000005 seconds sooner than we otherwise would. This is not to mention the health and safety of passengers with this change. If every FA saves two syllables each time s/he utters the word, that is two syllables less of potentially virus containing mist spewing inside the cabin.
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Last edited by Eastbay1K; May 12, 20 at 9:41 am
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Old May 12, 20, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
I think you are way overthinking this...

Regards
Agree - I don't think AS could get away with skirting their own policies or legal responsibilities by simply calling passengers "guests" instead, nor do I think they're the type of airline to do that type of trickery anyhow.
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