I didn't get upgraded today, but an employee did

Old Mar 16, 2005, 6:58 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by InFlight Beverage Technician
Saying that an employee does not belong in first class is downright disrespectful.
Saying a paying customer who pumps in $5,000+ a year in revenue should be bumped from an upgrade and considered lower than a non-rev passenger is disrespectful.

(Note: I'm sure others on this board pay more in revenue for tickets a year. I'm simply ballparking what I would estimate the average mid-tier Silver person would spend).


Originally Posted by InFlight Beverage Technician
Airline employees work for the benefit to travel and by chance experience First Class.
I thought they worked for money/salary. I know they may be entitled to space available vouchers as a benefit, but where in their contract does it state they are entitled to First Class when elite passengers or paying folks are on board?

Originally Posted by InFlight Beverage Technician
The front line employees, flight attendants, pilots have all taken huge pay cuts since 9-11 and air fares are still very low. The industry is on very shakey ground with fuel costs sky rocketing. Also airlines are doing things to make extra money and America West is no exception.
Which is why they should encourage return buisness. Seeing random employees getting upgraded in a wink-wink system discourages this as it makes customers like myself think that our money and revenue we generate isn't valuable or important to them. Complimentary upgrades do this.

Airlines want money? Give the big spenders/elites complimentary upgrades, and we'll keep purchasing our tickets.

Originally Posted by InFlight Beverage Technician
Maybe that ONE seat was being held for a purchase upgrade (seats are held for that) and the agent forget to release the seat in a timely manner and instead of delaying the flight to upgrade the silver member (which silver status is very easily obtained) the agent just moved the pilot.
I'm sure it is usually more than one seat. I've seen folks here mention 2-3 seats or 33%. I'm not sure what the exact number is, but it's probably a bit higher than one.

Delaying the flight to upgrade the silver member? How long does it take to walk onboard and find the elite member (they already know the seat assignment) and tell them to move up to 1B or whatever? It probably took them the same amount of time (or more) to find the traveling crew member.

If silver status is easily obtained, perhaps they should tighten up how frequently they award it? Are silvers looked down by employees as being almost non-elites?


Originally Posted by InFlight Beverage Technician
In the big picture of our society/world/economy, getting bent out of shape over a first class upgrade on a 40 minute flight is petty. Starting a petition will get you nowhere really. AWA will probably send you a form apology letter and a travel voucher. This would be a total different story if this was a long haul flight and the originator said this was an oversold flight, so maybe they moved the pilot in order to get another passenger on.
Nobody here is getting bent out of shape (at least I hope not). Merely suggesting comments on how we think HP may improve things. We all have a vested interest in seeing our favorite airline succeed. I know the vast majority of us here enjoy flying on america west and know that it is the best alternative to other LCCs and some other airlines.

If letters/petitions get us nowhere then what is the best way to have this resolved in the future? How would you suggest we make our comments known?

Anyway, I hope you don't take my comments/reply back as an attack on HP or its employees but rather some suggestions as to why I believe the way I do about F upgrades, etc. I take it from your handle that you are a worker for HP or another airline. I appreciate the work you do, and I know it is very important. Perhaps we've met before inflight.

In conclusion, Welcome to Flyertalk! ^^^ We need more insiders like you to give us feedback and discuss our ideas and comments from other points of view.

Have a great day.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 7:57 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by AgtMulder
Saying a paying customer who pumps in $5,000+ a year in revenue should be bumped from an upgrade and considered lower than a non-rev passenger is disrespectful.

(Note: I'm sure others on this board pay more in revenue for tickets a year. I'm simply ballparking what I would estimate the average mid-tier Silver person would spend).



I thought they worked for money/salary. I know they may be entitled to space available vouchers as a benefit, but where in their contract does it state they are entitled to First Class when elite passengers or paying folks are on board?



Which is why they should encourage return buisness. Seeing random employees getting upgraded in a wink-wink system discourages this as it makes customers like myself think that our money and revenue we generate isn't valuable or important to them. Complimentary upgrades do this.

Airlines want money? Give the big spenders/elites complimentary upgrades, and we'll keep purchasing our tickets.



I'm sure it is usually more than one seat. I've seen folks here mention 2-3 seats or 33%. I'm not sure what the exact number is, but it's probably a bit higher than one.

Delaying the flight to upgrade the silver member? How long does it take to walk onboard and find the elite member (they already know the seat assignment) and tell them to move up to 1B or whatever? It probably took them the same amount of time (or more) to find the traveling crew member.

If silver status is easily obtained, perhaps they should tighten up how frequently they award it? Are silvers looked down by employees as being almost non-elites?




Nobody here is getting bent out of shape (at least I hope not). Merely suggesting comments on how we think HP may improve things. We all have a vested interest in seeing our favorite airline succeed. I know the vast majority of us here enjoy flying on america west and know that it is the best alternative to other LCCs and some other airlines.

If letters/petitions get us nowhere then what is the best way to have this resolved in the future? How would you suggest we make our comments known?

Anyway, I hope you don't take my comments/reply back as an attack on HP or its employees but rather some suggestions as to why I believe the way I do about F upgrades, etc. I take it from your handle that you are a worker for HP or another airline. I appreciate the work you do, and I know it is very important. Perhaps we've met before inflight.

In conclusion, Welcome to Flyertalk! ^^^ We need more insiders like you to give us feedback and discuss our ideas and comments from other points of view.

Have a great day.
Well said AgtMulder. I concur with your thoughts as I'm sure most of our fellow HP elite flyers do as well ^
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 12:07 pm
  #18  
 
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Hi All! Newbie, here!
I felt compelled to register in order to respond to several items on this thread.

This is long, but informative...

First of all, to CMK10, nobody gets an upgrade at the gate unless they are on the Standby List. Do not ask "Is First Class full?" You need to specifically insist to be put on the Standby List. "Will you add me to the Stanby List for First Class?" The answer will prob be, "First Class is full." (It's usually "full".)
This is a lazy gate agent. They aren't paid enuf to care, they aren't trained to care. Turnover is high, and the goal is to have at least one agent to work the flight, altho it really should be two. I digress...
Insist to be added to the Standby List anyway.
Here is the crux of the problem; in order for comp gate upgrades to work, you need a gate agent who puts you on the list, a gate agent who actually looks at the list and clears it 10min prior, (providing its not an oversold or late flight), and time to move you from Y to F.
It helps also to have a Professional First FA who says, upon seeing an empty seat left in his/her cabin, "Is there anyone on the Standby List for First?"
If the gate agent is good, the First FA will have a copy of the S/B list on their paperwork. This shows confirmed Y pax waiting for F, full fare Y pax waiting for a seat, and non-revs in order of priority. Not all First FAs look at this info or understand it. These are not "Professional Firsts", which is how I refer to FAs who choose to work F, enjoy it, and try to do it "right".
I'm guessing you weren't actually on the S/B list. As far as taking the pilot up, this has to be an isolated incident, cuz that seems like opening quite a can of worms to me, what with all the other DH crew around. I'm surprised this happened and it could be there were unusual circumstances you don't know about.

Which brings us to...telling the FA when you board that you are an Elite and are in 6c, but would like to sit in FC. There is nothing the FA can do about upgrading you unless you are on the S/B list. There are always several Elites stuck in Y on each flight and we have no way to verify eligibility and priority. But at least this is a "heads up" to the Proffesional FA to question the gate agent before closing the door.

Which brings us to...when departure time comes, you turn into a pumpkin. Gate agents are threatened with their jobs if they take even a minute delay, and they are pressured to close early. No way will anyone take even a minute to bump you up at departure time.

Which brings us to Steve64...Not sure what your idea of the appropriate way for a middle seat pax to sit is. Also, I am wondering if you have different guidelines for pax wearing uniforms, vs pax not wearing uniforms.

Now, about that "crew hauler"...this is the late flight from LAS to PHX and also a couple of evening flights from PHX to LAS.
Now that we have a pilot base in LAS, (opened in Feb, I believe,) you will see fewer pilots deadheading (this is not the same as commuting. Commuting pilots generally sit in the FD). However, the FAs still need to be shuttled back and forth to support the LAS operation. FAs have luggage. Its required by the company to perform the job. When they deadhead, it goes with them. Period. The policy for Deadheaders to board is to go on before boarding commences if they are present at the gate.

A few last notes; don't wait until after the fact to object and then complain, speak up while its happening and give the employees the opportunity to do the right thing. It dosen't sound like CMK10 said anything when the agent came for the pilot.
Many Professional FAs like to acknowledge Elite in Y, however, we have been told repeatedly by mgmnt not to give you comp drinks or headsets, etc.
And, finally, those A&B cards are like gold to us. They are pretty much the reason I work in FC and do things like introduce myself, call you by your name, offer a selection of tidbits on short hauls, and help the ladies with their bags. When you have a FA like this, PLEASE acknowledge them with the A&B!!

Lastly, thank you SOOOO much for your business and continued support. I love my job and want to keep it as long as possible. Repeat business travelers like you make it possible!
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 1:19 pm
  #19  
 
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Thank you, Lifer, for an interesting and informative post. I look forward to reading more from your perspective.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 1:36 pm
  #20  
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Thank you very much Lifer, I don't know too much about flying America West, but as I now make my home in Tempe, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of each other. I really appreciate you telling me what I did wrong, I'll be sure not to make the same mistake in the future.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 2:05 pm
  #21  
 
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Welcome to the Valley of the Sun!

I'm guessing in your scenario, you had a combination of a gate agent that was new/not trained well, and a FA who was new or does not usually work in F.

Happy Traveling!
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 3:57 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by Lifer

Which brings us to...when departure time comes, you turn into a pumpkin. Gate agents are threatened with their jobs if they take even a minute delay, and they are pressured to close early. No way will anyone take even a minute to bump you up at departure time.
As a station manager, I'd like to extrapolate on this. I have my own staff who works our flights "above the wing" in (gates & tkt counter). However, we contract out ramp work to America West here. We have a close working relationship together and I have a good glimpse into their operation.

Regarding Lifer's quote here, you need to understand something with flight delays. There's the "FAA delay" which is tabluated after a flight is more than 15 minutes late. And there's your "company delay" which could be anything. Believe me, the company delay is no picnic.

For my airline, we report delays to the company after the delay exceeds 5 minutes. So, If our scheduled flight at 10:00am pushes back at 10:05am, I dont have to report anything. The times are put in that the flight departed at "10:05" but no one at the company really cares what the reason was. At 10:06, I have to file a report with an explanation of the delay. Its relatively minor, but its nice to know that a pax late through security can usually still make the flight without anyone getting chewed on.

Now, for America West, I know that they must report delays starting ONE MINUTE after scheduled departure time. Its a big deal, believe me. It gets sent to multiple parties, and they have to explain exactly what caused the delay, and how its going to be avoided in the future. Its a lot of hassle and time involved explaining why the flight pushed one minute late.

Furthermore, my friends at HP tell me that the times are calculated once the breaks are released. So the pilots cant "fudge" the times at all.

Adding insult to injury, they tell me that half the time, the plane gets to PHX and has to sit for 20 minutes waiting for a gate to open up anyways. So for a one minute delay, they go through this hassle, writing up reports, the passengers cant even tell its a minute late anyways. And they get to PHX and sit there. Not cool.

So, that was rather lengthy, but I know you all love the insider information! The only point is that if you fly on lots of airlines over the years, you can probably figure out which ones are lenient on reporting short delays, and which ones act like the Gate Gestapo. If you gate agent is coming down the aisle to tell 19D that he can join the F class passengers because they had a no-show, your carrier probably isnt looking at minute-by-minute delays very closely. If you agent is making "final call" and shutting the door 10 minutes before departure, you bet they are intent on "on-time performance" more that almost anything.

Happy upgrading
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 6:36 pm
  #23  
 
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Cool

Hello..

I recently was introduced to this forum...as a Flight attendant for the airlines. I wanted to give an "insiders" view to some of the comments made.

We do have what we call the "crew hauler" its to get the Phx based employees back home after working flights that end in Vegas. Mostly those flights that came in from a long east coast flight. TRUST me...after flying a 13hr duty day, if for some odd reason that a First class seat became available...I too would be honored to get that empty seat, but more than likely, it usually goes to a Elite member.

It is VERY rare that an employee even gets to sit in a F seat. In the days before we even had the walk up F upgrade purchases...we ocassionally would get a F seat while dead heading. If Non reving it would sometimes happen if we were dressed appropriately, this is a perk that we most never get to enjoy.

Imagine yourself as the airline employee...you work week after week serving our passengers... providing a service to get you from point A to point B. Picture yourself working the particular flight you are on day after day after day...dealing with the pressures for an "ON time" performance, having to deal with following FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) carry on baggage issues..being snapped at by that someone who brings on more than the allotted 1plus 1 rule...or that Garment bag thats bulging at the seams.
The FC passengers acting like vultures for the overhead bins because each brought that huge computer bag and your rolllerboard (remember your NOT the only one on the AC be considerate to others) ..your FA offers you a pre departure bev and your too busy talking on your cell phone to even acknowledge their prescence even after they said hello to you at the boarding doorway as you walked by them ignoring as if they didnt even exist... consider having to prepare a beverage service for 150 passengers to be served in a fast 45min flight during summer turbulance, and they dont know what they want to drink when you reach their row...they ask for a "coke" and we say we have pepsi products...only to have the passenger next to them ask for a "coke" ...working under those extreme heat conditions..try wearing polyester and wool fabrics in an metal tube at sweltering temps over 110 degrees in the summer because the APU is inop and find you have sweat dripping in areas you wouldnt want anyone to know about . Dont forget having to deal with someone complaining because they didnt get a pillow (trust me you wouldnt want one if you knew how long they were on that aircraft that day or the prior passengers drool or hair attached, or knew they were on the floor) and paying a price of $99 rdtrp from coast to coast during the holidays.
Lets not forget the Buy on Board program that airlines may offer...we are only given so many meals to sell...its all based on prior sales...more than likely if your seated further back in the plane the odds that you may get the opportunity to buy something is slim...take responsiblity for yourself and BUY or BRING something with you..the FA doesnt want to get yelled at any more then we want to say we are out of meals...its NOT the FAs fault but the catering company that thought of this Meals for sale program.

As Flight attendants, we deal with numerous scenarios inflight on a daily basis...and the ONE time We get to sit in a F seat and feel a bit rewarded for our hard work...someone complains about it.

So next time you dont get your upgrade and you see an airline employee get an oppty for that First class seat..think about all those times they have paid their dues for it...They DESERVED it!

One last comment...if your an Elite member...if you have A&B cards give them to the FAs who provide you with a great service, if you are out of them...at least a simple THANKS to the FAs goes a long way...I dont know how many times I work First and have nothing but Elites sittng up there, and they walk off the AC without providing a simple thank you.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 6:55 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Jetsetter2Ord

...
Thanks you very much for all that you do.

I for one don't know how FAs can put up with the "average" HP customer day in and day out and not be on a clock tower with a high power rifle at the end of the week.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 9:40 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Jetsetter2Ord
It is VERY rare that an employee even gets to sit in a F seat. In the days before we even had the walk up F upgrade purchases...we ocassionally would get a F seat while dead heading. If Non reving it would sometimes happen if we were dressed appropriately, this is a perk that we most never get to enjoy.
One last comment...if your an Elite member...if you have A&B cards give them to the FAs who provide you with a great service, if you are out of them...at least a simple THANKS to the FAs goes a long way...I dont know how many times I work First and have nothing but Elites sittng up there, and they walk off the AC without providing a simple thank you.
As an HP employee, I never expect to be upgraded to first. I always travel dressed for first (company policy) and have my upgrade coupons available if the gate agent should ask. I do not loiter around the gate, disrupting the gate agents by asking if first is available. We all need to respect each other.

Regarding the A and B cards--by all means give them out to the inflights and airport employees that go "above and beyond". But don't forget about the Flight Fund or reservation agents on the telephones that provide you with the same level of service. They deserve it as well but don't get as much recognition as inflights/airport employees as they are not seen face to face.

Finally, you betcha the Elite members deserve those first class seats--they have earned them.
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 7:49 am
  #26  
 
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I thought I would chime in here as all these posts have been great to read. Regarding the A&B cards. For those who have given them out, for what reasons have you done so? I've had exceptional cases where the PAX assistance center not only switched my flight but fought to get me a F upgrade since my delayed/cancelled flight had me in F. I've had flight attendents actually squat next to me and my seat mate and ask us what we thought about the meals and what we thought about just about everything having to do with HP. A few other times the FA was just very attentive if I needed something and I don't think took more than 2 seconds to herself in the galley the entire 3 hour flight. But I would like to hear what other employees have done to deserve them. Also those who work for HP what would you consider going "above and beyond" that would earn you a A&B card.

Lance
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 8:07 am
  #27  
 
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Hello All - I just had to register. I too am an HP employee. I have been reading this site for about a year now. I didn't post because I am a flight attendant and I felt this was a frequent flyer board. Plus, it gave me alot of insight as to how the frequent flyers see us, the HP front line employees.

The reason that I finally had to post was because I am embarrassed by my fellow employees and the manner in which they have posted on this board.

We, as employees, are guaranteed nothing but a paycheck. Yes, we have great flight benefits. But again, its not a guarantee. First Class is not a guarantee. Most times when I non-rev I am just happy to have a seat! Its usually a middle seat too, in coach! UGH! But, it gets me where I am going.

I work First Class quite frequently and I know and appreciate the fact that frequent flyers are our bread and butter.

I hope that my fellow employees can appreciate my opinion and if they have something to say to me, please take it up with me on our AFA forum and not here in front of our passengers.
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 12:40 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by Robertsonland
Regarding the A&B cards. For those who have given them out, for what reasons have you done so?
But I would like to hear what other employees have done to deserve them. Also those who work for HP what would you consider going "above and beyond" that would earn you a A&B card.

Lance
Hi Lance!
Good questions!
I also would like to know what motivates an Elite to hand out an A&B, as they are my primary motivation for working F.
Sometimes I feel like I've been the World's Greatest "Stewardess", and yet I come up empty, lots of Thank You's and Great Flights, which of course are gratifying to hear, but I'm always hoping for the little reward.
I realize many do not carry them, ("I'd give ya one a those little cards, but they're at home on my dresser..."), or have given their quarterly allotment away already.
But I'm always happy to hear suggestions from the regulars!
What would make a positive impression on you?
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 12:41 pm
  #29  
 
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I, too, registered today to reply to this thread. I think for the most part HP FA's do a great job. I have had my share of unattentive, self indulgent FA as well, but for the most part they are few and far between. I give out A&B cards for FA's that refer to me by name, keep coach passengers behind the wall until all FC use the Lav, actually make several rounds during the flight to see to my needs and most importantly don't sit on their fanny for the whole flight (I travel almost exclusively BOS-LAS). I personally believe upgrades should go to FF first, as we are the bread and butter of the airline. Employees should be last on the list. I have another suggestion, as well....Goes back to a thread a while ago but anyway.....FC should be given the option of the meal in first or one of the BOB offerings. I have had the same meal in first for 2 years now. I like salad, but geez................ Thanks to all that provide GREAT info here. I have learned much over the last couple of years!
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 1:25 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by PaulaNH
I. I give out A&B cards for FA's ... keep coach passengers behind the wall until all FC use the Lav,...
Oh, Paula, if only...
This irritates me to NO END!!!
(But you would never know it to see me grin like an idiot at that Y pax... )
This is such a HOT issue for us! Aside from the obvious FC customer service aspect, its a security issue as well. BUT, the company claimed last year that it was the number one complaint from pax-Not being allowed to use the FC lav. So they beat it into our heads that NO ONE may be denied access.
It was easier to keep them out when we had the curtains. After the curtains went, it started with, when the aisle to the back was blocked by the cart they could come up front, now its a free for all. We only try to keep them out of the galley and wait at the bulk head.
As far as making them wait till all FC has gone, its hard to know who in F has to go, unless they get out of their seat.
Personally, I try to stay out of the fight over the lav, and hate it when a pax drags me in the middle of this, or any other, issue they are having with another pax.
I've had Y pax get ALL in a huff when I asked them to let a FC pax go. I've had FC pax come at me ALL in a huff cuz they can't get a turn, and I had no idea they needed to go!
I've had pax from either class get in a snit when we have to keep them away or in their seats cuz the pilots are going!
As far as the company is concerned, it is not a FC lav. Its just the lav located in the front of the plane.
Most of us FAs, however, don't like to be charged with "protecting" the FD, and then have everyone traipsing on up towrds the FD door.
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