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

Old Mar 18, 2005, 6:11 pm
  #46  
 
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Hello...THANKS for allowing us FAs to "GET on BOARD" your web postings.

We agree that there are things that HP could do to keep it consistent with meals, service and even the operations. Maybe Mr Parker should consider reviewing what is said on this board..it could help our operations.

In regards to giving out A&Bs, its always nice to see a small remark written on them, for me its kind of like giving myself a pat on the back or gettting a high five! I suggest that if you get good service, the FA is attentive to your needs, I dont usually call F passengers by name, sometimes we do not even receive our final paperwork that prints out your name, and there are times when people are in F that have moved around you dont know who is actually who.

I have been given A&Bs for something as little as holding your coffee cup as your trying to get settled into your seat..to giving outstanding service, or finding your cell phone tucked into the seat and relocating it to you, or taking the time to visit with you and share a wonderful conversation.

First class meals...sometimes even to the FA we are embarrased in what we have to serve you...gone are the days where we had our signature service with the paper menu, hot towels, appetizer, salad, entree and those delicious ice cream pies or sundaes. All I can suggest is to write into the company and make suggestions to replace or rotate meals in a more timely manner. We have given the company our suggestions..sometimes they implement them, other times its usually a budget restriction.

I always enjoyin seeing familiar faces on my flight...and if I work the same flights, I usually will remember their beverage choice and if working first a meal service too.

For those who dont have A&Bs, and you would like to give us something in appreciation, a starbucks giftcard is a great idea. Its rare that we get little suprises, I usually give the working crew a box of Sees candy when I non-rev for the holidays...a nice little gesture to let them know you appreciate their hard work. If you know you have A&Bs at home, you can ask for the FAs name and C# and mail them to them, or your always welcome to write a letter to the company in appreciation. Its nice to open our mailbox at work and see a good letter from a pax, those letters go in our personal work file.

Lets keep the line of communication open...always good to hear positive feedback. I will keep in touch.

Jet
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 9:28 pm
  #47  
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As the starter of this thread I'd like to say a few things. Firstly, thank you for everyone for your positive posts, I appreciate the fact that no one was nasty towards me or any of the other posters. Secondly, thank you to everyone who joined, I'm very proud to say it was my post who inspiried all these people to join this website. Lastly, thank you for all the wonderful additions to this board in that posts that were made, I have learned a lot about America West and I'm sure many others have too. My trip tommorow should be interesting, all PHX-LAS flights for the rest of the weekend are oversold.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 12:08 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by steve64
These cards do have serial numbes on them. Assuming that employees turn them in in a timely fasion, there's no reason FlightFund computer can't realize an Elite is running low so send a new batch !

I only bring this up cuz of my own "A&B spending habits"
I hoard them in the beginning of the year. It really takes exceptional service to earn one of mine since I think that maybe next week I'll encounter someone who deserves one even more...but I'll be out. So I end up with cards nearing their expiration date and passing out to anyone who smiles at me. I even gave 2 to a Res Agent who was non-revving in the seat next to me just because they were expiring (and we did have a nice un-biased discussion on the perceptions that airline employees and pax have of each other). I'm not saying my logic is correct, just it's how I think ... and I wouldn't think that way if I knew I'd be getting another set of cards.

How to earn one of my cards ?
Taking the time to look at the manifest and calling me by name will put you in the stratoshere !! A simple smile works miracles (yea, I know you work long hard days, but make the effort). And then just a little extra effort beyond the ordinary to show some common courtesy, respect and understanding that I've probably been on the road for a few days, tired and just want to get home.

Oh...
For the Elites. All of the above comments are a "2 way street" and apply to you too. Except I ain't gonna give you one of my A&B cards

Steve
Steve:

I just want to explain why I don't use names on flights. I only work first class for two reasons, specifically because I like the customers and like to give them the best flight and attention I can, and two, that I take the security of the flight deck door very seriously. Because I have seen others not be so vigilent, I choose to do it myself.

I no longer refer to passengers by name. I am well-educated and read a lot, but I don't know everybody in the world, so If I say Hi, Mr. So-and-so, I may possibly be on your on a flight where you wanted to do some work, watch a movie, read a book, or just generally enjoy doing not much of anything. If I identify you I may take that ability away from you and now you may be having conversations you would not have chosen to have while onboard. It happened to me and I was very uncomfortable with what I had caused this certain passenger by identifying him. If you see my name tag on my apron or hear me introduce my self at the beginning of the flight, feel free to identify yourself in return and I will respond appropriately, since you have now made it clear I amy address you by name.

One funny aside of what happened a day I did not identify people. I saw working a fllight from STL to PHX and a man in 2C got into a quite conversation with me and I ascrtained he was one of the sons of Bill Bidwell, owner of the Arizona Cardinals football team. I kept his name to myself and as he exited the plane he gave me a very nice logo Cards Golf Shirt. The person sitting next to him, as he got off, asked who that man was and I told him. He said it was very wise to not identify either of them since the man next to him was a writer for Phoenix New Times, and they don't think too much of the Bidwell's. So, I appsolutely did the right thing where two adversaries both unknown to one another, were able to sit next to one another and enjoy the flight.

Finally, I am enjoying the civilized give-and-take here and may particiapte again. I love my work and I really do want to make my customers happy with the service and the ontime arrival to their destination.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 4:14 pm
  #49  
 
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Hi, first time reading and posting here. Thank you so much for welcoming fa's to your forum! I have learned a lot already.

A couple things I wanted to mention...the company has told us we are not allowed to comp elites in coach (headsets or liquor). I don't agree with this and have in the past went out of my way to recongnize our faithful travelers in coach, until I was written up. The letter is now in my file and will be used against me in the future if and when another disgruntled pax decides to write a letter about not having a pillow or blanket or being discouraged from using the f/c lav. Most f/a's would rather smear honey on themselves and walk into a hornets nest than be called in for a letter from a pax. The pax could be lying and just trying to get a free certificate but our supervisors act like the letter was handed to them on stone from Moses himself.

I used to like working first class and I pretty much kept coach from parading up to the lav, until I was written up for that too. So after 12 years of providing excellent service I now have 2 letters in my file to haunt me. Thankfully I have several great letters that help to offset this but it still hurts because I was not rude and was trying my best to provide great customer service. Anyway, enough of my sob story...but just wanted to make you aware that some things are out of our hands...(no comps in coach and f/c lav is for everybody)

As far as the upgrades go...I personally feel the elites should get them. I have been offered on the late flt from Vegas to Phx and decline. That flight has so many employees in uniform on it and I am really tired of the snide remarks and comments I have to endure while minding my own business in my seat. I do understand the bins get full and seeing all those employees makes people irate for some reason...but we can't help it we are there.

And last but not least...I want to say thank you for flying our airline...I love my job and because of pax like you were are still around! Thank you for your confidence in us and we appreciate you.
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 9:37 pm
  #50  
 
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OK . . . I could be COMPLETELY wrong in my posting this.

But . . .

A few months ago, I believe there was another thread that discussed this issue. I have always been under the impression that it is in HP's pilots' contract that they are entitled to FC. When they must be transferred to another city to fly a route from there, the pilot is entitled to transportation to the city in First Class. I seem to remembered it being mentioned that it was in the pilots' contracts.

The thread was a while ago though, so I may be very, very wrong. Can anyone verify this?


(If I am wrong . . . then just ignore my post!)
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 12:42 pm
  #51  
 
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I'm curious how many NRSA's have turned into revenue generating elites. I'm one of them. I'll be honest and say that I don't fly HP very often, but I snuck over here to hear how often silvers get upgraded... because if it was all of the time, I'd strongly consider switching my business.

However, following this thread, there are various issues that are common to all airlines. Being a reformed airline employee, I am sensitive to the workers' issues, and yet appreciate my elite benefits even more.

First off, upgrades. I worked for a United Express carrier. United's upgrade policy allows only a one cabin upgrade. They still fly three-cabin aircraft domestically on their bigger routes, so the upgrade rule is more than just "technicalities." United's NRSA policy is (or was at the time) "best cabin available when your name is called." Yeah, this meant I could sit in International F (on a domestic route) ahead of a 1K in coach. United also doesn't have unlimited domestic upgrades for all elites like CO/NW/HP do. They have a system similar to AA, where you have coupons earned based on miles flown and redeemed based on miles flown. Over on the UA board, it was not uncommon to hear elites screaming that employees are upgraded over paying pax who "wanted" to upgrade. Well, the issue was, did the paying pax have the ability to "support" their upgrade? United's upgrade policy was great for employees... I loved it, and enjoyed it. When you make $!0/hr, you cannot afford to purchase your company's premium product, ever. And by being able to have "the experience" you come to realize as an employee what makes good employees in F and what makes bad employees in F. Nonetheless, it's one way to reward employees who work very hard for very little compensation. I choose to fly NW for their domestic upgrade policy. It is much better for elites and much worse for their employees

Now, with regards to pilots, FA's, and whatnot getting upgrades over elites at the last minute, well, the other employee posters hit the nail on the head. There is SO MUCH pressure in this days and age to get flights out ON TIME. Our metric at United was ontime :00 or ON TIME, not one minute late. One minute meant a delay code and a carpet dance. In my work group, we could easily avoid the carpet dance and still take the delay, but the gate agents could not. Delaying a flight for pax issues, well, you may as well go out and shoot the gate agent.

So, there is tremendous pressure to get a flight out on time. If, at the time of boarding (this is common to most carriers I'm familiar with) F has checked in full, then that means F there are no more available seats to assign. HOWEVER, you are required to be present at the gate and onboard the aircraft 15 minutes prior to departure. At this time, those that are connecting, have checked in from home, or whatever, are required to be onboard or have their seats subject to cancellation. It is MUCH, MUCH easier for a gate agent to assign an open F seat to pax waiting in the gate area, be it elites, employees, or whatever than it is to wait until everybody on the aircraft has stowed their bags and then try to pull them up. I do not blame the GA's for this situation, it lies squarely with the company.

I really enjoy my elite status BECAUSE of my former NRSA travels. You see employees sit in front every once in awhile, but here's the more common scenario. First off, NRSA"s don't check bags. Period. The company doesn't prohibit it, but you're taking much bigger risks than revenue pax. Also, because of the dynamic travel situation, you really don't want to have bags to worry about. That means, they've got a little more to carry on board. Now, employees most often board last unless the gate agent kows they can hand out a bunch of seats. They get 23E in the back of the aircraft, they get full over head bins, and probably have to gate check a bag. A bag that they won't see again until it sits on the baggage claim belt. BTW, that was if they were lucky enough to get a seat on the airplane. Sometimes they don't. That's only if there weren't any significant delays or cancellations earlier in the day throwing off all of the good planning that was done.

With my elite status, what do I really appreciate? Besides the obvious (but chancy) F upgrades, I first and foremost like the ability to prereserve my choice seats. There *are* some good ones to be found in coach, and I know where they are. I take them. A close second is preboarding. It is *so* nice to know that you will have enough room in the overhead bins for your stuff. On board, in coach (or wherever), I don't need my ego stroked. I DON'T want to be called by name.

How much revenue elites generate depends on the hub. On the east coast, hubs probably generate more revenue per elite than on the west coast. How do I figure? On the west coast, significant portions of flights are high mileage flights to points east. LAX-DTW/ATL/CLE/CVG are all 2000 mile flights give or take. It doesn't take much to earn elite status if you fly from any major west coast city. I'm gathering the same is with HP. I read on this thread that silvers are a dime a dozen. Not surprised... PHX-East coast will rack up the miles very very quickly.

And yeah, those BS complaint letters do suck. One of the things I absolutely HATED about working for the airlines is that the employees' hands are tied. They can't do anything for the pax per company policy. Yet, when a pax complains about a company policy (perhaps just for the compensation they will get), the employee gets the blame. It probably takes 10 good letters to outway a negative letter. I'm not kidding. Some airlines act like they are always looking to fire people and will use any excuse they can get.

Anyway, like I said, having been on both sides of the fence makes me see the big picture. I know what's worth complaining about and when to complain about it. One difference for me, however, is I'm NOT a high yield pax and if they ever went to a yield system I'd be dead in the water. So, I take my perks on my cheap fares and get what I can for them.
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Old Mar 22, 2005, 4:50 pm
  #52  
 
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This is for GotCalcio 4 - You are correct it is in the pilot's contract that they are entitled to a f/c seat when deadheading to another city BUT ONLY if there is one available. They are the last priority to be boarded for f/c and can only bump out non-revenue (employees/spouses/family).
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 2:06 pm
  #53  
 
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As a UA and US flyer and poster, I have to admit that I am impressed with the number of HP employees that are posting here.

As US just announced closure of three of their US Clubs (LAX, SFO and PBI), I was looking around other FF programs to see what is going on. I have an inkling that there may be a acquisition in the works, but that is not based on ANYTHING factual.

FWIW, we have had the same lenghty discussions on other forums about the NON REV upgrade issue.

M
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 2:34 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Score8
As US just announced closure of three of their US Clubs (LAX, SFO and PBI). . .
I wonder if this will bring back to life discussions of HP taking over the US LAX club. Somehow, in the current environment, I seriously doubt it.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 2:54 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by Score8
As a UA and US flyer and poster, I have to admit that I am impressed with the number of HP employees that are posting here.
I am too! I am constantly amazed by some of the HP staff, and I wish I had enough A&Bs to give out to all of them. Unfortunately, I've found a kind word or a letter/call to FlightFund is all I could manage as I'd used them all up or left them at home.

One question for the HP FA's that came to join in this thread (^, btw): Do compliments called into FlightFund have any weight with management? I've done this a couple times when I wasn't near a computer, and didn't get it acknowleged even though I left my PNR, etc.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 4:10 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by AgtMulder
One question for the HP FA's that came to join in this thread (^, btw): Do compliments called into FlightFund have any weight with management? I've done this a couple times when I wasn't near a computer, and didn't get it acknowleged even though I left my PNR, etc.
I don't know for sure, but I would guess, no.
I have gotten A&Bs in my company mailbox that pax sent in at a later date.
I'm sure there must have been a note attached, but I never see it, only the A&B.
Inter-department communication is not so good.

Last edited by Lifer; Mar 23, 2005 at 4:14 pm
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 9:23 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by AgtMulder
I am too! I am constantly amazed by some of the HP staff, and I wish I had enough A&Bs to give out to all of them. Unfortunately, I've found a kind word or a letter/call to FlightFund is all I could manage as I'd used them all up or left them at home.

One question for the HP FA's that came to join in this thread (^, btw): Do compliments called into FlightFund have any weight with management? I've done this a couple times when I wasn't near a computer, and didn't get it acknowledged even though I left my PNR, etc.
Thanks for the kind words.

In a perfect world the answer would be yes. But, as Lifer said, sometimes communications go awry.

As has been alluded, no matter how good a FA you are you will get an occasional bad letter. Maybe you didn't quite click with that passenger, maybe you had an off day, etc. Anyway, I have found that an e-mail to Customer Relations does make it through the system to Inflight and they do get passed on to us with a small note of thanks from a supervisor. These can help you immensely when the occasional unhappy letter comes in and needs a response. The A&B's may not help you in this situation because I am not sure how well the comments are tracked once they are turned in for the positive space tickets.

I honestly like my work. Whether a passenger gives me an A&B, writes a quick note, or tells me "good flight" as they leave the plane, I am happy that I made their trip just a little bit better.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 6:44 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
I wonder if this will bring back to life discussions of HP taking over the US LAX club. Somehow, in the current environment, I seriously doubt it.

That's the running theory over in the US forum. I don't know, for the life of me, why US refused to do any club sharing with HP in LAX or CO in PBI.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 3:37 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by AgtMulder
I am too! I am constantly amazed by some of the HP staff, and I wish I had enough A&Bs to give out to all of them. Unfortunately, I've found a kind word or a letter/call to FlightFund is all I could manage as I'd used them all up or left them at home.

One question for the HP FA's that came to join in this thread (^, btw): Do compliments called into FlightFund have any weight with management? I've done this a couple times when I wasn't near a computer, and didn't get it acknowleged even though I left my PNR, etc.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness. A very easy and simple way to acknowledge an employee is to go on the AWA website under Customer Relations and send an e-mail. If you are not near a computer I would definitely wait until you are, as these letters are tracked and forwarded. The letter is placed in the flight attendant's file. Usually, the majority of flight attendants who receive A&B's are the ones who work first class - because that is where those of you who get the A&B allotment usually sit. For those of us working in coach - we appreciate the time and trouble a passenger makes to forward a letter to our company. We may not be working first - but we are also trying to make our passenger's flight in coach a pleasant experience!
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 8:50 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by AgtMulder
I am too! I am constantly amazed by some of the HP staff, and I wish I had enough A&Bs to give out to all of them. Unfortunately, I've found a kind word or a letter/call to FlightFund is all I could manage as I'd used them all up or left them at home.

One question for the HP FA's that came to join in this thread (^, btw): Do compliments called into FlightFund have any weight with management? I've done this a couple times when I wasn't near a computer, and didn't get it acknowleged even though I left my PNR, etc.
Sisbethe is offline  

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