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How does AA have such pleasant employees?

How does AA have such pleasant employees?

Old Sep 26, 22, 1:09 pm
  #1  
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How does AA have such pleasant employees?

As someone whos been flying AA (and, before that, US Airways) since the 1990s, I can count on one hand the number of bad employees who Ive encountered.

I find flight crews, Admirals Club staff, gate agents and phone agents to be pretty pleasant and professional almost all of the time (and in many cases, very nice). They are certainly more likeable than employees of a few other carriers.

How does AA find people who are consistently pleasant? Is it a mandated corporate culture, hiring practices or something else?

Ive definitely seen a range from Brightline (amazingly good) to a few mass transit providers (mostly fine but with some really awful people here and there) so not all transportation companies are equal.

Thanks.

EDITED TO ADD:

Im serious.

I almost never check in at the airport or deal with ticket counters.
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Last edited by WeekendTraveler; Sep 26, 22 at 1:54 pm
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:16 pm
  #2  
 
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I have not had the same experience!
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:25 pm
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I can't tell if the OP is joking here. One trip through PHL will change that for sure.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
As someone whos been flying AA (and, before that, US Airways) since the 1990s, I can count on one hand the number of bad employees who Ive encountered.

I find flight crews, Admirals Club staff, gate agents and phone agents to be pretty pleasant and professional almost all of the time (and in many cases, very nice). They are certainly more likeable than employees of a few other carriers.

How does AA find people who are consistently pleasant? Is it a mandated corporate culture, hiring practices or something else?

Ive definitely seen a range from Brightline (amazingly good) to a few mass transit providers (mostly fine but with some really awful people here and there) so not all transportation companies are equal.

Thanks.
Ive encountered my fair share of very pleasant people working for AA.

But to be entirely honest I at first thought you were being sarcastic. Especially flying long haul often, there Ive encountered some of the most apathetic and not-very-nice airline employees out there.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:30 pm
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My experience over the last 10 years flying mostly out of ORD:
  • (Priority) Check-In Agents - Never friendly, borderline rude - but wildly efficient - so it comes out in the wash
  • Admirals Club - always incredible - every person goes out of their way to create a great experience
  • Gate Agents - Friendlier than the check-in agents in my experience, honest, efficient - I don't break rules (with baggage) and I know the basics (like how upgrades work) so I don't run into snags
  • Flight Attendants - 20% Above and beyond 70% good, 10% horrible (completely rude, spends whole time on phone avoiding doing anything, rolls eyes when asked for water or anything)
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:32 pm
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In general yes but I do find there is a modest number of employees that are more indifferent. In some cases not seemingly competent of their job. And a few downright nasty ones although that's fairly rare.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
I have not had the same experience!
Agreed. Just said as much in the AA survey that popped up in my inbox a few hours ago.

From 2013-2018 I was doing TATL and TPAC at least once a month each, and found the long haul crews to be (for the most part) very personable.
Equally I felt domestic service was just a step up from standing in line at the DMV.

During and now post-pandemic, I find the exact opposite to be the case.
My short hops across the Midwest and South have been very pleasant, with cabin crew I would say felt as if they were really trying to lean into friendly customer service wherever possible.
My four TATL tips in the past six months... at best it's been indifferent crew, and many times just downright rude. I've found I'm not alone in this observation... other road warrior types remarking the same when "there is no more XXXX on the plane" or "nothing can be done about the broken XYZ for the next 11 hours."

Honestly, I think we all know it's not the crew's fault the very expensive seat won't recline, or they forgot to cater any specific drinks this trip... but maybe not bark it at us? (I know, I know, like asking a zebra to change its stripes!)
The last two pursers to London each made it clear, we are cattle, in their way, and WHY won't we just be good and go to sleep. STOP asking for things. Pffft!
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:41 pm
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Wow! You must live a charmed life! Wish my experiences matched yours!
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Old Sep 26, 22, 1:42 pm
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Like every organization, there are always bad apples. However, in general, I've found 90% of AA staff to be pleasant, helpful, and interested in making sure I have a good experience (in clubs, on board, etc.). When I encounter the rare one who isn't, I just assume s/he is having a bad day and let it go.

FWIW, I've also found the PSA flight attendants to also be among the best. More often than not, if I'm recognized for being an EP, it's from a PSA flight attendant.

All of my business travel is domestic, so I can't speak to TPAC or TATL as those tend to be more senior FAs or LODO FAs.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 2:22 pm
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There are some good ones, but in my region, Delta is the gold standard. I find Republic Airlines team members to be great. Envoy, and in particular Envoy gate agents to be less than ideal. On AA, it seems to me the newer cabin crew are more proactive and interested than those with more seniority. As stated, TPAC and TATL can have some fire breathers staffing the premium cabins...
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Old Sep 26, 22, 2:33 pm
  #11  
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One thing that this thread demonstrates very clearly that, in addition to there being a wide variety of AA employees, there's also a wide variety of AA customers, from those who are easily pleased to those that are easily offended. Fortunately for me (and perhaps for AA), I'm in the former camp. I've been traveling AA extensively for 35 years, and while certainly my experience has been that some employees are better than others, my experience overall has been very favorable. Or at least just fine.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 2:38 pm
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I must say I didn't have quite the experience as OP has.

That said, I consistently encountered very friendly and efficient AAgents. Examples: AA AC staff in SFO (across the board) & AA RTW Desk (particularly 2 agents I know by first names).

Concur with upthread. Worst experiences had been on long hauls (even in F).
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Old Sep 26, 22, 2:51 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
One thing that this thread demonstrates very clearly that, in addition to there being a wide variety of AA employees, there's also a wide variety of AA customers, from those who are easily pleased to those that are easily offended. Fortunately for me (and perhaps for AA), I'm in the former camp. I've been traveling AA extensively for 35 years, and while certainly my experience has been that some employees are better than others, my experience overall has been very favorable. Or at least just fine.
I think this is a large part of the answer. With 40 years and more than 1000 flights I can say that I get better than expected service from most of AA (with some bad exceptions). But I guess I also feel that way about most of my experiences in life.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
One thing that this thread demonstrates very clearly that, in addition to there being a wide variety of AA employees, there's also a wide variety of AA customers, from those who are easily pleased to those that are easily offended. Fortunately for me (and perhaps for AA), I'm in the former camp. I've been traveling AA extensively for 35 years, and while certainly my experience has been that some employees are better than others, my experience overall has been very favorable. Or at least just fine.
I 100% agree. When I travel for vacations, I often do so with at least three friends. On the same itineraries using the same clubs interacting with the same staff and eating the same food, some are complaining about this or that while others couldn't be happier.
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Old Sep 26, 22, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
One thing that this thread demonstrates very clearly that, in addition to there being a wide variety of AA employees, there's also a wide variety of AA customers, from those who are easily pleased to those that are easily offended. Fortunately for me (and perhaps for AA), I'm in the former camp. I've been traveling AA extensively for 35 years, and while certainly my experience has been that some employees are better than others, my experience overall has been very favorable. Or at least just fine.
I don't think that this thread really demonstrates that. The claim isn't whether people are happy with AA or not, it's that AA is better than the competition - which regardless of the type of customer, really depends on the airline staff for comparison (as in a grouch would likely have bad experiences everywhere).

My experiences are similar to yours, some good employees and largely I have no issues when traveling. But I'm not going to equate that to AA having superior staff. My experiences on DL, AS, B6 have all been largely equivalent if not better. Only UA under Smisek seemed to manage to have the world's least happy employees and it showed.
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