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Kelly B.

In light of the situation regarding the payouts to AA’s top executives and management, I had to write down some thoughts.  Thank you for letting me vent.

I am an international flight attendant.  I came in from Shanghai today…once again embarrassed at the condition of our aircraft.  Dirty carpets, lavs reeking of urine, inoperative individual inseat entertainment systems, traytables slanting downward, broken seats that will not stay reclined.  And that was just in my cabin.  We were booked full.  So that means people were put in those seats, because as usual, things are deferred.  As they will be again when the plane lands and ‘has to be turned around!”.

We had reporters for a Chinese newspaper writing an article on AA traveling in First Class, and we were given the 777 WITHOUT the sleeper seats. Another oversight by the folks in Dallas; why put sleeper seats on a flight that’s only 14 hours long?  Oh, and one of the Chinese gentlemen was assigned a seat that had a broken legrest.  I had come in from Delhi the week previously and it was the same story.  I sympathized with the Executive Platinum in First Class who flies twice per month DEL/ORD, paying $8000-$10,000 per flight and not able to count on getting a sleeping bed seat that we’ve promised for a 16 hour flight.  That’s OK, we’ll just have him write a complaint letter and maybe he’ll get more miles, in true AA fashion.  The problem is, mileage becomes worthless when the passenger becomes fed up with the lack of action to correct something that happens over and over again.  The passenger WILL find an alternative way to get back and forth to Delhi.  Air India will be making a big push into the US in the coming two years.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson is arriving this month with direct service from London to Chicago.  I heard his hip radio ad on a hip radio station; using hip rock stars to tout inflight massage and state of the art entertainment/communication systems on new aircraft.  With sleeping bed seats.  All of them.  He has the economic clout to undercut us on fares, and he will.  It has long been known that Branson detests AA, as shown by the phrase that he painted on UK Virgin aircraft when AA was pursuing a partnership with British Airways:  “No Way BA/AA”.  His new phrase will probably say “US Virgin Here to Stay, AA!”

Do you think the boys in Texas see the bread and butter of our International operations slipping away in the near future?  No, they’re too busy lining up at the trough, poised to slurp up the profits that they so assuredly feel are theirs after forcing paycuts upon the lower echelon of rank and file employees that see mismanagement of resources every day.  They’re too busy deciding whether to get that vacation home in Aspen or perhaps on the ocean.  Just how WILL they manage to shelter that multimillion dollar check from taxes….?

The boys (and girls?) in Texas aren’t worried that we have old airplanes with outdated interiors and employees that (justly) feel that they have been taken full advantage of by a climate of fear (9/11) and lack of foresight with regard to fuel hedging.  What did the employees do to TRY to offset the economic climate in the airline industry?  After taking up to a 30% forced paycut, we stepped up to the plate, doing our own belt tightening within the running of AA and came up with great cost saving ideas as well as revenue-generating ones.  From taking on other airlines’ aircraft maintenance for revenue to removing olives from the garnish mix, we did it.  What do we get?  A quarterly ‘shared incentive paycheck’ that comes to roughly $30 every three months.  Any plans to reward the employees a bonus for their input into our current state of profitability?  No, the result of the last four years of belt tightening, er; cost slashing is this: Pay the top 5% of executive officers and management multimillions while the rest of AA’s employees get nothing.  Oh, wait, what about that “Shared Incentive Pay” for “Pulling Together to Win Together”? 

Hey Ya’ll: Please take my $30 per quarter and apply it to new aircraft.  Oh, and take note.  This airline ain’t gonna be seein’ anymore multimillion dollar payouts in the future at the rate we’re goin’.  Enjoy those millions while ya’ll can.

As one Executive Platinum passenger said to me on the way to Delhi:  “You have Texans running this airline and a Texan running the country.  Look at the state of both”, as he shook his head in disgust.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I am not picking on Texas.  I’m looking at the short-sighted management of the Big Picture and saying: in order for AA to survive, we need to be investing in the future by purchasing new aircraft, not draining our profits to line the pockets of a very few while they collectively slap each other on the backs for a job well done.  Attending prestigious schools, having business connections and revolving in the upper corporate good ol’ boy circles of the boards of corporations may be the prerequisite to being in that elite club receiving millions, but it’s the employees that see the day to day operations and mistakes.  I want AA to succeed.  I ask the upper level AA executives and management:  Don’t you?

 

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APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

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