Now it gets real sketchy for AA going into the fall season

Scott McCartney, Wall Street Journal blogger, is now advising readers to book away from American Airlines citing the fact that their operations are in a shambles and can’t be trusted.  American Airlines is reducing its schedule voluntarily for the next 2 months because pilots are retiring in higher than expected numbers and others are calling in sick at higher than expected rates.

Is there a sickout going on?  I suspect not.  I don’t even think there is a “work to rules” effort going on right now.  I think that pilots are just kind of *done* with their employer right now.  There is no reason to make the extra effort for their job at this point.  If someone feels like they may be about to get a cold, I think they’re just calling in sick as opposed to hoping for the best and making the flight anyway.

I think other pilots see the writing on the wall and realize that their retirement is going to be improved by hanging around this airline.  If they’re eligible, they’re leaving in many cases.

This is what I meant by American Airlines still having many, many problems with their service and operations in light of the rather hostile actions that have gone on between the company and its unions.  You can force the issues, fight in the court room and win the battles during bankruptcy but . . .

What do you have to succeed with even upon bankruptcy exit?  Not much.  Hostile workforces don’t help retain existing customers and attract new ones.   This is the revenue side many have spoken about and I continue to question AA’s premise that it can operate successfully on the revenue side upon bankruptcy exit.

All of the employees who are directly involved in serving AA customers are now royally pissed off at the company and its management and do not feel motivated to do anything to help this company succeed.  And I can’t say that that attitude is undeserved.

This isn’t all about what American Airlines has done over the past 10 months either.  It’s about how American has treated its employees for as many as 7 years.  It hasn’t negotiated in good faith and it hasn’t really tried to achieve equitable contracts and if it had, quite frankly, I’m not sure we would see American Airlines in bankruptcy today.

Yes, I think the unions have, over the years, made unrealistic demands and have even been led by contentious people but leadership starts at the executive level, not at the union leadership level.  It’s an executive team’s job to make that side of the company work and to preserve a harmonious and productive relationship with its work force.  That just hasn’t happened at all.

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One Response to “Now it gets real sketchy for AA going into the fall season”

  1. Its interesting that many of the things that happened to Braniff often at American’s hands are now happening to American. It would have been American that would have enticed the WSJ Reporter to write an article asking readers not to book Braniff. Now its happening to American. Hmmmmmm.

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