Specializing in bringing together all components necessary for long term business growth,
profitability and success; and ensuring
that they are working in harmony.

However, “we have streamline seats!”

Recently I spoke to a friend who works with United Airlines about his employer being at the bottom of the list with recent customer satisfaction surveys. “How is it that you guys have the uncanny ability to find yourself at the bottom I asked?”

He began explaining that the merger between United and Continental has been less then harmonious. “They have wiped out large swaths of the United flight crews he began. So most of our team has been on extended furloughs. When we do work, it is fewer hours then before the merger. Our old United hub, which use to service all of the flights to Hawaii have now been cut to one. Flight crews from Continental are carrying out the other flights. So perhaps one of the reasons why they are at the bottom of the list he continued, has more to do with how they treat us. We get a call that we are to be up by 5:00 am so that we can take off for a 7 o’clock round-trip which takes eleven to twelve hours and then by the time we get back are told that we need to plan on getting up again (same time) for a long international flight. So here we are, trying to keep passengers happy while we are IV-ing on coffee to ensure that we don’t end up sleep walking through the trip.”

So much for the happy merger.

“Oh, and it gets worse, he continued, here is a customer service doosie for you, we have been given strict orders from corporate not to let passengers know that if their 4.99 Wi-Fi fails, then they can get a refund. They need to go to the United website to find out about this!”
After listening to him, I then brought up the other news about how the airlines are still squeezing even more seats into coach. In addition, making the toilets smaller.

“Oh, yea, he agreed. But you see, it is all about how it is presented. We call them Streamline Seats!” Sounds sort of nice don’t you think? He asked sarcastically. Of course, there is the standard corporate propaganda that we hear so much of these days about how it is all in the name of saving the earth – you know green? – smaller seats are good because they have less weight and in turn require less fuel.”

He rambled on, sharing his more frustrations where it was easy to conclude that perhaps one of the reasons that they are at the bottom of the heap is a reflection of how they are also treating their staff. This conclusion is an easy to make, and we see it every day where companies that become too big to balance their budgets with the needs of their customers and employees have an uncanny way of hurting their long-term performance.

And regarding the rationale for why seats are smaller, as with other businesses making boxes smaller, or suggesting that your towels at the hotel you are staying at needn’t be refreshed daily – really has less to do with going green (saving the environment) but saving green (money to their bottom line)

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