Gates Airway is a budget airline that operates flights between the United States and Latin America. American Airlines has been trying to take over Gates for some time, and this week it reversed its decision to buy the airline. Gates will be sold to a group of investors that includes Air France, Delta, and American, and American Airlines will gain about 1,200 gate positions and 800 crewmembers. American will also get more places to park its planes at Gates’ Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier by fleet size, is looking to cut staffing at US airports by 20% – by the end of next year – to cut costs.
American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker has long been a fan of the “early cancel” philosophy, and he’s been leading the charge at carriers like American and United to trim flight and crew late-night schedules to save money and improve on-time performance. American Airlines recently announced that it would begin cancelling standby and standby-free flights earlier, in an effort to efficiently handle the now-obsolete standby exemption process.
To reduce the number of personnel at the exits, American Airlines will begin checking in earlier for flights that are on hold and flights that are not departing
Gary Leff 29. May 2021 The story of my life is a last minute rescue at the airport to catch a flight home. That’s one of the reasons I love elite status so much, because it allows me to be at the top of the list, not only for upgrades, but also for transfers to another flight if things go really well or really, really badly. Unfortunately, the policy change that accompanies American Airlines’ move to single-agent boarding on flights that are less than 80% full makes it harder to get an earlier flight or to opt in on unscheduled flights. Agent Assist (automated system) will automatically send paying and non-paying customers on certain domestic flights that are less than 80% full…. to D-60.
- I get to the airport early – or arrive a little early in the city where I have a connection – and run to the gate to get in line for the flight as soon as boarding begins, or even during boarding. Now American Airlines is giving away a bunch of seats that I could have had an hour before my flight.
- My flight is delayed, either due to weather, maintenance, or because the crew got off another flight (American Airlines no longer has crews on its planes), and I am transferred to another flight that is about to leave. Transfer options for flights departing within the hour are much more limited.
- American allocates seats to employees (without the right to reinstatement) and to no-status or low-status customers who are on the waiting list one hour before departure, seats that in the past would have been allocated to higher elite status paying customers at the gate.
The same applies to the distribution of seats. Even if someone does manage to get on a flight, there are fewer seats available to offer better seats to those who get on at the last minute. This process attempts to automate the work of agents at the exit, reduce the amount of work at the exit so it is more manageable by one person, but still complicates the main points of contact with the customer.
- The most important moments are those that happen at the last minute: Will I be able to catch my flight or not? Am I going home tonight or not? They make the difference between success and failure in an aviation relationship, especially for elite customers. In fact, the great benefit of status lies in those moments when a customer rushes to the top of the list at the last minute to get the last seat and arrive at their destination on time.
- The limited choice of seating for this customer (since some of these seats were donated in the T-60) is compounded by the fact that there is no one to help him when he arrives at the gate. A lone officer can’t just stop boarding to put someone on the waiting list. Even if they should, many don’t. And society will eventually be on their side when they say: I couldn’t risk delaying the flight. But the problem was not the risk of an on-time departure, it was the failure of the airline to provide adequate customer service at the gate.
This change devalues elite status and devalues traditional business travelers. Maybe it’s a long-term gamble that these aren’t the customers American Airlines can attract in a post-pandemic world, even if we do come back.
Lake View from the Wing
2 commentsThe changes are set to take effect on August 30, 2017. Effectively, this means that standby passengers, who have not yet boarded an aircraft, will be eliminated from the system. This is the first time that American Airlines has made such a change, and it could affect nearly 200,000 passengers. They will no longer be issued boarding passes, and they will not be able to check into flights, basically putting them in the position of standby passengers.. Read more about airline gate agent job description and let us know what you think.
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