American Airlines has told flight attendants to refrain from offering premium cabin amenities in economy class in order to promote a “consistent customer experience.”
American Airlines Reminds Flight Attendants To Avoid Special Favors In Economy Class
In a memo shared by JonNYC titled, Calling for cabin consistency, American asks its flight attendants to refrain from offering premium cabin amenities in economy class:
As part of our commitment to ensuring a consistent customer experience, please refrain from offering Premium Cabin amenities/service items (i.e. pillows, blankets, amenity kits, and certain food items) to customers who are not seated in a Premium Cabin.
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) November 7, 2023
On the one hand, it is understandable that American Airlines wants to provide a predictable and consistent product in its economy class.
People get envious when others get things and they do not–just look at the discussion over whether an economy class passenger should have been served a leftover first class meals.
But as View From The Wing points out, the memo, at its core, reads do not provide better service to coach passengers. And that is a missed opportunity. Not so much because it is practical or realistic for economy class passengers to receive “leftovers” from business class, but because there are certain instances where such gestures of kindness can make a huge difference and even win long-term loyalty.
I’ll never forget the time I was flying United Airlines in economy class and hungry. Taking pity on me since there were no buy onboard items available, a flight attendant brought me a leftover first class meal. What a kind gesture…I still remember it to this day and it was one small gesture that played a role in making me a loyal United flyer a decade later.
There are circumstances where discretion is warranted and that sort of empathy-driven discretion promotes the bottom line. American Airlines should reconsider its policy. Sure, it must be done discreetly, but these gestures are a good thing, not a bad thing.
American Airlines has told its flight attendants to refrain from offering premium cabin amenities in economy class. While reasonable on its face to promote a consistent product, it strikes me as the sort of micro-management that discourages flight attendants from providing genuinely good service, especially when special circumstances arise.
image: American Airlines