Effective Monday American Airlines has taken away the tool airports, flight attendants, and reservations used to compensate customers when a crew member spills a drink on them, their seat is broken, or their inflight meal didn’t get loaded onto the aircraft.
To save money, instead of compensating customers when things go wrong, employees are supposed to show they care and acknowledge what the customer is saying… just not do anything about it.
At the beginning of 2018 American Airlines rolled out a new software program called iSolve to let flight attendants compensate passengers for onboard inconveniences like “inflight entertainment issues, broken seats or meal shortages.”
The airline quickly discovered that flight attendants were handing out more compensation than they wanted, so they sent out a memo after a few months to get front line crew to scale it back: no compensation for problems with internet or seat power; running out of buy on board snacks; cabin temperature (too hot/too cold) doesn’t get compensation. Nonrev passengers aren’t entitled to compensation for inconveniences.
Even so during American’s poor operations last summer they were handing out compensation at four times the usual rate.
Now American has discontinued the ability for flight attendants to offer compensation when the airline fails to deliver its product as promised. This suspension of iSolve will run at least through the end of 2020.
An internal memo reviewed by View From The Wing flagged this suspension effective Monday,
Effective 08JUN20, iSolve will be suspended through 2020 for goodwill compensation through airports, reservations and flight attendants. A closer look is being taken at every aspect of our operation, including tools and technology. As part of this review the decision was made to suspend iSolve. The tool will still be used to provide compensation for pre-removal and downgrades by Support functions.
Here’s what employees are instructed to do instead of offering compensation:
Unfortunately American’s front line employees have had their tool to deliver customer service when things go wrong taken away from them. That saves money in the form of compensation, but it’s airline scrip (generally miles) that they’re giving out in an effort to win back future business. That matters now more than ever when airlines aren’t filling all the seats on their planes.