The pain of exclusion.
How do you keep employees happy?
more technically incorrect
Somehow, the pandemic exposed the limited abilities of many managers to do so.
Not only that some have been let go recently, especially from tech companies.
However, how much is the fault of the managers in this?
In fact, are they just implementing short-term, money-grabbing policies made at the highest level?
These thoughts, among many others, may be currently crossing the minds of many Delta Air Lines employees.
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In the recent past, Delta has enjoyed a partnership with American Express. One of the benefits for Amex Platinum cardholders was that they could swim in Delta lounges and feel more valued.
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Meanwhile, many others enjoyed similar privileges. For example, who actually paid for Delta Sky Club privileges.
The result was what can be described as a twisted eyesore. There were queues of desperate status-seekers waiting to lay wreaths at major airports. Some Delta lounge employees even went out of their way to give these status seekers a touch of sustenance to make up for their troubles.
Delta then tried to downplay the problem. It decided to create a two-tier system, where only the very best would have quick access.
Subsequently, the airline removed lounge access for some of those who were further down the ladder to sky status.
Was it enough? It was not. Delta does not, after all, have separate business-class lounges, so the airline concluded that more shifting of the privileged had to be done.
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This time the airline has targeted its own employees. Starting this month, Delta employees are banned from entering the airline’s own lounges when they fly because of their employee privileges.
As if to look into his own eyes, Delta told employees that they would not even get a discount on Sky Club memberships. Mind you, why would they want to buy it when it’s still not enough to get them into the lounge?
objection, your honor
It was all getting a little weird. and painful. And, to some flight attendants, downright unacceptable.
How do I know this? Well, Silviano Blain, a Delta flight attendant, has started a petition for the airline to “reinstate paid lounge access for employees.”
To be clear, Delta is reimbursing employees proportionally to the amount they paid to join the Sky Club. But it’s not just about the money, is it? It’s about humiliation.
In his petition, Blaine explained the problem: “Like thousands of other flight attendants and pilots, I do not live in the city where I live for work. To me, Sky Club access means having a quiet place where I can rest.” When I’m commuting back and forth between my home in Phoenix and my base in Salt Lake City. I pay the $550 annual fee for the Sky Miles Credit Card because Sky Club makes a big difference in my life.
Some may think that in reality there is no quiet place in these sky clubs. When a lounge is near or at capacity, it may be similar to the rest of the airport. Too many people, not much food, and too much noise.
Still, Blaine points out that the issue isn’t just one of quality of life.
They say: “Delta’s sudden decision will not only hurt my quality of life, but I will also have to choose whether or not to cancel my credit card. I’ve already paid the annual fee, so this I can’t get the money back. If I cancel my card, it hurts my credit as well. Delta decided not to allow employees to use the Sky Club, even if we paid for it .
the rage of 7,000
I’m sure some accountants came along to influence Delta’s decision. “Where will the airline lose the least money?” There is a type of query that gets priority access.
The petition, which seeks 8,000 signatories, garnered 7,300 in its first week. Some of the staff also did commentary.
One said, “Working for an airline that is slowly taking away travel perks is not a job worth having.”
Another offered more details: “Time to unionize the employees! Banning employees shouldn’t fix bad planning on their part.” Spoke to someone familiar with the situation at Sky Club and they said the employee problem No, there is less than 5% usage of the Sky Club by employees.”
However, I suspect some customers may look at all this and whisper: “Now you know how we feel.”
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Delta’s flight attendants are not unionized. But, perhaps to make them feel better, the airline just announced they’re getting a 5% raise — their second increase in the past year.
Will it matter? Making your employees feel good — especially when it’s your daily job to make customers feel good — is a tricky business.
Just as tech companies are taking away employee privileges, Delta is following suit.
Perhaps the difference is that at least some of Google’s employees may be replaced by ChatGPT. It’s not that easy with flight attendants.
I’m sure Delta is working on it, though.