IF YOU’RE a frequent flyer, perhaps your airline has sent you comment cards or coupons to reward flight attendants and other employees for above and beyond customer service.
I know some airlines, such as US Airways, have these and I’ve used them in the past. In fact, on a recent flight from Miami to Los Angeles, I gave two coupons to flight attendants who were especially pleasant.
Flight attendants then hand these coupons to their managers and they end up in their personnel records; presumably if they get a certain amount, they’re rewarded. It’s all very hush-hush though.
Of course, even if your airline doesn’t do this, passengers frequently take to social media to vent about their flight experiences — some even upload photos of crew and criticise their every move.
There’s usually an outlet for passengers to express their satisfaction — or fury. But what about the crew?
Well, on that same LAX flight one of those flight attendants proposed a novel idea to me: what if they were able to rate and reward us for good behaviour?
On that flight I was sitting next to one particular passenger who was, frankly, a pain in the rear end. Even though the flight was full he immediately asked upon boarding if he could switch his aisle seat for a window. No, sorry. And why didn’t the plane have Wi-Fi? And why didn’t it have in-seat AC power? And so on.
Rude or obnoxious passengers are on every flight (and, yes, some flight attendants seem rude, too) — there are many who are a lot worse than this. But some flyers are as pleasant as can be.
So here’s how this would work. Each flight attendant would get coupons to hand out to especially pleasant passengers.
I’m not sure what the coupon would be worth. Any ideas? Some frequent flyer miles or points? A free drink? A priority boarding pass? A free checked bag? A free menu item? Maybe once a passenger gets 10, 20, or whatever of these coupons that person gets a prize?
If you think this is a silly idea, don’t blame me: it’s not my idea. Instead, it was proposed by my flight attendant on that Miami-LA flight, one Kiris Munoz, a 20-year AA veteran flight attendant who, by the way, was the picture of calm and courtesy dealing with my cranky seatmate. Kiris told me she’s suggested this to management in the past, but so far the airline hasn’t taken her up on the idea.
Why do this? It would promote courtesy for everyone who flies. Flight attendants would be treated better if passengers knew they would be rewarded; they, in turn, would treat us better. Just a thought.
What do you think of Ms. Munoz’ idea?