Hector Adler, VP of Flight Service for AA, Comments on Customer Service

Managing the in-flight service for a major airline is a job I don’t envy. Between providing meals for passengers, training flight attendants, creating perfect seat design and other essential functions, this job is one of the most customer facing there is.

American has gone through a lot through its merger, both good and bad. One of the most talked about changes is in regards to first class meal service. Hector Adler, the Vice President of Flight Service for American, and the man responsible for those changes was recently found speaking to a group of folks at the International Institute of Learning on customer service and the role flight attendants play.

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Several things I note about his short presentation that was recorded:

  • He notes the importance about human interaction. American has been known for greeting customers by name on board in First Class, and Executive Platinum customers when seated in the rear. By his remarks here, I’m confident this tradition may continue, since it appears he values that one on one personal touch.
  • He values recognition, which is important for inflight cabin crew to continue doing the job they are doing. I recognize my flight attendants by tweeting American @AmericanAir, so they can pass on the kudos to their supervisor.
  • Acknowledgement is something American values, and they’re both acknowledging employees when they’ve done well, and in times that they’ve messed up. Further, they’re taking note of what other airlines have done in mergers and seeking not to repeat disasters this go around in their combination with US Airways.


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  1. Adam says

    It’s one thing for the VP of Flight Services to say something in an off-the-cuff speech, but things like this rarely filter down to the front-line employees. There needs to be implemented a purposeful change in the company’s corporate culture that not only mandates this sort of attention to detail, but then recognizes and lauds it. I don’t see that happening on *any* US domestic carrier. I’ll avoid a rant about FA unions, but US carriers no longer promote based on merit or customer service; they promote based on negotiated promotion times. I realize that’s an oversimplification, but it’s as close to the facts as we can get without devolving into a discussion about the ME’s carriers’ practices versus unionized US carriers.

    Bottom line: This is all for show, and don’t expect any great strides in customer service to suddenly appear.

  2. Lora eyster says

    I work for a e and want to express my opinion of the new wings that were designed. Slap in the face and disrespectful. We work just as hard as mainline but somehow we only deserve half a wing?


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