American Airlines and US Airways will give employee bonuses if planes leave on-time more often

Tuesday was 'Customer Day One' at the new American Airlines Group. Photo: US Airways.

It is time for the American Airlines Group Operational Olympics! Photo: US Airways.

Your American Airlines and US Airways flights and bags could arrive faster in 2014.

In a letter this week to employees, American Airlines Group president Robert Isom outlined a bribery scheme to keep employees on-target. The new combined carrier will compete with rivals Southwest, United and American on three key metrics:

· On-time arrivals – Arrivals within 14 minutes of published time;
· Baggage performance – Mishandled baggage reports (MBR) per 1,000 customers; and
· Customer satisfaction – Complaints sent directly to the DOT per 100,000 enplanements.

If the new American Airlines Group is above all of its rivals in any of the three components, every employee will receive a monthly bonus of $50. If the airline is on top in all three metrics, employees can earn an extra $150 per month.


There’s also another way employees can earn extra money without being No. 1. If American Airlines Group airplanes leave on-time 70 percent of the time, employees will receive $50. The metric here is called D(0), which means the aircraft must leave exactly on-time. The federal government usually considers a flight on-time so long as it departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

This sort of bribery is fairly common, and United did it recently. I know we have a lot of airline employees who read this blog. My question to you: Do these bonuses make you work harder to keep customers happy?

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