American Airlines is beginning to experiment with turning flights into shopping opportunities, reports the New York Times. We’re not just talking about in-flight purchases of Sky Mall schwag, either: the paper reports that limousine services, tickets to theme parks and Broadway shows, and train tickets are some of the offerings being considered or currently being tested.
If the idea of having your flight attendant also act as a salesperson for any number of non-airline companies bothers you, you’re not alone. Flight attendants seem kind of iffy on it, too.
“There are a myriad issues surrounding SkyMall,” said Diana Dunn, a member of the union’s negotiating committee. “What is the commission they want to pay us? What if a customer returns something, how are they going to get the money back?”
Flight attendants at other airlines are also worried that retail commissions may be used to replace salaries, according to Corey Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants. “If airlines are encouraging flight attendants to participate in selling of products and services, it needs to be done when the flight attendant has completed safety and security activities onboard the flight.” Ms. Caldwell said. “It’s definitely a proceed with caution type of thing.”