Say Thanks To AA Employees With Slips Of Paper

Gari N. Corp sends in these weird “Good job!” chits American Airlines mailed him.

In response to customer request, American Airlines developed the “recognition certificates” so customers could say, “thanks” to AA employees.

Evidently scribbled paper slips succeed where words fail.

We wonder, do AA employees have quotas to meet? Can they redeem these for miles, or items from the in-flight magazine?

Gari is an AA frequent flyer, so these are probably not intended for the general populace.

Accompanying letter, inside. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. Good God; how insulting to the poor employees.

    I don’t get upset with less-than-stellar service from the airlines – flight attendants are asked to do more with less every day – but this is insulting and smells like a middle-management back-slapping contest winner.

  2. Daytonna says:

    Somthing like, no.. Anything like this is incredibly insulting. Not that the customer would hand an employee an ataboy; a “job well done” is always welcome.

    But that a company wasted the time, money, workhours, and paper to print ship and track this kind of program; but wont give me an extra f###ing bag of peanuts because they are almost bankrupt? Whisky Tango Foxtrot!!!???

  3. The_Truth says:

    Milkshake Badger Kombat?

  4. The Unicorn says:

    Well, hang on a second here. I agree that these certificates seem kind of asinine, but my guess is that they’re intended to provide AA empoloyees with a way of *documenting* the appreication they receive from customers. There’s probably an incentive involved at some point, like if you get a certain number or something like that. Telling someone, “Thanks so much!” is nice, but it doesn’t readily tie into a corporate reward structure.

    That said, I remain highly skeptical that many people will actually take the time to fill out and distribute these (not to mention the fact that most people will probably forget to bring them with them when they travel).

    So yeah, I still think they’re kind of stupid — just not as entirely ill-intentioned as they may initially appear to be.

  5. acambras says:

    How about a slip of paper that says:

    Well, ______________, you have once again reached new lows of sucky, craptacular “service”! Thanks for nothing!

    I would definitely remember to bring those to the airport with me.

    Hey, maybe I’ll print out some of my own and take them on errands with me. Why should the use of my great idea be restricted to snarky airline personnel?

  6. formergr says:

    United airlines has had these for ages. They are called “Going the Extra Mile” slips, and are sent to frequent flyer members (I think Premier and above) every year. They’ve always gotten an extremely good responses from employees (I’ve given them out to flight attendants and gate agents), not because they can trade them in for anything (they can’t, but they do go in their employee file once turned into their supervisor), but because they like feeling appreciated every once in a while versus being yelled at by surly customers.

    Now we can all debate what constitutes “extra” effort for a customer and what should be standard (i.e. a smile, an extra hunt for a pillow, accommodating family members to sit together, or finding a place in the business class closet for that oversized carry-on in coach). But overall, I think they are a good thing.

  7. Anonymously says:

    I smell a Photoshop contest…. Someone has to chop the image to say something funny.

  8. Leto says:

    There should be a Pizza Hut coupon on the other side, at least. I’d be happy with that.

  9. AcilletaM says:

    AA is getting their employee relations tips from Denny’s now apparently.

  10. Heymoe says:

    This sounds like a holdover from TWA. They gave elite fliers 4 coupons to hand out to employees who gave good service. Back then the airline didn’t tell the employees about the program for a while and helpful employees were stumped when people gave them what looked like upgrade vouchers. I found out later that TWA hired Maritz, a big employee rewards/promotion company, to distribute a gift catalog to employees who could “purchase” items with the serialized scrip.

    If that’s the case here, it’s not insulting and will actually benefit the employee. But if AA is just printing these up with no physical rewards, it’s the height of chintziness.


  11. Large says:

    This is an old program. Platinums and Executive Platinums (AA’s VIP frequent flyers) would receive a set amount of these each year, usually around the holidays. They’re supposed to be handed out to employees that display exceptional customer service and really go above and beyond. If an employee received a few of these certificates they could be redeemed for free vacations and other perks. Not sure if the prize aspect is still in place though…

  12. misterelectric says:

    I worked in the rental car field years ago, and similar “attaboy” certificates were occasionally mailed to frequent renters to be given to employees who tried harder. I don’t recall what they were good for (I seem to remember trying to accumulate them, so there must have been a “tiered” reward structure.)

    The problem was, the certificate holders (our customers) didn’t care about holding on to them long enough to give them to someone who truly deserved recognition for doing something extra; the customers simply gave all of them to the first employee they saw.

    The result? Front line employees (even surly, non-friendly ones) were given five and ten certificates at a time for simply doing their job, and other employees later on in the process (friendly shuttle bus drivers, helpful car lot personnel) got nuthin.

  13. Ishmael says:

    I work in an insurance claims office, and we used to have these. Each month, everyone got 3. You then handed them off to whoever in the office really helped you out – be it a customer service person, a claims person, supervisor, trainer, whoever. You collected your certificates that you received and spent them at the office ‘store.’ They had crap of varying worth, mostly stuff with the company logo on it. There were some nice shirts, golf umbrellas, and pens you could collect if you saved enough, and once a quarter, they drew a certificate and that person got an extra special prize, but I don’t remember what it was.

    As dorky as all of it sounds, we really enjoyed the program. It was a good way to show someone’s supervisor that they were really helping out around the office and not just spending the day talking, plus you got junk! Budget cuts or something finally ended the program, however.

  14. Paula says:

    Seems like AA is trying to get its customers to give feedback and recognition to employees, whi is something THEY should be doing.

  15. timmus says:

    For the great unwashed masses (including myself), here’s one you can print out and use:

  16. Gari N. Corp says:

    Thought I’d just note here that I’m not some kind of international jet trash type. I usually get sent to Asia by my employer – in steerage – once a year, and get to keep the miles. As you can probably tell, the mere existence of this programme was news to me. That said, Timmus’ forgery is rather amusing