Benefit to FA's for Getting Applause Slips?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Miles, Feb 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Miles
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    Miles Silver Member

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    When I hand an "Applause" slip to a FA who has been particularly attentive or cheerful, s/he seems to be very, very thankful. What benefit do FAs get from these, and can they be given to deserving gate agents also?
     
  2. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    The person you give them to gets to use each toward a lottery of sorts where they can win AA miles.

    you can give the certs to any AA employee you feel deserves them.
     
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  3. Miles
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    Miles Silver Member

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    Any information on the number of miles given to the winners?
     
  4. stuartfla
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    stuartfla Silver Member

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    Each applause cert gives the employee one chance to win the monthly drawing for 25,000 AA miles. The chances of winning depends on the number of aa employees that sent in applause slips for that month. The old SOS program was quite a lot more meaningful as they actually could use them to redeem prizes as opposed to a lottery for miles, still the applause program is a good gesture allowing customers to show appreciation to an individual employee.
     
  5. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I am conflicted about this. I used to think that AAplause slips were like complimentary letters or emails that would somehow go into that person's record, but save me the trouble of noting down their name and remembering to write later. Lately I have learned that many employees don't like them because they actually function like a lottery ticket for miles and employees owe taxes if they win. I am thinking of going back to the old ways: noting down someone's name and sending a complementary email.
     
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  6. sukn
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    sukn Silver Member

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    Employees do have to pay taxes on the winning miles but as with the use of any miles, the benefit can outweigh the cost of the "taxes' if used wisely. The miles are particularly handy for those employees who need to plan confirmed travel.

    All non-management employees and I believe management employees up to level 4 are eligible for the lottery.
     
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  7. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    I posted on FT that I once had an FA politely refuse my offer of two AAplause slips, specifically stating that the taxes made them undesirable to her. Less than 24 hours later one of the FAs who posts in FT (AAFA, if memory serves)confirmed that - in fact, her/his post used wording that exactly matched what happened on my flight (I think I must have been talking to her, but it really doesn't matter).

    Interestingly, the FA I spoke with told me to give them to another deserving FA, because, as she said, "some of the employees aren't bothered by the taxes".
     
  8. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    It is often not necessary to note someone's name to send a complementary e-mail, but first name is often helpful.. It is OK to do both the e-mail and the Applause slip.
     
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  9. lastplace

    lastplace Active Member

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    you would think that there would be a better incentive put in place for what are essentially the front lines of customer service...
     
  10. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Agree, small gift cards would be better instead of a lottery.
     
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  11. carpe diem
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    carpe diem Silver Member

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    I agree that specific rewards might be an inducement to better service rather than the lottery concept. (Of course, this would probably cost AA much more than 25K miles/month!.....but I think exceptional service would be worth the "investment" of a passenger reward system for exceptional personnel.)

    I wonder how many applause certs are accepted, the giver thanked, and then they are re-gifted or thrown away because of either tax concerns or the "I never win anything" mentality (like mine:^)....although I did win $50 at bingo once some 30 years ago.
     
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  12. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree!

    The SOS program was just such an incentive program. Like the Applause system, it relied on chits passengers filled out and turned in to the individual employee, but unlike the Applause certs and their attendant taxes assuing somene actually wins the 25,000 miles, the chits could be accumulated and turned in for a variety of durable good and travel. Killing the SOS program when they also got so much given back by employees and AA and UA were both reeling with morale issues from September 11 was, to call 'em as I see 'em, inane stupidity and a wrong turn at exactly the worst time. (Disclosure: I am a management consultant, so I see this from a different angle than some.)

    The only excuse for an Applause cert is it offers a passenger an easy way to provide positive feedback - but I feel quite free to give that face to face, and it is often appreciated; that act is followed by e-mailing AA with kudos for the employee (and I see good service often enough to carry out this practice with some degree of frequency).

     
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  13. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    Good to know. I still carry the certs for those who want them. For exceptional service I always get their employee number and name and send an email.
     
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  14. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    I was at a ticketing counter, and I asked a couple of employees if they got any benefits from the AApplause certs. They both knew there was a drawing for 25k miles and they had to pay taxes if they won. One of them cited the exact amount of taxes. As I recall, it was something between $80-$90, but she knew the figure down to the penny.
     
  15. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    That's kind of weak on AA's part. You'd think that if a FA were good enough that they had earned the certs and won the lottery, AA could gross up their pay for the week to pick up the taxes.

    Mike
     
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  16. pnoeric

    pnoeric Silver Member

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    FWIW to add to this old thread-- we asked a FA on our last flight about the applause certs and they confirmed it was for a drawing for miles... this particular FA didn't sound all that enthused about 'em and even said he didn't have an Aadvantage account. I think we're probably going to still hand 'em out but always send a quick email for good service. I'd much rather a terrific FA have something in their "permanent file," and that their manager can see.
     
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  17. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I usually hand them out in large blocks rather than one at a time, even if they don't especially value the lottery ticket they seem to value the signaling, and giving more than one is a stronger signal than giving one. They can always give them to friends if they want, the gesture of giving them as a way of saying thank you has always been appreciated (or at least they have always shown appreciation).
     
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  18. SFObased

    SFObased Member

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    Why is it that you have to pay taxes when you "win" but not when you "earn" miles?
     
  19. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Because in most cases you earn miles as a 'rebate' so aren't considered income.
     
  20. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I'd like to reiterate the point that while an AAplause slip is a nice gesture, it does not equal to a positive comment that will go into the employee's file/record. If that is your intention, you must still write/email AA.
     
  21. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    +1
     
  22. KSBA

    KSBA Member

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    I give these out all the time but in knowing that they are of relatively little value, I always start out with something like "I'm not sure if this helps at all but...". I do, however, always write in when service deserves a compliment.

    I can't take any credit for this idea, as found it on a thread or two over on FT, but I have recently started giving a small Starbucks gift card with the cert. It's a small gesture but it is always a surprise and very happily received.
     
  23. KSBA

    KSBA Member

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    I've never though to ask before, out of curiosity :), do you ask them for their employee number and tell them you will be writing in a compliment?
     

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