rouge hires Disney to train its flight attendants

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by tcook052, May 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/05/27/air_canada_rouge_hopes_to_capture_disney_magic.html

    Air Canada’s new discount airline Rouge is calling in the gurus of customer service: Mickey and Minnie.

    Rouge has hired the training arm of Walt Disney Co. to teach all of Rouge’s flight attendants the secrets of good customer service, with the hope of bringing some of that famed Disney magic to the skies.

    Or as Disney trainers like to put it — make sure people “always reach just a little higher.”
     
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  2. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Maybe to dress them too? lol
     
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  3. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    You saying the uniforms are Mickey Mouse? :D
     
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  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Or a mickey mouse airline. :D
     
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  5. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Just that they look a lot like something I saw dancing down main street USA a few weeks ago at Walt Disney World. Or maybe even the high school musical at Hollywood Studios.

    But then I might just be getting old too.
     
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  6. YEGman

    YEGman Silver Member

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    Americans training employees of a Canadian company.

    Yet another reason never to fly them.
     
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  7. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    They will probably delete the part where the public gets to hug the Disney character flight attendant.:eek:

    Given that the employees will be earning less than their AC counterparts, I think its cheesy (no pun intended) to be charging them $49 per month for up to 3 yrs to undergo the training (or pay it all back if they quit before that time)!

    Surely they could get the Porter staff to train them on the subtlties of customer service for much cheaper!
     
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  8. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Guess they have to start somewhere and Disney is certainly about customer service. Not sure if this employee enthusiasm will translate over the long term though. Maybe some AC employees would benefit from this...
     
  9. I am involved with Disney in a corporate situation. Firstly, they are an incredibly well managed Company who are very profitable. Secondly, they have a very well recorded history of being well managed on the people side of their business as well. We have seen this in the way their project management teams operate.
    Thirdly, Disney operates around the world and AC Rouge will be an international carrier.
    Fourth, When AC reaches out to learn from successful businesses like Disney we as customers should be happy. A case in point is their business systems that are now run by IBM. I have seen a marked improvement since that contract was awarded. AC has limited the improvements IBM are capable of making due to budget restraints.

    Outsourcing certain services to specialized providers is smart business.
     
  10. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    You only have to spend a day at Universal Studios, and then go to Disney to see the difference. As you mention, their customer service is legendary.
     
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  11. If you did Harry Potter at Universal you were on the best managed and built ride ever :) and I know who built it!!
     
  12. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Did the harry potter ride. It was awesome. A lot more "story" to it than the typical universal ride. However the part where the dragon uses some kind of heated compressed air blew something into my eye

    I get the feeling you were involved ;).

     
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  13. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    Would the $49/month cost at least be tax deductible?
     
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  14. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    I'm not sure it would be deductible. Maybe as an employment expense, but certainly not as an educational expense. It's really nickle and diming, though. The whole cost that they are charging these minimum-wage employees for training would be taken care of with about 5 minutes of pay from the executives.
     
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  15. tcook052
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    http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/i...-employee-paid-disney-training-202822545.html

    Rouge flight attendants will have $49 deducted from their pay every month for up to three years—a total of $1,764—to participate in the program. If they leave the company within those three years, they'll still be on the hook for the remainder of that cost.

    According to the Air Canada rouge Twitter account, the flight attendants contributions are to pay for "incidentals while in Florida," not the actual training

    (What remains unclear, though, is how that set fee of $49 a month covers "incidentals," which usually includes small expenses such as restaurant bills, cab fares, etc.)

    In a statement, the CUPE component representing Air Canada's flight attendants called the decision "another case of corporations downloading costs to the employees to increase corporate profits," while Laura Frangella, an HR consultant with Toronto-based firm FocusedHR called it "a bit odd, to ask them to make a commitment of almost $2,000 up front."
     
  16. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I suspect the bigger thing is having that $1764 as a disincentive to leave the company immediately after being trained.
     
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  17. tcook052
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    Immediately as in 6-12 months does make sense as the company is investing in their training but clawing it back for those that leave within 3 full years makes far less sense to me.
     
  18. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    If a person left after two years, he or she would only owe $588 (12 x $49), so the disincentive does ramp down over time.
     
  19. I'm the person who pushes the button for that to happen :p It's an app on my BB and it instinctively knows when a MP member is on the ride:D
     
  20. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Can anyone say "indentured labourer"?
     
  21. Turnover is obviously an issue in that industry and they are looking for a return on their investment in a low margin business. Some restaurant chains make servers pay for their uniforms and if you take a course in something you think will get you a job you pay for it yourself. Those are my comparisons.
     
  22. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    I understand Rouge wanting a return on their investment, but when the employee is paying for training it's the employee's investment, not Rouge's. I know you will argue that the princely wages being paid will be the employee's ROI.

    As to the comparison on training, yes, it's true that people pay for training in the hope of getting a job, but these are people who already have employment, they're just being dinged for the cost of training. Also, in most cases when people pay for a course to enhance or develop their career it's training that can potentially be applied across many different employers. I seriously doubt the skills being acquired in the Rouge training will be greatly transferable. And we're presumably not talking about serious career advancement at this level.

    Some employers would make the employees pay their own wages if they could get away with it.
     
  23. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I don't know how bad the Rouge wages will be, and I certainly support fair wages for FAs as well as other employees. But a small disincentive to leave shortly after training is not so bad. $50/month is certainly not comparable to indentured labour.

    On the other hand, maybe AC could have considered retention bonuses instead. But we really don't have full info here so it's hard to judge whether or not this was a reasonable policy.
     
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  24. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Training is one thing, but they are going for the Cadillac experience and expecting it will carry them through a low margin industry. Since rouge is expecting it to pay dividends, they should be shouldering the cost. I agree that they hopefully will build in incentives (or even lower the fee). As it stands, it is 2.2 hours of pay based on their starting wages. If they work the minimum (75h) in a month, about 3% of gross pay.

    rouge may claim that this is to cover incidentals while at Disney on their twitter account but that's a lot of incidentals for a week if you ask me!
     
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  25. tcook052
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