It’s no secret Doug Parker and his team has made a difference at US Airways in terms of on-time departures. It’s also no secret that American lags behind US Airways and a bunch of other airlines when it comes to on-time performance and a number of other key metrics tracked by the Department of Transportation.
According to the internal memo below, Doug and team are quickly working to improve American’s performance the same way they did with US Airways:
Essentially, all mainline employees can earn an extra $150 a month if they best Delta, Southwest and United in 3 core categories, on-time performance, baggage handling and customer satisfaction. All employees will receive $50 per category airline is tops in.
There’s also an “honorable mention” of sorts, a $50 payment per employee if the airline has an on-time departure percentage of 70% of better. I had to take a second look at that number because it seemed awful low. Then, I turned to Scott McCartney’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal ranking the various carriers. His article states that the industry average is 78%.
So, why is American paying it’s employees if 70% of flights depart on-time? I dug for a bit more data and found that American has scored in the high 70s/low 80s for most of the last two years, and only scored less than 70% once.
I can’t imagine that the difference between on-time departures and arrivals is that disparate, but I could be wrong. It seems to me that the “Olympic Qualifier” is really just a feel-good bonus for employees during integration.
At any rate, if you missed Scott’s article earlier this month it’s certainly worth a read. As always, he has some cool graphics to outline where the various carries fell on the performance scale.
I think it’s also important to note that while US Airways did fare better than American, they never finished higher than 3rd in any category, averaging a finish between 5th and 6th. I applaud their efforts to improve on-time performance on behalf of both airlines but the statistics suggests the US Airways model still needs a bit of work.