Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: (moved/edited)Employees can make or break an airline (AS)

  1. #1
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    929
    Post Thanks / Like

    (moved/edited)Employees can make or break an airline (AS)

    This was especially true of the employees working for Alaska Airlines in the late 1960s. Since I was working for Wien, their competitor at the time, I have no direct information, only what was told to me by friends that worked for Alaska and what I saw so I suppose you should take this with a grain of salt and decide for yourself if what I am telling you is true as I knew it was at the time.
    As with most airlines at the time, finances were short everywhere. Route expansion and added equipment can really dig into the reserves. Also keep in mind that at the time, Alaska Airlines was a rather small regional carrier serving lots of Alaska and into Seattle with a home base of Anchorage with a top management team that always looked toward tomorrow.

    Alaska stock was selling for something like 1.5 to 1.75 at the time and if I recall right, it was near 40 not too long ago. Top management of the airline always kept the employees informed of the company situation and often asked for suggestions from the employees on how to cut costs. There were times, I understand, that even payroll might not be made but again, that is only what I heard. Lets put it this way, I often gave my girlfriend money at times just to get by.

    Here are some of the suggestions the employees came up with and that were put into effect.
    Some employees offered to take half pay for a while. Others agreed to work half shifts so someone else could work the other half shift. At least a little pay for two people. Those that could afford to worked without pay for a couple of months. Many with higher seniority took a voluntary lay off so others below that needed money worse could stay working. Some offered to work overtime at no pay when needed. All this done by the employees and not asked for or required by management. Instead of hiring new employees, often workers in another department would jump over and help near departure time. Remember, on time departures. It was nothing unusual to see a Captain or flight attendant helping with checkin or writing tickets when the chips were down. After the turnaround checks were completed, the mechanics often helped load last minute mail, baggage and cargo. Of course that would not be posable is this day and age but to keep that airline flying durring their hard times and it was something special to watch. At the same time, Delta Airlines was known for doing the same things at times and even ran TV ads about it.

    It is my understanding that all of these cuts were kept track of and later, every employee received the balance of the pay they had earned plus a bonus.
    All employees looked for every way posable to cut corners except for maintenance of course but even they helped out in a way so I was told. When they dropped a safety nut, washer or safety wire on the floor, they picked it up instead of grabbing another. Needless to say, some of those very minor items cost a lot of money. I understood that many employees took their uniforms home to wash instead of the company sending them out for cleaning. Suddenly the cost of office supplies was cut nearly in half because of the employee consideration. Ground equipment was driven in a more sane "attitude" to cut down on maintenance. All kinds of ways that a great group of employees can find to keep their company flying.

    It was always so great watching those Alaska Airlines employees at the time holding their heads up and always with a smile and never a bad word about their company. When the traveling public would have some derogatory statement about the airline, every employee that I saw always had a positive reply and a smile. Out of respect for Alaska Airlines, I will not even repeat the nickname they received in those days. Since our ticket counter was next to that of Alaska Airlines in Fairbanks at the time, it was easy to watch all of this going on. Also at our interline club parties which I often co-hosted at, once in a while I got to talk indepth with AS employees, off the record, one on one and it seemed that employees from other airlines always had encouraging words to those from Alaska. After all, they just might have had to go through the same things. The beauty of the airline interline clubs world wide was that no management personnel were allowed, except for the hosts, and whatever was said or happened at those parties never left the room. There was never any company competition, regardless of the airline. Of course the next day, all back to normal, fighting tooth and nail for every passenger.

    Regardless of some labor and legal problems lately, Alaska Airlines is still flying because of a fantastic bunch of employees 40 years ago and I am sure top management has not forgotten. ln a way, it made me feel good just to be their competitor. Sorry Wien employees, I calls um as I sees um, I offer respect where respect is due.

  2. #2
    Christina Young's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Andover-Aeroflex, 12N
    Posts
    1,600
    Post Thanks / Like
    Ernie,
    Looks like Alaska Airlines is still doing great and going strong, despite the high fuel costs and other problems that are plagueing other less well-run airlines like Delta et al.....

    --------------------------------
    SEATTLE, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK - News) today reported a third quarter net income of $79.2 million, or $2.94 per diluted share, compared to net income of $40.7 million, or $1.52 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2003.
    --------------------------------

    Link: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041021/sfth035_1.html

  3. #3
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    929
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young
    Ernie,
    Looks like Alaska Airlines is still doing great and going strong, despite the high fuel costs and other problems that are plagueing other less well-run airlines like Delta et al.....

    --------------------------------
    SEATTLE, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK - News) today reported a third quarter net income of $79.2 million, or $2.94 per diluted share, compared to net income of $40.7 million, or $1.52 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2003.
    --------------------------------

    Link: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041021/sfth035_1.html
    Thanks for the numbers Christina.

  4. #4
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mission, TX
    Posts
    929
    Post Thanks / Like
    Christina

    Since everyone needs a reason to go somewhere, you might be interested in knowing they are going to sink a large, at least for a single mast, ship just off the shore at Lahaina, Maui. Given time to let it grow as an artificial reef, it might be interesting to dive to. It will be cleaned up before going down though. I understand several other ships have been used to build a reef there.

    As a diver, you will get a kick out of this.
    On one trip to Maui, I brought home (a stupid thing to do but who said I was smart anyway) a living coral tree to Alaska. I mounted it and displayed it on a shelf out of reach of our kids which I was warned to do. They forgot to tell me the same things held true for me also. One day, I was moving it to dust the shelf (I would not let my wife do it, too dangerous) and it fell over on my left wrist where I got a sliver if coral embedded which I didn't know at the time. It started getting infected and stupid me, I let it go. Finally, I went to the Air Force medical facility at the Galena Air Force Base in Alaska. I told them what I believed the problem to be and he ran some tests and sent them into Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage for conformation. Finally, he got the report back. The first time in history that a live and living coral poisoning was reported in the interior of Alaska and especially at an Air Force facility. It actually took a year for it to heal up and I still carry a scar some 35 years later.
    Hope you never had such a problem. It was not fun needless to say but talk about the beauty of the waters around Hawai'i.

    I first started doing underwater work (not scuba) when I volunteered to take care of the hull of the resort owner's toy. He anchored it about a half mile off shore from his resort near Kehei, Maui.
    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_pho...=planes&id=add

    Ernie

Similar Threads

  1. (moved and edited) Lost baggage, Alaska
    By AlaskaAV in forum Alaska Av Memories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-30-2004, 12:53 PM
  2. (moved and edited)Very strange feeling on takeoff in a 737
    By AlaskaAV in forum Alaska Av Memories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-18-2004, 01:00 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •