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American Airlines reveals staff rewards

American Airlines will award $14 million to approximately 72,000 frontline employees - or an average of about $200 per eligible employee - for helping the company achieve certain customer satisfaction goals during the first quarter of 2009. The incentive award will appear in employees’ May 15 paychecks.The payout is part of American’s Annual Incentive Plan (AIP). The plan establishes monthly customer service targets for American’s customer teams (or work groups) where employees can earn up to an additional $100 per month for achieving customer-satisfaction and on-time performance goals. Under the program, the 72,000 eligible employees each have the potential to earn up to $1,200 for the year.

“We are working to run the very best airline we can for our customers,” said Jeff Brundage, American’s Senior Vice President - Human Resources. “Thanks to our people’s ingenuity, dedication, great ideas, as well as passion for customers, we’ve made tremendous progress in delivering a great customer experience, and our customers are noticing.”

During the first quarter of 2009, AA’s customer satisfaction improved considerably as measured by the company’s customer satisfaction survey. For January, February and March, the company experienced more than a three-point improvement (on a 100-point scale) year-over-year for Overall Experience at the Airport and Overall Experience Onboard the Aircraft.

In the first quarter of 2009, American’s Department of Transportation-measured on-time performance was 23 percent better than the same period in 2008.

“We know that on-time arrivals are incredibly important to our customers and greatly influence their overall perception of our airline,” said Bob Reding, American’s Executive Vice President - Operations. “That’s why our entire team is focused on delivering the best possible on-time operation.”


American’s AIP goals are based on the average of the previous two years (2007 and 2008) for on-time performance and customer satisfaction, which includes customer experience at the airport, customer experience onboard the aircraft, and also for customers most likely to recommend American to others. AIP measures those activities that customers care most about, such as on-time performance, baggage handling and courtesy. When American’s employees meet or exceed the targets for these goals monthly, they are rewarded with an AIP payout.

“We have over 200 employee task teams across the system that are using their ingenuity to deliver a great customer experience,” said Reding. “The teams identify challenges and design creative solutions that are helping our airline achieve industry-leading levels of customer satisfaction.”