THE OTHER DAY I WAS SAT on a plane flying back to England. I was pretty impressed by the service, lots of food at various intervals was provided, each seat had its own entertainment center so you could choose and watch movies as you wanted, and whenever help was needed, even before help was needed, someone was there to ensure you had a nice flight. I have to say I was very impressed by their attention to detail.
I noticed about 2 rows in front of me there was a door which looked like it was one of the toilets, but every time a flight attendant came to open the door it revealed a flight of stairs that led down beneath the cabin. I saw several flight attendants walk down there and disappear, only to reappear about 3 hours or so later, when several other staff walked down to disappear for another 3 hours. It appeared that the staff were given time to rest down there, so they could come back nice and refreshed.
Last year I took a different airline, and I was not impressed with the service. The food was poorly done and there wasn’t much of it. There was only one movie being played on set screens in different sections of the cabin, halfway through the best movie it suddenly stopped with no explanation. Staff in general were not very helpful and did the bare minimum. This is all to be expected with a cheap airline, but these tickets were actually more expensive than my recent flight!
I noticed though in the worse airline, staff did not get a break. For 12 hours they were expected to be on call, dealing with all sorts of hassles that come from poor organisation (such as a movie stopping halfway through, or running out of food). You cannot realistically expect anyone to want to do anything more than the bare minimum with conditions like that.
The airline I recently flew with however obviously took care of their staff and ensured they were given the best working conditions possible. In exchange, their staff responded by working hard to make customers happy.
The message is simple; take care of your staff and they will take care of the business, treat them like slaves and they will take every opportunity they get to do the bare minimum.