How much, in fact, are they merely executing short-term, money-grabbing policies made on high?
These thoughts, among several others, may currently be crossing the minds of several Delta Air Lines employees.
The status of the nation is variable
In recent times, Delta has reaped the joys of a partnership with American Express. One of the benefits, for Amex Platinum cardholders, was that they could waft into Delta lounges and feel even more important.
As if to poke both their eyes, Delta told employees they wouldn't get a discount on Sky Club membership either. Mind you, why would they want to buy it when it still might not be enough to get them into the lounge?
Objection, Your Honor
This was all getting a touch awkward. And painful. And, for some flight attendants, utterly unacceptable.
How do I know this? Well, Silviano Blan, a Delta flight attendant, has launched a petition for the airline to "Restore lounge access that employees paid for."
To be clear, Delta is reimbursing employees pro rata for the amounts they paid to join the Sky Club. But this isn't just about the money, is it? It's about the insult.
In his petition, Blan explained the problem: "Like thousands of other Flight Attendants and Pilots, I don't live in the city where I'm based for work. For me, Sky Club access means that there's a quiet place I can relax when I'm commuting back and forth between my home in Phoenix and my base in Salt Lake City. I pay a $550 annual fee for the Sky Miles credit card because Sky Club makes a big difference in my life."
Some might muse that there really isn't a quiet place in these Sky Clubs. When a lounge is near or at capacity, it can resemble the rest of the airport. Too many people, not much food, and too much noise.
Still, Blan explains the issue isn't merely one of life quality.
He says: "Not only will Delta's sudden decision hurt my quality of life, I'll also have to choose whether to cancel my credit card. I've already paid the annual fee, so that's money I can't get back. If I cancel my card, it also hurts my credit. All because Delta decided employees wouldn't be allowed to use the Sky Club even if we pay for it."
The anger of the 7,000
I feel sure some accountant came along to influence Delta's decision. "Where will the airline lose the least money?" tends to be the sort of question that gets priority access.
The petition, which seeks 8,000 signatories, garnered 7,300 in its first week. Some employees even offered commentary.
"Working for an airline that's slowly taking away the perks of travel doesn't make the job worth while anymore," said one.
Another offered greater detail: "TIME FOR EMPLOYEES TO UNIONIZE! Poor planning on their part shouldn't be fixed by banning employees. Spoke to someone very familiar with the situation at the sky club and they say employees are not the problem there's less than 5% usage of the sky clubs by employees."
I suspect, though, that some customers may look at all this and whisper: "Now you know how we feel."