Good Charlotte?

Much like my favorite band, Good Charlotte, we are stuck in Charlotte North Carolina. This is due to a layover that turned into a flight cancellation. Fortunately, our Study Abroad advisors were kind enough to book us a hotel at the Hyatt and pay for some activities during this timeframe. This is not Pitt’s fault, American Airlines canceled our flights and could only book our entire party on Tuesday, May 7th instead. This leaves 9 full days in Dublin instead of the agreed upon 2 weeks that was booked for the trip. With almost 3 full days lost, it will be interesting to see how 2 companies handle and have handled issues on their ends regarding services sold and services given. These business organizations are the University of Pittsburgh and American Airlines.

American Airlines, the business actor making a profit of $319 million last year. Revenue of $44.54 Billion.

American Airlines:

American airlines is the largest airline in the United States. They make a marginally low profit and have a large revenue. Not too surprising considering how their clients are treated, since their operations management and people management are very poor. Additionally, their Information Technology is lacking, when it comes to rebooking flights.

Operations Management:

Working with the world’s largest tech distributor, with a revenue of $50 billion, Ingram Micro. I’ve learned quite a bit about operations management, as they conduct operations management for 200,000 companies worldwide and the only one for Asia. American Airlines should NOT have allowed a plane to take off before us at our gate, as this requires removing our plane from the gate and reallocating resources that cannot be easily replenished. If they had not done this, American Airlines would have been able to fly us to Ireland and avoid potential issues and potential law-suits/requests for vouchers/hotels/upgrades due to this.

People Management:

The culture is apparent at American Airlines, their employees are trained to care about the bottom line and thus only care about being at their jobs to hit the minimum to get paid. The culture does not promote something like Southwest Airlines, where employees feel safe to give customers whatever they feel oblidged to and treat them in the best manner possible. At American, this is not the case. Also, had they allocated flight crew for our trip correctly, we would have been able to take off. If their culture was better, perhaps other flight crew would have come in for an extra shift to helpout.

Information Technology:

The staff was able to update every 30 minutes regarding flight delays via text/email which was a good use of IT. However, on rebooking, 18 of us were rebooked together on Tuesday, May 7th. This does not make sense from a queue or computer or operational perspective. We should have been booked on the next availible flight for each memeber. Such as filling up each seat at the soonest dublin flights until then, regardless of connection. This would allow each person to arrive in Dublin at worst-case a day later. Bringing expenses to a minimum for all involved and allowing any further issues to be dealt with in a smaller scale. Such a 1-2 flight delays and perhaps at worst 1-2 flight cancellations with only a few members not present. While not good for our group, from a solely Queue perspective this would make the most sense.

Image result for university of pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh, making a revenue of >$2 Billion last year with UPMC making >$10 Billion in revenue. Non-Profit.

The University of Pittsburgh:

The University of Pittsburgh is a large corporation that gains revenue from various areas such as academia and UPMC. With the present issues they were capable of managing Human resources and finances well. Also, problem solving and customer relationship management are definitely strengths as well as teamwork. While the issue of American Airlines was not their fault, they were able to supply students with a Hyatt hotel room for 3 nights, site visits to Bank of America and hopefully others, and activities paid for as well. While this is not what customers paid the hefty study abroad tuition fee for, it’s definitely a great way of making things fun for the students! For teamwork the staff and University have done a excelled job of working together and functioning to problem solve in a crisis! Nonetheless, I do feel the University should credit 3/14ths of the tuition fee due to the 3 nights missed in Ireland. The University can also work with the insurance agency and American Airlines to gain compensation for the expenses for the students from such. As this is not the Universities fault nor responsibility.

The problem solving aspect amazes me as well, the University was able to instantly get hotel rooms for all students, maintain a student to a bed, and supply food/drink! That truly requires a greatly run corporation with quick problem solving skillsets.

Overall, on this trip and due to these issues. I’ve realized that Customer Relationship Management and HR are very important. The ability for employees to enjoy their job results in a great run corporation like the University of Pittsburgh which helps students, fixes problems, and supplies housing/hotel in issues and fun. While American Airlines with bad CRM, does not supply any of that and would most likely require a lawyer to supply such items.

As the customer I have learned that you are never satisfied if the initial problem is not solved and made up for during a issue. As my hope is that American Airlines reimburses my expenses and makes up for it in the future. While the University of Pittsburgh continues it’s great CRM and potentially refunds the cost of 3/14 days paid for the trip.

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