The Decline of Service

Short op-ed column in the New York Times by Ann Hood on the decline of service in the airline industry.

I have experienced the decline of service along with the rest of the flying public. But I believe I have felt it more acutely because I remember the days when to fly was to soar. The airlines, and their employees, took pride in how their passengers were treated. A friend who flew for Pan Am and I have a friendly rivalry over which airline was better. Friendly, yes. But we each believe we worked for the best.

It’s amazing how much employee motivation derives from simply believing that one’s company is the best. With the airlines today it’s more like a nineteen-way tie for last place.


  1. That’s an interesting and seemingly true observation: “employee motivation derives from simply believing that one’s company is the best.” I have often wondered about this when comparing employees at a typical large grocery store and Whole Foods. The latter seems to have much more motivated and happy employees. Though, I think there’s another side to this: the best companies attract the best people, who then stay motivated as long as their service is perceived to be the best.




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