United Flight Attendants Will Soon Experience 'Unforgettable' Training
Over the course of 2019, more than 25,000 United Airlines flight attendants will undergo a new, unique training experience in the carrier's headquarters city.
"It's time to pull back the curtain on what's next," reads the caption under a YouTube video introducing the "unforgettable experience" that United is calling "Backstage 2019." The flashy two-day event series is part of the airline's core4 customer service training strategy, and Backstage 2019 is designed to infuse some fun and pizzazz into the flight attendant training experience, which the airline is calling “an opportunity unlike any we’ve shared before."
Backstage 2019 is slated to begin in February and span 33 weeks of total training time. United's 25,000-odd flight attendants will be sorted into 33 cohorts, 800 at a time, and one group per week will visit an as-yet-undisclosed training facility in Chicago, the city that houses the airline's headquarters. Internal sources told the Chicago Business Journal that the two-day events won't feature much of the typical auditorium learning format, with far more experience-driven and immersive training designed to help flight attendants get hyped up about the airline's new long-term strategy to boost United's "caring customer service" to the next level. "We’re one United team, ready to dream big," the Backstage 2019 video states.
However, United's corporate team and its flight attendants may not see eye to eye. The airline has butted heads with its staff multiple times this year, including a backfired attempt to eliminate performance bonuses in favor of "bonus lotteries," which randomized employee chances of winning financial prizes instead of rewarding positive on-the-job behaviors. This year, flight attendants were also told to shape up their look on the job. And just a few weeks ago, hundreds of flight attendants staged a public protest against United's new impending plan to eliminate one flight attendant headcount from United's Polaris international business class cabin crew assignments beginning Feb. 1.