Benefit Programs in the Airline Industry

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Benefit Programs in the Airline Industry
The Human Resource topic that we selected is to analyze the benefit programs of four major airlines. Benefits are important to employees as well as their families, and can be a powerful recruiting tool. Benefits also play a major role in managerial decisions and wise benefit choices can have a long-term impact on the quality of life. Some characteristics of a sound benefits program are, they must have clear specific objectives, they must allow for employee input, they must be responsive to societal and environmental change, provide for flexibility, and there must be clear communication with employees. One of the main challenges that companies face are the overall costs of these benefit programs to the companies themselves, as well as staying competitive in hopes to attract high quality employees. Almost 40% or $14,678 per employee is spent on benefit programs per year.
American Airlines
American Airlines like many other airlines are facing many challenges in the HR area of benefits and incentives. American Airlines as we all know is one of the leading airlines in today’s airline industry. This status reflects upon Americans benefit program. American Airlines realizes that it must stay competitive in this area to ensure that they get the most qualified employees. American Airlines offers many benefits and incentives for their employees with hopes to attract the best. Many of the benefits are standard and required by law such as social security, unemployment, workers compensation, and leaves without pay. What really must be paid attention too are the benefits and incentives that are offered in addition to the ones required by law. These benefits and incentives are what attract individuals to work for American rather than another airline. Benefits such as a 401 K - Super Saver, which allows up to an ample 20% tax provision, a stock purchase plan, a credit union which could help one to buy a house, and personal emergency coupled with sick pay, just to name a few. American Airlines also recognizes ten major holidays for which employees do not have to work, yet they still get paid. Most of these are benefits that competing airlines offer, but one benefit stands out. American Airlines pass travel program is a benefit that many do not tend to overlook. American do...

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...f these programs, and allows them to offer these strategic benefits. We feel that American and Continental Airlines are overlooking an important strategic hiring strategy, by not offering free flights to all their employees, since cost of flights are fixed. For example, a flight that is only at 85% capacity will fly for the same price as a flight that is at 100% capacity. Continental Airlines, has a competitive benefits program as well, but it lacks the flight area which both United and American Airlines offer. We felt that American and United Airlines offered the best benefit programs, although American does not offer free flights from day one of employment, they offer many other compelling incentives such as, personal emergency assistance, vacation buying programs, credit union assistance, as well as flight discounts for their employees.
References
Web Pages:
1. http://www.ual.com/home/default.asp
2. http://www.southwest.com/
3. http://www.continental.com/
4. http://www.aa.com/

Texts:
1. Managing Human Resources : Sherman, Arthur / Bohlander, George / Snell, Scott

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