American Airlines is to slash 656 call center jobs in Dallas and Phoenix, but the carrier claims the mass layoffs will actually improve customer service.
The Dallas Fort Worth-based airline said that the mass layoffs would allow it to offshore the simplest of customer service enquiries to foreign call centers, while a new team would handle more complex issues.
Around 320 customer service agents in the Dallas area could be terminated as a result of the restructuring, while a further 335 agents based in Phoenix are set to be axed as part of the shakeup.
They will be replaced by a team of just 135 US-based agents who will join a Customer Success Team charged with providing “convenient, elevated support” to customers with the most complex or sensitive of travel issues.
In a statement, American Airlines said the new team would be “upskilled” to provide enhanced service, while employees impacted by the job cuts will be “made aware of more than 800 roles for which they may be eligible at American.”
A spokesperson said that affected employees would continue working in their current roles until March 30 and that agents who fail to find another internal job or choose to retire will receive a severance payment.
American Airlines has been offshoring more and more of its customer service calls to foreign call centers since 2021, and the airline says these teams have helped to drive up customer satisfaction scores and reduce the time to answer enquiries.
A spokesperson did not comment on whether the push to offshore customer service jobs would come at a cheaper price.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.