Airline Ethics


Ethics are essential in the Airline industry because they are the framework that guides individuals in the process of making business decisions. They usually encompass three features i.e. an application of one’s professional skills, incorporation of one’s personal values and lastly, good judgment. Codes of ethics are formal declarations of the moral values that guide various companies. Therefore, in the field of ethics, one can analyze an industry such as an Airline industry through its practical implementations and also through its formal declarations.

Ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest as part of ethical guidelines/code of conduct

Almost all Airline companies have formal declarations of their codes of ethics. Usually, this can be categorized under a series of topics such as conflict of interest, asset protection and working together. Conflict of interest refers to those scenarios where employees or company representatives have to decide between their interests to their employer or their personal/investment/ relationship obligations. Usually, most Airline companies have highlighted some of the issues that can be labeled conflict of interests in their ethics code of conduct. (Frontier airlines, 2004)

For instance, conflict of interest comes about when Airline personnel receive gifts or rewards from suppliers/ consumers/ stakeholders for doing their job. Usually, most Airlines prohibit gifts especially when those gifts seem excessive. The reason behind this is that when a client gives an attendant an expensive piece of jewelry for receiving very good customer service, that attendant may be obliged to meet the consumer’s demands the next time the client reports even when those demands are not procedural. This is because by accepting lavish gifts, one puts himself/herself in a position where they feel obligated to meet the gift giver’s needs and this eventually compromises their moral obligations.

Conflict of interest may also occur when a member of staff finds that they have to work extremely hard with certain clients and they request those suppliers/clients for rewards for their services. This is a conflict of interest because an employee finds that they have to choose between maintaining a good name for their Airline or meeting their personal financial interests. Consequently, it becomes necessary for Airlines to clarify that this is a wrong thing.

Additionally, conflict of interest may also arise when an employee works for different companies. Usually, working for other Airlines is not a violation of ethics codes in itself, however, it may become a source of conflict of interest in certain special circumstances. For example, when a staff member within one Airline company chooses to work for a competing Airline company, then this can be regarded as conflict of interest. However, the latter case usually applies to management level personnel rather than junior level employees. As managers, one would find that they have conflicting interests between improving their own company’s performance or improving their competitors. (Frontier airlines, 2004)

Additionally, conflicts of interests in this line of argument may also arise when employees have investments in competing Airlines. Such personnel may find it difficult to give their utmost …