Japan Airlines (JAL) announced it will no longer greet the elite members prior to departure in Economy Class because of the customer feedbacks it received. It will start implementing this operation change in July 2013.
According to JAL, this change is to consider the feeling of the surrounding passengers and the elite passengers won't be unhappy if they aren't greeted due to operational reasons, e.g. not enough time before departure.
In the past, on board our flights our cabin attendants endeavored to go and greet each and every one of you.I have always enjoyed the personal greeting when I board. It allows me to get chat and get to know the each other a bit before the flight. Sometimes you will even get more personal service as a result. But I can understand that in Economy Class, the passengers next to you could probably hear your entire greeting and could make them felt unwelcome or not as valued. But they need to understand the ones who are greeted spent quite a lot of time and sometimes money on the airlines or alliance that the airline belongs to. So JAL would rather take away something, although not something significant or absolutely necessary, to make those who fly on them occasionally happy?
However, we have received multiple feedback that "As space is limited, greetings should be avoided in consideration of surrounding passengers" for international flight Economy Class. Also, some of you feel rather uncomfortable when greeting is not possible due to limited departure preparation time.
At Japan Airlines, we take various opinions of our passengers seriously and decided to refrain from greeting prior to departure (takeoff) on international flight Economy Class from July.
Also, JAL has probably received quite a few complaints from elites who didn't receive the personal greetings too. That's why it cited that as the second reason. So to those of you who complained because of that, are you happy now? :(
You can view the original operation change announce on JAL website.