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AC In-flight Service Cut Backs In North America  
User currently offlinePpostro From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 36 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5774 times:

Being an Aeroplan Elite i am a bit suprised that AC has just recently annouced that they will be ceasing to serve complimentary in-flight meals in Y class on domestic and transborder flights that are less then 4.5hrs in length. They are expanding their On-board Café service on "on all Continental North American flights over 1½ hours starting November 1, 2005 (Hawaiian and Mexican destinations excluded)" This brings me to one question, why!!! AC is slowly morphing into AA, UA, DL and the all of the other low-cost airlines like WestJet on North American flights. AC is still leaps and bounds ahead with their international service when compared with US carriers.

I suppose one can argue that at least this gives the customer som choice in dining, but Air Canada is a FULL SERVICE carrier and now customers might choose to fly other carriers such as WestJet, AC needs to remain competitve from a product perspective, WestJet usually offers lower fares, ExpressVu and their buy on-board service and complimentary beverage service and COOKIES, AC even are now charging for pillows and blankets on flights less then 4.5hr! I am not sure what AC is trying to achieve with this. At least customers with Latitude and Latitude Plus fares get a complimentary choice from this On-board café. This move may not be so smart, just look at what customers are saying about BMI services in the UK and Europe! AC is cutting costs, which it must, but at the expense of the overall customer experience.

On a side note, has anyone tried the Subway Sandwiches AC sells on their flights departing from YUL?

http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...board/dining/na/onboard/index.html


The über airline nerd
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777Purser From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5719 times:

Hmmm...what are their fares like when compared to US carriers?

User currently offlineSuv From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5705 times:

The "legacy" carriers in the US also used to be "full-serivce" carriers. I don't agree with how things are being done today, but welcome to the airline world post-911. Cutbacks..cutbacks...and did I mention...cutbacks?

User currently offlineF27XXX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

In their website, they say:

We are pleased to offer our Hospitality Service customers with a popular new innovative menu of reasonably priced items for sale onboard ..


Is it nice to charge for your hospitality? Thats sad .. check out the menu on that site -- the meager offerings are even sadder!

Tony


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7564 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5653 times:

Patrick, it is indeed very sad to see that AC is cutting back service. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but hopefully when the industry in general recovers from this difficult situation, service levels will be back to what they used to be.

On another issue, when are you flying to MEX?



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineSafeFlyer From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 627 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 5642 times:

AC service still remains above basically all the North American majors. Also, according to their website, customers on Latitude and Latitude Plus fares are entitled to either one snack on flights of less than 1.5 hrs, and one snack+full meal offering on the "on-board Café" If the flight lasts between 2 and 4.5 hours. So basically, passengers on Tango/Tango plus fares (roughly equivalent to WJ's) get nothing except a drink service (you can always buy something) and the rest still get a meal. I think this is not a bad idea at all.

AC also still offers: Newspapers, free headsets (and although WJ may offer ExpressVu, AC will soon have AVOD installed thourough the fleet, better in my opinion). Finally, nowhere I've seen mention of AC charging for pillows and blankets... not even on their website. In fact, my mother came back last week from one of her frequent business trips and I picked her up at the airport. She did get a pillow and a blanket on a 1h40 minute flight... free of charge!

Regards, 'Safe


User currently offlineSergeant655 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5589 times:

the menu they have now is not the on board cafe that starts in Nov. You will not find out what that is untill them. With Subway only being sold on flights from YUL, what are the other stuff that are being served on flights longer then 2hrs other than the All Day Pantry

User currently offlineAccargo From Canada, joined Sep 2004, 610 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5493 times:

AC is in the position in NA where it has to compete against the LCC's on most routes. Domestically it competes against WS and CJ, and in the US it must compete against all the US LCC's as well as the "legacy carriers". Most US LCC's do not fly to Canada, but they fly to airports within driving distance of a large chunk of the Canadian population. AC must be able to offer prices that are attractive enough to be considered by the travelling public. If passengers want extra's on a flight they are able to "buy up" to a service level where those extra's are included. (Tango, Tango Plus, Lattitude, Latitude Plus, Executive) AC let's the the passenger decide what's important and what they are willing to pay extra for.

User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1169 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5475 times:

Air Canada has to offer the same low fares that everyone (including WestJet, CanJet and every other U.S. Carrier) offer to be competitive, so they must also make sure that their costs are competitive as well. Sure people will miss the free meals but you can bet they aren't willing to pay extra for them - just complain about them when they're gone.

User currently offlineYeggerman From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5247 times:

Its no different than anything in this world anymore. You buy a car, it has a base price and if all you need is a car that's what you get. It's when you want air cond. stereo, sunroof etc... that you have to pay more for add-ons. The same has now happened to the airline industry. You get a seat to take you from point A to B. If you want a meal, pillow, entertainment etc. you have to pay the add-on fee's. Makes sense to me.

I beleive most carriers in the world let you taken on your own pillow, snacks, and laptops or DVD players so their are options if you cannot afford the add-ons



"All great things must come to an end"
User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

Quoting Suv (Reply 2):
The "legacy" carriers in the US also used to be "full-serivce" carriers

UA and CO in particular are upgraded F service, You get a full hot meal on UA on flights as short as 1Hr 50 Minutes.


User currently onlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1909 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5229 times:

I am disappointed to hear about AC's decision.

I understand the logic to be competitive with LCC, but to be honest, Air Canada constantly prices above the market and on routes like SFO-YYZ and LGA-YYZ, the price is like unbelievable even with an advance purchase. I indeed have not been to Canada for long time (of course the nasty immigration officers are one reason) and the prize is constantly above all others.

But I think AC wants to take a giant step ahead, but I really don't know if it will hurt them in the long term. If your inflight service has reached a level like Westjet, the only benefit on flying with AC wil be the AEROPLAN, the frequent flyer mileage program or the Star Alliance link.

About AVOD on AC's whole fleet, how is the program going? What is the installation timeline? Are you sure that AC will install AVOD PTV even on the narrow aisle a/c?

Carfield


User currently offlineHanginOut From Austria, joined May 2005, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5195 times:

I personally think that this is a big mistake on AC's part.  crazy  I know and understand all of the arguments about being competitive with LCCs, but I always thought that offering meals on flights over 2.5 hours was something that differentiated AC from all of the other airlines. Hence, offering consumers a choice!!!  dopey 

In a business where it's becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between airlines, except in price, why should I fly this carrier over that carrier. The last few times I have priced fares, it has been cheaper for me to fly WestJet, but I've stuck with AC. I guess I should start reassessing my loyalty to them.  hissyfit 

As an AC Aeroplan Elite I am extremely unhappy with this.  gnasher 

As stated above, I go out of my way to give my business to AC, picking them over cheaper options. But now I feel as if I'm being nickled and dimed to death by them. First lower luggage weight limits, now no more meals (unless you're willing to pay extra).  cry 

What next, am I expected to tip the flight attendants as well because AC has cut their pay because they figure they can live on tips alone?!

I guess I should brace myself now, they'll probably announce that it will soon cost 1 000 000 aeroplan points to fly from YOW-YYZ.

HanginOut (in disgust)  brokenheart 



Dreaming of the day I can work for an airline
User currently offlineAccargo From Canada, joined Sep 2004, 610 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

Quoting Carfield (Reply 11):
Air Canada constantly prices above the market and on routes like SFO-YYZ and LGA-YYZ, the price is like unbelievable even with an advance purchase

I did a random quote for LGA-YYZ in Feb, and AC came back equal to AA and UA. ($485 CDN) Canjet was lower, others higher. Some options were 1 stop while AC is non-stop.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 11):
If your inflight service has reached a level like Westjet, the only benefit on flying with AC wil be the AEROPLAN, the frequent flyer mileage program or the Star Alliance link.

And it's added frequencies over WJ, and it's connections to overseas flights and it's larger route structure.

AC must compete against the LCC's, but it also offers frills for those that are willing to pay for them. Let the customer decide what they want to pay for.


User currently offlineWillFang From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5051 times:

Quoting SafeFlyer (Reply 5):
AC service still remains above basically all the North American majors. Also, according to their website, customers on Latitude and Latitude Plus fares are entitled to either one snack on flights of less than 1.5 hrs, and one snack+full meal offering on the "on-board Café" If the flight lasts between 2 and 4.5 hours. So basically, passengers on Tango/Tango plus fares (roughly equivalent to WJ's) get nothing except a drink service (you can always buy something) and the rest still get a meal. I think this is not a bad idea at all.

I'm wondering about this. As far as I know, Latitude fare passengers still sit in regular economy class. How would the flight attendants know who's a Latitude passengers and who's a Tango passenger? Do they have a special section?

About the change in general, I'm quite disappointed. Having just flown transcontinental with AC westbound and UA eastbound, I must say the service levels are quite different. And AC's complimentary meal service was definitely a big plus! I wouldn't have minded too much if UA offered anything good to buy, but as the flight was in the morning, the only "meal" they offered was this cold breakfast "platter" with fruit and cheese. Let's just say it left a lot to be desired. And for 5 USD, it was quite a rip-off.

So if AC's gonna switch to buy-on-board, I hope they at least offer good food.



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User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26414 posts, RR: 76
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5036 times:

Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter):
AC even are now charging for pillows and blankets on flights less then 4.5hr!

Are they honestly doing that? Not providing blankets on aircraft that can get quite cold could open them up to liability

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Reply 10):
Quoting Suv (Reply 2):
The "legacy" carriers in the US also used to be "full-serivce" carriers

UA and CO in particular are upgraded F service, You get a full hot meal on UA on flights as short as 1Hr 50 Minutes.

Um, UA only has meals in Y on p.s. flights. CO is the only airline that still serves complimentarly meals in the US on all flights over 2.5-3 hours



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5003 times:

Quoting WillFang (Reply 14):

I'm wondering about this. As far as I know, Latitude fare passengers still sit in regular economy class. How would the flight attendants know who's a Latitude passengers and who's a Tango passenger? Do they have a special section?

All airlines usually note eliteFFQ memebers on the passenger manifest.

AAndrew


User currently offlineWillFang From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4996 times:

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 16):
All airlines usually note eliteFFQ memebers on the passenger manifest.

AAndrew

Ok, but I mean while the FA's are serving food. How do they know who to give the food to and who not?



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User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26414 posts, RR: 76
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4989 times:

Quoting WillFang (Reply 17):
Quoting Aa757first (Reply 16):
All airlines usually note eliteFFQ memebers on the passenger manifest.

AAndrew

Ok, but I mean while the FA's are serving food. How do they know who to give the food to and who not?

As it is now, F/As have a list as to who to serve special meals to or not. It is all on the passenger manifest. This concept has already been implimented by AF with people who pay higher Tempo fares than others on Intra-European flights.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11515 posts, RR: 61
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

Quoting Suv (Reply 2):
I don't agree with how things are being done today, but welcome to the airline world post-911. Cutbacks..cutbacks...and did I mention...cutbacks?

While I agree with you that service has changed since 9/11, I must say -- this is what people want! Airlines are among the most customer-responsive industries in the world. Airlines do only what customers tell them.

When passengers after 9/11 said to the airlines, "we like your nice free meals and your extra legroom, but we don't like the price," the airlines had only one logical conclusion to draw -- it's the price stupid!

And, as it turns out, that's pretty much right. Customers today are, IMO, far less responsive to service enticements than to low-fare enticements. What I mean is, if you gave the customer the choice proposition of a "full-service" airline offering free meals, free IFE, extra legroom, et al, or an airline that was safe, had a similar schedule, but no food or extra legroom, and cost $100 less per person, I'd be willing to take a bet on what decision most consumers in today's market would make.

That's the way the market (consumers) behave, and thus that's what the airlines are going to do.


User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 967 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4983 times:

For heaven sake, stop whining!

AC wants to act like a LCC? Then for heaven sake, fly with a REAL one and pack a gourmet picnic lunch or dinner. Screw Air Canada, just like they want to screw you! That is the real lesson of post 9/11 flying, the one bankrupt Delta, Northwest, United, and USAir haven't figured out yet.

My usual dinner menu transcontinental or trans atlantic includes American sturgeon caviar on fresh rye rolls, with creme fraiche, Veuve Cliquot champagne (although Heidseick dry is a close second), served in a stemmed glass flute I might add, herb roasted prime rib, wild rice, and some brie. All readily available at your local upscale grocery store. (I haven't worked out the after dinner espresso angle yet, but I will) And yes, I have measured the fold down table, and I have a proper cloth on it. The dinner tab without wine usually runs about $15 (the wine around $20-30). As for not bringing booze on board, no one is going to argue with you while you are quietly dining with service ware clearly not coming out of your favorite carrier's galley. Certainly not if a) they are busy reading their fashion mags in the galley or b) while they are catching flack from the other passengers over the stale crackers.

They brought this on themselves. Continental knows this full well, which is why they have most of my business these days, and they go out of their way to actually provide service. So you can either sit back and bitch, or have yourself one hell of a good flight for a bargain fare, plus a small $30 self imposed surcharge. Think of it as one of those many junk fees the carriers just love to bury in the price of your ticket.

Bon voyage! It works. (unlike the spell check on this board)



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineWillFang From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4973 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
As it is now, F/As have a list as to who to serve special meals to or not. It is all on the passenger manifest. This concept has already been implimented by AF with people who pay higher Tempo fares than others on Intra-European flights.

Thanks for clarifying that.  Smile



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User currently offlineAC787 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 4 weeks ago) and read 4811 times:

Why are ppl complaining, it makes perfect sense. You buy a tango fare u get nothing. You want more pay for the lattitude fare. You'll also notice that most of the time the jump isnt to big in cost. Either way this move makes perfect sense.

User currently offlineACB777 From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 350 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4775 times:

Quoting WillFang (Reply 14):
How would the flight attendants know who's a Latitude passengers and who's a Tango passenger? Do they have a special section?

I thought you have to present your boarding pass to the FA to receive your free meal is you are paying the latitude fare?


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4923 posts, RR: 43
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4722 times:

Quoting Ppostro (Thread starter):
AC even are now charging for pillows and blankets on flights less then 4.5hr

Bullshit! Simply not true.

Time and time again we witness that Customers choose by price ...period. I am amazed when I read on here of so called well informed travellers who brag about low prices, complain about high prices, then always want an upgrade!!!

You get what you pay for, and ... you are getting what you paid for... a safe, comfortable ride from A to B.

Air Canada serves complimentary hot meals in Economy on all trans-con flights, and sells BOB (Buy-on-board) on flights shorter than trans-con. And they have been doing this on longer flights up to 4 hours, for almost 8 months now ... can't imagine why it is presently news ... nothing has recently changed!

Now, we read that people are complaining about the meals offered for sale, just like they complained about the meals when they were complimentary. The difference now, is you don't have to eat it, if you don't want to. Bring your own.

For the most part, the domestic Air Canada product has not changed. In-flight entertainment and headsets are still free, as are PILLOW and BLANKETS, soft drinks, water, coffee, tea and snacks, etc, they too are free. The aircraft are comfortable and clean ... to a fault. The maintenance is flawless. The pilot training is gruelling, never ending, all encompassing, and to such a high standard that a lot of other airlines have their pilots trained by the Air Canada Pilot Training department. (Including a lot of their competitors).

All of this is very expensive, and will not change.

Did I mention pillows and blankets are still free?  Smile



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
25 LACA773 : LongHauler, You hit it head on!! They've been charging for snacks on the medium/short haul flights for quite sometime now. The transcons they fly hav
26 Cessnapimp : The pillows and blankets are still free for now. Pillow and blanket packs are available for purchase since Sept 15th for $2 to smooth the transition.
27 Cessnapimp : I will add a few things here... personal opinion seperate from my facts stated above. The Lattitude and Lattitude Plus passengers will still be able t
28 Ppostro : Perhaps i needed to clarify the "AC is charging for blankets" statement, as per the AC on-board café menu one of the items avaliable for purchase is:
29 Ckfred : I've been wondering for some time why "full-service" carriers keep reducing service, while hotels, full-service or limited-service, keep adding amenti
30 9252fly : Consumers today are willing to pay more of a premium for a hotel room,but will not pay anymore than they have to for a seat on an aircraft. I suppose
31 HanginOut : I don't pay Tango. I pay what is now known as Tango Plus and for the flying I do (YOW-YVR) I would like something to eat. I don't expect it for the t
32 Yyz717 : I've done 11 segments on AC & Jazz in the last 4 weeks in both J and Y. AC's service remains as superb as it has ever been, in all regards. The buy-on
33 Post contains images Accargo : Who are you and what have you done with Neil? I'm glad you enjoyed the service, I hope we can continue to give you that kind of an experience. Thanks
34 AC_B777 : Yeah, those were my thoughts exactly! Glad you enjoyed flying with us Neil, I hope we have the continued pleasure of serving you in the future. Accar
35 Vincewy : I have problem with this attitude in US, have people realized that, in the long run, we'll gradually lose airlines and choices, in the end, having on
36 MaverickM11 : Passengers are not willing to pay for food--therefore the airlines are ceasing to offer food. Period. End of story.
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