Recently travelled on AC YYZ-AMS/DUB-YYZ on AC in Y. After leaving YYZ to AMS, after over 1hr delay onboard (mechanical), I looked forward to a couple of drinks before the meal. The meal service and drinks trolley both appeared at the same time, so basically the cocktails and meal were served simultaneously. I figured that because the departure was just after midnight due to the delay, the crew probably thought that most of the passengers wanted to get the meal over, then settle down for the night. Also, the flight was a relatively short 6 1/2 hrs.
On my return DUB-YYZ (via SNN), we had about a 7 1/2 hrs flight to YYZ. Still not a long flight as Transatlantic flights go, however plenty of time to do a bar service, followed by the meal. This of course was a daylight flight all the way, so the crew had plenty of time to stretch the service out a bit, and the civilized thing to do would be to offer refreshments before the meal. However, yet again, this was not to happen. No sooner had we taken off, we were offered our lunch, followed by the drinks trolley.
Personally, I like to have at least a drink before the meal, then perhaps another, or wine, with the meal. Now that AC serves complimentary booze on the Transatlantic flights, are they being cheap by shortening the bar service, or are they simply shortening the service to have more down time? In both these cases, the load in Y-class was about 120-130, so I wouldn't think that the service issue would be a great problem. Also, I was politely refused 2 cocktails at once, as "the drinks trolley will be around again shortly. My ideal is to order 2 gins, with the can of tonic, and an extra plastic glass with some ice. I have absolutely no problem doing this when I'm on a domestic flight and am paying $5.00/drink. Personally, I wish they would start charging for booze again on the Transatlantic, then I could have my cocktails (albeit after the meal service). My routine on the domestic works well, and the flight attendants seem to appreciate it as it makes less work for them, serving the 2 drinks with ice and mix at the same time.
By the way, on domestic I now bring my own food, as AC's onboard cafe food is appalling. The food on the Transatlantic was not great, although all the flight attendants were super pleasant. However, after me trip, I had the distinct feeling that the overall service was no better than Air Transat or Zoom Air. I have friends who have been on both without complaint.
I am also extremely tired of having to lower my window shade for the convenience of passengers watching the movie, I still enjoy looking out of the window. Does anyone know if you need to do the same with the PTV's, as I have yet to be on a flight equipped with them?
Any comments would be appreciated. Maybe they have changed their inflight service, due to a passenger survey or something, where they have found that passengers just want to get the service over with then settle down for the rest of the flight? IMHO on flights of that length it is unacceptable to not provide at least one beverage service before the meal. Am I being unreasonable or too old fashioned. I rarely have more than a couple of drinks on a flight, and am not trying to take advantage of the free booze, nor are any of the other pax that I can see. I used to rave about AC's service overseas, but after this last trip have been very disappointed, next time will likely choose Zoom Air. As I travel out of YVR (via YYZ), at least I can fly direct to Belfast, then take the train to where I want to go. I can also pay 10 bucks and have a couple of cocktails before my meal.
I was going to do a trip report about this journey, but as it would be almost completely negative, I choose not to. In addition, the ground service, and lack of communication between operations at YYZ and customer service was so uncacceptable that I would have to write an entire novel to explain the 2 fiascos that took place on my trip. Although I surprisingly heard not a word of complaint from the passengers on either delay, I can't help but think that due to the whole security thing passengers are paranoid to complain about anything for fear of being deplaned and disciplined. I believe that the airlines are cashing in on this big time, as service levels in this part of the hospitality industry drop to an alltime low.