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AirTran Expanded In Flight Service?  
User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4219 times:

I'm just really trying to get opinions here, nothing more. No, I have not heard anything (and believe me, I'm in the loop) in regards to FL changing its in flight service. I just flew them down to MSY last weekend in C and they seem to have expanded their snack offerings up front to include things like Milano and shortbread cookies to go along with the TGI Friday's chips, biscoff's, etc. I don't seem to remember as much of a selection when I was with them. Coach service still seems to be the small bag of gourmet pretzels. Does anyone think that FL will or should start up a limited BOB offering for its longer flights at some point? Or, ala Southwest and Delta, perhaps a snack box of some sort? Or, do you see FL remaining to be content with its current product? The in flight service on FL is generally very good, and overall, they offer a good value for the money. I think beefing up the in flight meal offerings, even just a little, would be a logical next step for the airline to better align itself with some of its LCC peers and to continue to deliver a quality product to consumers.


Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4163 times:

Having flown on both FL and DL from ATL-LAS, I have to say that DL's inflight offerings in coach (this was prior to the EATS program being rolled out on the route) was better than FL's. I really liked the snack pack they had, and even the snack basket you get to choose an item from beats the whale crackers I had my last FL flight. When you consider that in many cases on routes like ATL-LAS, ATL-SFO, ATL-LAX, ATL-PHX, ATL-SAN, ATL-SEA, the fares on FL, DL and US (PHX and LAS) are typically similar (even in first/business). If I had the choice of flying DL or FL on a transcon, DL would be my choice, mainly because of the superior inflight offerings. If I were splurging on a first/business class ticket, DL would definitely get my business because for the same price as FL, you get a superior product.

AirTran definitely needs to revamp their transcon product, especially considering that in the near future, DL will have their new transcon product fully rolled out. Have BOB in coach and a choice of a BOB item up in business. I would look at what F9 has done on their flights as the basis of a potential improvement of FL's inflight service. This may require FL to retrofit ovens onto their 737s. If I'm going to spend $1000 (That's the current first/business class fare for DL and FL on ATL-LAS-ATL.) or a bunch of miles/credits for a seat up front from ATL to LAS, I would honestly expect more than a few extra bags of snacks and free alcoholic drinks. When I flew ATL-LAS on FL back when Ryan International was doing the flights, the gate agent actually made an announcement that there was no meal service and suggested folks buy something to bring onboard.


User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4096 times:



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 1):
When I flew ATL-LAS on FL back when Ryan International was doing the flights, the gate agent actually made an announcement that there was no meal service and suggested folks buy something to bring onboard.

I remember that. I took ATL-SFO back in '03 on a Ryan 320, and they said the same thing. I think on a flight that long, it's a good thing to do.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 1):
When you consider that in many cases on routes like ATL-LAS, ATL-SFO, ATL-LAX, ATL-PHX, ATL-SAN, ATL-SEA, the fares on FL, DL and US (PHX and LAS) are typically similar (even in first/business).

They really are pretty similar. I check fares almost everyday and they are very competitive on most transcons from ATL. That surprised me at first when I moved to ATL.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 1):
This may require FL to retrofit ovens onto their 737s.

I don't think we'll ever see that, but I think at least some cold meal BOB options would certainly be viable and would be a nice touch for those longer flights. A+ Rewards members would certainly appreciate it.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4090 times:



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 1):
the gate agent actually made an announcement that there was no meal service and suggested folks buy something to bring onboard

They still do. And the ATL plasma screens indicate "Beverage Service Only" for all transcons.

AirTran is preparing to test a BOB product on LAX routes, but don't click your heels just yet, it will be basic, with a free offering to B/C. However, I wonder, WHY must AirTran rethink it's inflight service product? The load factor is at an all time high, and transcon flights are consistently packed (C more than Y). Further, why is the FL product constantly compared to the DL product? FL doesn't pretend to be a DL, or a UA, or a CO... it's a LOW COST CARRIER. When you fly on B6 or WN across the country, you expcect nothing more than what you get, why is it so different on AirTran?

Despite the incessant bashing on a.net, FL proves time and time again they can consistently bring profits... not the biggest, not the smallest, but consistent. And in this industry, that's half the battle. If the passengers seem to be satisfied with the current product (and clearly they are, or the load foactor wouldn't continue to rise and/or be comparable to the industry), then why complicate the system?


Finally, if Delta Air Lines (which I admire very much) is the preset service "ideology", explain to me how AirTran began with 2 airplanes in 1993 in Atlanta, grew rapidly, had a globally covered plane crash, shutdown, merged, rebranded, and became the powerhouse it is today in the backyard of said airline.

Clearly, we must be doing something right. Are we the best? No. But we work on it every day.


User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4050 times:

Quoting Travatl (Reply 3):
However, I wonder, WHY must AirTran rethink it's inflight service product? The load factor is at an all time high, and transcon flights are consistently packed (C more than Y). Further, why is the FL product constantly compared to the DL product? FL doesn't pretend to be a DL, or a UA, or a CO... it's a LOW COST CARRIER. When you fly on B6 or WN across the country, you expcect nothing more than what you get, why is it so different on AirTran?

Whoa now, simmer down teapot! They don't have to do anything. It'd be something nice to see from a passengers' point of view. Just one more small reason to choose AirTran. Certainly, it's not a defining reason for many to choose a carrier or not, but who's to say there's anything wrong with improving current offerings? It's a natural progression of business.

Oh...and btw...just remember your above post when this thread turns into a "bash FL" thread. That wasn't where I wanted it to go.

[Edited 2008-02-27 18:30:42]


Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineVatveng From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 923 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4001 times:



Quoting Travatl (Reply 3):
However, I wonder, WHY must AirTran rethink it's inflight service product?

 checkmark  If it ain't broke...

The announcements suggesting you buy something in the terminal are a good idea, especially since what you can buy at most airports is better than anything you might buy on board. You would certainly have a better selection in the terminal. It's preferable (to me, anyway) to what airlines used to loosely call "food" back in the day. Ham sandwich consisting of ham of questionable age, ripe-smelling mayonnaise, and way-too-old lettuce on some unpronounceable bread... no thanks, I'll buy a Chick-Fil-A combo in the terminal.

The only time this is a problem is when you have a quick connection in Atlanta and don't have time to buy a hot sandwich.

Now, if I show up for my 5:30am flight and see a Krispy Kreme truck parked next to a 717, you won't hear me complain...


User currently offlineJM017 From Jamaica, joined Jun 2002, 1227 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3957 times:

Funny, on my Delta flight to Tucson, they recommended that we buy and bring a meal on board. We were told there was no meal service and were given cookies or crackers. From this experience, I really do not see a difference betwen DL and AirTran. Except I don't feel like cattle on AirTran.

To be fair, this was my first transcon or near-transcon on Delta, so i do not know if this is the norm.



"It's okay to cheat, if you just really don't like to lose."
User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3933 times:



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
It'd be something nice to see from a passengers' point of view

Because THAT'S what drives airlines' service enhancements these days.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
Whoa now, simmer down teapot!

At 6'4", I'm neither short, nor stout.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
Oh...and btw...just remember your above post when this thread turns into a "bash FL" thread. That wasn't where I wanted it to go.

But isn't that where they ALL go? Don't get me wrong, I could give two rats ass what folks on here truly think - they're not the traveing public, but rather just like me - hypercritical airline geeks. However, it's time somebody said enough is enough... AirTran is successful, and rightfully so.


User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3917 times:



Quoting Travatl (Reply 7):
But isn't that where they ALL go?

Well, you know, I figured it was time for a change.

Quoting Travatl (Reply 7):
At 6'4", I'm neither short, nor stout.

I bet you're glad that there are no RJ's in the FL fleet!

Quoting Vatveng (Reply 5):
Now, if I show up for my 5:30am flight and see a Krispy Kreme truck parked next to a 717, you won't hear me complain.

I think you're onto something there.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineJetJeanes From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1429 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

I just got off a Dl 767 and both directions atl to las i recvied what appeared to be a piece of cheese and crackers and a cookie or something like that. It certainly wasnt very filling.


i can see for 80 miles
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6492 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

If FL really wants to attract higher-yield business passengers, I think it will be necessary at least in the C cabin. If FL is happy catering primarily to leisure travelers and the business passengers that spill over from DL, then they don't need to do anything. It all depends on where FL sees themselves going.

They certainly don't need to offer food to make money, but it could help attract more business passengers particularly in areas where FL will face stiff competiton (see YX at MKE).


User currently offlineDavidlc3 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3638 times:

FL has toyed with a BOB program since BoB inception but they have never been able to pull it off.

I, for one, would love to see an offering of a fresh item on trans-cons (not the potato chip crap that AA offers for $300 per chip...  Smile) and offer it either free or discounted to C.

BoB at its finest moment MIGHT offset the cost of catering but that's it...it is not the cash cow that the airlines had once hoped and for one key reason...yield management. During the early days we ran into LARGE losses on BoB due to theft (money and food) as well as trash....pax didn't know which flights had food and whether there would be enough for them so they opted to bring food on.

The cash problem has been fixed with CC acceptance now all the airlines need to do is put a pre-booking mod into their rez systems to allow pax to pre-reserve and pre-pay for food and voila! BoB will be reborn.

The catering guy has spoken!

(and yes, I did mean that to be sarcastic)

 Smile


User currently offlineEMB170 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3590 times:



Quoting Davidlc3 (Reply 11):
The cash problem has been fixed with CC acceptance now all the airlines need to do is put a pre-booking mod into their rez systems to allow pax to pre-reserve and pre-pay for food and voila! BoB will be reborn.

That would make the most sense. Would be similar to those passengers (such as myself) who preorder vegetarian or seafood meals on long haul international flights, such as to CDG or EZE. Don't know how much in the way of moving parts it would add to the FA's jobs, though.

Doesn't AC already have this functionality in some form? I know with AS on their transcons, you can preorder your digEplayer when you buy your e-ticket...



Can passenger jets fly as fast as my feet do? Let's find out...
User currently offlineRW170 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3556 times:



Quoting Vatveng (Reply 5):
Now, if I show up for my 5:30am flight and see a Krispy Kreme truck parked next to a 717, you won't hear me complain...

Make that Dunkin Donuts.  bouncy 



319/320/321/712/733/734/735/73G/738/752/753/763/CR2/CR9/DH8/135/145/170/175/190/D9S/D94/D95/M82/M83/M88
User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3522 times:



Quoting EMB170 (Reply 12):
Doesn't AC already have this functionality in some form?

Yes. On AC, you can purchase meals at the time of booking on the website. The F/A's recognize that you have pre paid by a special code printed on your boarding pass.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineDavidlc3 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3441 times:



Quoting EMB170 (Reply 12):
know with AS on their transcons, you can preorder your digEplayer when you buy your e-ticket...

Really? I did not know that! I have been away from the BoB world for a couple of years now.

Our last pitch to the airlines was to not only have the online/prebook-ability but to also give a voucher to elite FF's sort of like AA does to their AirPAAss customers.

I used to LOVE Song's BoB. During development days I got to do a lot of ghost flying on them and spent a ton of money buying their food...it was really terrific.


User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2968 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3395 times:



Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
Does anyone think that FL will or should start up a limited BOB offering for its longer flights at some point? Or, ala Southwest and Delta, perhaps a snack box of some sort?

Yes, yes and YES!! ATL-SEA and similar routes are inhumane with nothing more than pretzels! BOB would cover costs-a win/win!



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2968 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3389 times:



Quoting Vatveng (Reply 5):
The announcements suggesting you buy something in the terminal are a good idea, especially since what you can buy at most airports is better than anything you might buy on board. You would certainly have a better selection in the terminal. It's preferable (to me, anyway) to what airlines used to loosely call "food" back in the day. Ham sandwich consisting of ham of questionable age, ripe-smelling mayonnaise, and way-too-old lettuce on some unpronounceable bread... no thanks, I'll buy a Chick-Fil-A combo in the terminal.

The only time this is a problem is when you have a quick connection in Atlanta and don't have time to buy a hot sandwich.

Now, if I show up for my 5:30am flight and see a Krispy Kreme truck parked next to a 717, you won't hear me complain...

Bringing something to eat (and drink) onboard is usually VERY inconvenient. I HATE having something else to have to fumble with while trying to get situated in my seat! Again, if BOB pays for itself, why NOT do it???



Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineDavidlc3 From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3386 times:



Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 17):
Bringing something to eat (and drink) onboard is usually VERY inconvenient

I hate to admit but many times I'm not sure if what I am bringing will actually make it past TSA...salad dressings, cheese...stuff like that can be iffy and I can't put it in one of those little ziploc baggies.


User currently offlineEMB170 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

Taken from www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/Flights/digEplayer.asp


Availability
digEplayers are available in both directions on these Alaska Airlines Routes:

Between And
Anchorage Chicago, Honolulu, and Seattle*
Fairbanks Seattle*
Seattle Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Lihue, Miami, New York City/Newark, Orlando, Washington D.C.
Portland Boston, Orlando
Los Angeles Cancun, Washington D.C.
San Francisco Cancun


* digEplayers cannot be pre-reserved on these routes.

How to rent a digEplayer
Renting a digEplayer is easy. When traveling between any of the cities listed above (except between Seattle and Anchorage, Seattle and Fairbanks, and Los Angeles and Anchorage), you can reserve your digEplayer at least 24 hours in advance for $10 (USD). Registration is required. Be sure to print out your receipt and bring it with you on your flight.

On flights between Seattle and Anchorage and Seattle and Fairbanks, digEplayers are available for $5.

digEplayers can also be rented onboard the aircraft on the day of your flight. But, with limited availability, it's best to reserve online. For all first class passengers flying the above routes, digEplayers are complimentary and do not require a reservation.



Can passenger jets fly as fast as my feet do? Let's find out...
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3246 times:



Quoting Travatl (Reply 3):

They still do. And the ATL plasma screens indicate "Beverage Service Only" for all transcons.

Shows you how much things change in two years. The last time I flew ATL-LAS on FL (March 2006), the gate agents made no such announcement (I already had eaten as I knew what to expect, as the whale crackers they had at the time merely soaked up the alcohol.). They didn't have the plasma screens then either.

Quoting JM017 (Reply 6):

To be fair, this was my first transcon or near-transcon on Delta, so i do not know if this is the norm.

I'm guessing that since they don't have any competition on the route, they can do whatever they want to do. Meanwhile, ATL-PHX, which is only slightly longer than ATL-TUS has meal service in First Class and the EATS BOB in coach.

Quoting RW170 (Reply 13):
Make that Dunkin Donuts.

ATL isn't BOS......  box  The ATL is a Krispy Kreme town. We just let Dukin Donuts here to placate the Yankees.......

Now if FL could only get Royal Cup to tinker with the coffee blend...... Honestly, the blend they sell to FL (Does anyone know if ASA is still using them or have they switched to Java City to match the mainline offerings?) is a bit mild for my tastes, but I guess they need something pedestrian when it comes to coffee, as not everyone likes a strong cup of coffee.

Isn't LSG Sky Chefs still doing FL's catering? If they are, they'd probably be able to tailor a BOB program for them, as they already do as such for a few airlines out of ATL.

At least the food options on C are better than they used to be, although I'm sure there are flights where the cabin smells of some Homewreckers, Joey Bag Of Donuts, and Triple Lindys.......... Beats the days when it was just Popeye's and Wendy's on C.


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3242 times:



Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
Does anyone think that FL will or should start up a limited BOB offering for its longer flights at some point?

I emailed them about that about 4 years ago....they said they were studying it........fact is BOB is a money loser for most airlines. Ive noticed in the USA pax dont seem to be willing to buy extras inflight. Ive flown on YX, well know for its inflight cuisine, and no one purchased anything buy me. While in other countries Ive had well over 1/2 the plane purchase an item.......


User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3214 times:

The LAX BOB tests should begin in the next quarter (or so I've heard). Think it's just gonna be a snack box though, no sandwiches or true meals.

User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3216 times:



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 21):
Ive noticed in the USA pax dont seem to be willing to buy extras inflight

Yeah. I think it really depends on the length of the flight from what I have seen. Anything under three hours is really hit or miss from what I've experienced. Over that, and I tend to notice more people buying things.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

The key to BOB is to have appealing items that dont spoil......the crap that AA, NW and UA serve in boxes is pathethic....Virgin Blue has good BOB items.

25 GSPSPOT : DL's EATS menu on longhaul (transcon basically) flights is great. Very filling sandwiches, fruit & cheese platters, etc.
26 Vulindlela744 : I work for FL (as a f/a) and was recently told that starting very soon we would be doing BOB on flights to the west coast. Someone in our union told m
27 Gr8SlvrFlt : Latest I heard is instead of snack boxes it will be individual items (candy bars, chips, nuts, etc.) on sale for between $2 and $5 each.
28 LACA773 : The reason being is the fares in C are nearly the same on your westcoast flights. It only makes sense for them to study, evaluate it. Offer a nice co
29 USAirALB : When I fly FL, all I get is a small bag of pretzels, SWF-PBI but on a WN similar route I got a granola bar, peanuts, and wheat thins
30 Post contains images Jerion : I always fly FL, MSP-MDW-MSP and get a drink and a small bag of pretzels. It's a short flight, so it's not a big deal. I love flying AirTran from HHH
31 Travatl : And again, I reitereate. If the flights are already full at those fares, then why complicate the process and increase costs, with no increase in reve
32 Milemaster : My DFW-SEA AS flight 10 days ago offered BOB breakfast skillets that looked quite good. Only problem is when they got to my row they were "sold out".
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