vlad1971
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:40 pm

TC957 wrote:
It's just as well the hotel doesn't have Aeroflot crew staying there....
The InterCity at FRA has the right idea, providing plastic wraps and bags and facilities to make up sandwiches etc to take out for later in their breakfast room.

What it has to do with AEROFLOT crew's ?? :-O
 
psa188
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:53 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
This is ridiculous letter from a ridiculous complaint.

Perhaps crew wasnt being discreet, but...

As a well paid pilot, I regularly go down to BK with my backpack and take apples, boxes of cereal and or rolls/bagels for later.

As a tourist, I do the same thing while visiting (especially in Europe where conversion rate over last decade made everything ridiculously expensive).

And a lot of people do this.

Perhaps the AI crew was doing this in excess. Perhaps they werent discreet. Especially with crew, the hotel usually gives lots of leeway. These are working people on the job.

Or perhaps this is some good old fashioned racism. I honestly dont know.

But I am shocked to read this whole thread


I agree, lots of people do this and nobody cares within reason. Who doesn't take a piece of fruit or a bagel to eat later? On the other hand, it's best not to bring an empty backpack and start shoveling food.

Moderation is key.
 
ikramerica
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:43 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
This is ridiculous letter from a ridiculous complaint.

Perhaps crew wasnt being discreet, but...

As a well paid pilot, I regularly go down to BK with my backpack and take apples, boxes of cereal and or rolls/bagels for later.

As a tourist, I do the same thing while visiting (especially in Europe where conversion rate over last decade made everything ridiculously expensive).

And a lot of people do this.

Perhaps the AI crew was doing this in excess. Perhaps they werent discreet. Especially with crew, the hotel usually gives lots of leeway. These are working people on the job.

Or perhaps this is some good old fashioned racism. I honestly dont know.

But I am shocked to read this whole thread

So because you steal from hotels it's okay?

My grandmother prided herself on how much she could steal from hotels. Hangers, robes, slippers... and she was not poor in any way. As the years went on hotels started establishing in advance the charge to steal a robe, made hangers that were useless at home, etc. because of bad behavior by people who should know better.

The argument that "it's too expensive anyway so that justifies my theft" is incredibly self serving.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
bluejuice
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:19 pm

psa188 wrote:

Moderation is key.


That is probably the items that caused the hotel to bring up the issue. I am another person that will admit to taking a piece of fruit, extra bagel, or item to go at the hotel breakfast buffet. Chances are the hotel would have let things slide had the AI crews done something similar. My guess is some folks were filling Tupperware containers full of food in a very obvious and blatant manner. There is probably more to the story as a hotel will never disclose such a dispute publicly unless they have exhausted all channels to resolve the problem is private have failed.
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prebennorholm
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:46 am

ikramerica wrote:
So because you steal from hotels it's okay?

Oh yeah, that's okay. It's as okay as an airline passenger going to the galley and take what he needs. Do it discreetly and don't steal to much. [sarcasm off]

Sort of funny that this involves airline FA's. The persons who at work are managing airline rules to prevent hotel employees (and others) from stealing from their galley.

Okay, it is easier to resupply a breakfast buffet on the ground than an airliner galley at 30,000 feet. But anyway, it is hellish to serve all hotel guests equally well, both early and later comers, when part of the guests sometimes fill up boxes.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
[email protected]
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:22 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
enilria wrote:
If the room service breakfast is included for free what is the issue with taking food back to the room from the buffet when they can just order a poor hotel employee to do the same thing?


This could be a planted story by Indian media. They have an obligation to publish n number of bad reports about AI every month.

I am thinking VJ should stop hiring editors' high school dropout children and relatives as aviation reporters.


I can only imagine how much you'd believe this story if it were about EK and its staff. :lol:
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
jfidler
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:32 am

VSMUT wrote:
Sorry, but 600-800 USD per month is absolutely nothing by european standards (and really, neither is 2000 USD). In some places (airports, hotels and the areas where crew-hotels are typically located) I would struggle to find just a single meal per day within that allowance. I know for a fact that a lot of European airlines have allowances that are 4-8 times as much. One LCC even has per diems that could potentially run up to 250 USD per day!


I agree London is by no means a cheap place to grab a bite, but would it even out over the course of a month, when the crew is sent to destinations in much cheaper cities? Or are AI crews who work the LHR route only working LHR and never have layovers in cheaper cities?
 
BestWestern
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:55 am

Having stayed at the renaissance, probably the worst airport hotel at Heathrow, and eaten at the restaurant, they must be pretty desperate to want to steal extra food from the buffet.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:23 am

I often go down to the breakfast area in a hotel, load up a plate and a glass of oj, then head back to the room to eat in private. Especially if I've got a long day ahead as these crewmembers do. Sounds like an over-reaction unless they were truly raiding the buffets and taking large amounts of food away.
 
ltbewr
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:05 pm

Go to any 'buffet' style food service situation and you'll see some, especially older folks, who take food into napkins, bags and containers. Some do it as can only eat so much then and want to spread it out later. Some are of limited incomes so need to take food to survive. Some of course are just greedy jerks.

I would also consider other factors at play in these situations. Some may want to eat later as may not be hungry at the time food is served, they may have medical conditions like diabetes or religious grounds that may mean they need to eat at different times. I also suspect many crew don't eat enough or don't want to eat the crappy in-flight food. I wouldn't be surprised that food they may take may end up with them to be heated up and consumed in-flight.

Wasn't this a issue with some USA flight staff and a hotel in the USA a few years ago ?
 
planeophilic
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:30 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
enilria wrote:
If the room service breakfast is included for free what is the issue with taking food back to the room from the buffet when they can just order a poor hotel employee to do the same thing?


This could be a planted story by Indian media. They have an obligation to publish n number of bad reports about AI every month.

.


I agree.
IQ 6969- If I wasn't addicted to Frog Porn, I would be perfect.
 
klm617
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:54 pm

I find this very petty of the hotel. Probably some raciest manger there who saw AI crew taking a bit advantage in their mind and got upset about it. Come on really I bet they throw more food away every day than the AI crews took but I guess that's better.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
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BaconButty
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:01 pm

bluejuice wrote:
There is probably more to the story as a hotel will never disclose such a dispute publicly unless they have exhausted all channels to resolve the problem is private have failed.


I agree with the rest of what you say, but the Hotel did NOT make the story public. The headline is misleading. The story broke because of an internal memo from Air India to it's employees presumably after the hotel had contacted the company direct, which is the right way of doing things.

As for the issue, like has been said, moderation and discretion are the order of the day, and somebodies been immoderate and indiscreet :-). Just can't resist stocking up on black pudding, and who can blame them.
Down with that sort of thing!
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:16 pm

There is no question of stealing, when contract includes both room service and buffet breakfast. There is no need for crew to be discreet for something AI already paid for it.

Its like asking premium passengers to eat Caviar and drink Dom discretely so economy passengers wouldn't feel bad.

This is a typical with all AI contracts. It can sign a paid contract for world class STD free escort service, may get curbside hooker and herpes, get blamed for getting herpes by interacting with curbside hooker.

Whether it is B788 or Hotel accommodation, no difference.
 
BestWestern
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:35 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
There is no question of stealing, when contract includes both room service and buffet breakfast. There is no need for crew to be discreet for something AI already paid for it.

Its like asking premium passengers to eat Caviar and drink Dom discretely so economy passengers wouldn't feel bad.

This is a typical with all AI contracts. It can sign a paid contract for world class STD free escort service, may get curbside hooker and herpes, get blamed for getting herpes by interacting with curbside hooker.

Whether it is B788 or Hotel accommodation, no difference.


This is Air India asking its staff to stop pillaging the Renaissance Buffet.

And what the hell is the hooker analogy about?
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
global1
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:38 pm

The crew should have a downtown layover. That way a plethora of dining options are available.

A 26hour rest after an 8-9 hour flight (with a crew rest, I assume) is plenty. 16 hours or less is a different story.

If the rooms have a fridge and there is a microwave in the crew room, all the better. You arrive in the morning, have your breakfast, rest, and then heat up something from home you bought in a 'lock n lock'
in the crew room, and then have your breakfast before departure the next morning. Your expense could be nearly $0.

I don't think hotels much care if you take a croissant, apple, and some yogurt for a snack later. But 'boxes'of food?
 
MaksFly
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:42 pm

Why is this even news?

Who cares honestly? It is more straight to the point anyway. Alternative is, can come down to buffet, take a plate, take it back to room, move it into box.

I am sure the hotel would rather have someone take a box of breakfast to go, rather than have someone sit and stuff their face with all you can eat breakfast for 3 hours.

Personally I think this is the hotel looking for a few mins of fame trying to get extra money.
 
lancelot07
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:27 pm

klm617 wrote:
I find this very petty of the hotel. Probably some raciest manger there who saw AI crew taking a bit advantage in their mind and got upset about it. Come on really I bet they throw more food away every day than the AI crews took but I guess that's better.

This is not petty in any way, but standard policy in hotels all across the globe!
Guests are NOT allowed to take anything from the buffet outside the room where the buffet is. And it is a very sensible policy, too!
Taking away is theft.

And there should not be any difference if the wrongdoer is e.g. a well paid member of airline management, or a poorly paid FA. The same laws and rules apply to both!
 
777PHX
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:40 pm

psa188 wrote:
I agree, lots of people do this and nobody cares within reason. Who doesn't take a piece of fruit or a bagel to eat later? On the other hand, it's best not to bring an empty backpack and start shoveling food.

Moderation is key.


This is the key point here. If this was just crew members taking an apple or a muffin or something, I'm sure the hotel doesn't care. But if they're bringing in backpacks and shoveling as much food as they can into them, that's a problem. I suspect the problem centers around the latter, not the former.

I used to work an all you can eat dining location in the dorms when I was in college, and yes, these people do exist.

At any rate, try going to any buffet outside of a hotel and try this behavior. I guarantee you'll get a similar response.
 
TC957
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:16 pm

vlad1971 wrote:
TC957 wrote:
It's just as well the hotel doesn't have Aeroflot crew staying there....
The InterCity at FRA has the right idea, providing plastic wraps and bags and facilities to make up sandwiches etc to take out for later in their breakfast room.

What it has to do with AEROFLOT crew's ?? :-O


Going by what I've seen at various holiday hotels I've been to and seen what the Russians get up at buffet's, the hotel can be thankful Aeroflot crews don't stay there....enough said ! But perhaps the Renaissance could do what the FRA InterCity does - at least it'll keep the guests ( AI crew and no doubt others ) happy.
 
IPFreely
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:32 pm

Some amazing responses in this thread. It is generally understood that all-you-can-eat buffets are for all that you can eat while there. And that you do not bring in boxes and pack food for yourself (or others) to eat later. Many even have signs to this effect. All the discussion about how long is the layover or where it is or what FA's are paid or where they stand in the union is totally irrelevant. Just poor attempts to justify stealing. Kudos to the hotel -- better to keep AI crews in line then force their other customers to pay higher prices to cover stealing by AI employees.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:01 pm

Love the comments saying that the hotel is using this for publicity. I'll have to look the next time I book a hotel if a "AI crews banned from breakfast" option is available in the amenities option.

There are always two sides to these threads. AI is the worst or quit picking on them. No coherent thoughts in between
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:46 pm

ltbewr wrote:
Go to any 'buffet' style food service situation and you'll see some, especially older folks, who take food into napkins, bags and containers. Some do it as can only eat so much then and want to spread it out later. Some are of limited incomes so need to take food to survive. Some of course are just greedy jerks.


With all due respect to dissenting opinions - if the food is being served, at an all-you-can-eat buffet - the cost of the food is not high enough to have the gaul to complain about someone's eating habits. To be honest, what is the cost to the hotel? Is the cost of this breakfast, so much so expensive - that it would be worth losing a contract, for rooms nights (in which, the miniscule cost of the food is factored in) from a steady client? The ultimate cost of that breakfast (especially when done at lower-tiered/quality level hotels) is minuscule, and the quality of the food is reflected in it. What is being served? Castles of cascading ahi-tuna sashimi that was flown in, with the chef - from Osaka this morning? Caviar iced in Iran this evening? Champagne? No, but rather pre-packaged, bulk-ordered restaurant quality, mass produced selections from a mass producer - at a contracted, wholesale price. At multiple brands across our chains, at every location - we devotedly study theses costs, are always conscious of cost-cutting, and respond daily to order efficiently. If the location were to actually have an onsite restaurant (yes, at the lower brands, all of the food arrives pre-cooked and basically re-heated prior to serving via ovens - no stoves), sometimes their costs actually prohibit a 'breakfast buffet' style approach as those restaurants are also stand-alone entities and worry about their own profitability. I've seen many a case, where the 'buffet' gets managed by the restaurant, but is actually separate from their actual business - as the costs are simply incompatibly different (especially for the profits needed for/from that restaurant).

Here's where I fault the hotel (for even allowing this to become an issue in the first place). The business of hospitality - is of being hospitable. At the core of it, it is creating a home, away from home. The lack of an intelligent solution to this, the failure of a hospitality manager. If the crew is 'abusing' the system - consider the cost of losing the contract, come to your senses - and develope a new policy to suit this important client. Why? Every client is important, especially so when they are a paying one - and the cost of accommodating them (an increase in the amount they consume on food) is essentially none/low - and only serves the hotel better anyway.

ltbewr wrote:
I would also consider other factors at play in these situations. Some may want to eat later as may not be hungry at the time food is served, they may have medical conditions like diabetes or religious grounds that may mean they need to eat at different times. I also suspect many crew don't eat enough or don't want to eat the crappy in-flight food. I wouldn't be surprised that food they may take may end up with them to be heated up and consumed in-flight.


Let's also talk about the time difference. Crews, are an odd - but incredibly rewarding and accommodating type of clientele. A decent manager willingly adopts a new style when dealing with this type - and let's just lightly look at some of the challenges;
1). The crew's time is not the hotel's time. They can check in, past your check-in time. They can come in, before your other guests check out. They can need to leave, at a moment's notice. Often (because of how frequently they travel themselves) they are some of the highest ranking Frequent Flier (and Frequent Stay Guests). In modern Hospitality, brand loyalty is King. It literally becomes your ability to command yield. It becomes so important - that catering to those highest ranking Diamond Members (at Hilton and at Hyatt), or Marriott Gold Status, et al becomes the job. If the business is about making a home away from home, and these are the people that stay (thus, spend) the most - your business is about being the best solution for them, thus catering to them. Moreover - they pay, consistently and well. Even at a discounted rate, the benefit (to the hotel chain as a whole) is one that we bank on. If it were not financially feasible - it would be gone.
2). The traveling crew's stomach and circadian rhythms don't mix. You try sitting down for a dinner than you have been waiting for, for hours - sitting in your stomach like a stone as you sleep and then have to wake up, look 'cute' (and not every one is Bebo/Katrina/Shilpa shape, or a Salman/Salman/Aamir) for a long-haul back home (dehydrated and bloated at at the same time,on board in the best of circumstances) to get back home at some odd hour, as exhausted as your sleep cycle is confused. If the offer is for a free breakfast - great. As a hospitality manager - consider that it might not be their breakfast. Perhaps a muffin and some cereal is not an ideal dinner for an Indian who is as exhausted, and likely wants sleep more than food anyway. Or perhaps, their 'breakfast' has to be on the run.

So, combining those - let's discuss some costs:
1). Who is going to enforce this policy? Will the hotel hire a 'buffet sergeant'? Or, will that already lean-running kitchen staff be forced (er, I mean 'empowered') to confront a corporate client? How many of those 'confontations' before someone sobers up to a lawsuit about discrimination (which you hope to handle privately, and out of court with a decent gag-order), or worse - before it gets twittered to the World? The vast majority of employees avoid conflict. Are you going to incentivize 'capture'? Unless there is some 'bounty' to be made, why would the average employee willingly walk into a conflict? Those that do, are precisely the ones that you should worry about. They end up being quite a costly moral to maintain.
2). What if AI staff actually ordered the room service? You would need more staff. Moreover, breakfast is temperamentally hot (teas, coffees, hot eggs, toast and sweating et al) - and so delivering it even if done more quickly than perhaps a lunch (which requires less heat sensitivity), or a dinner (where entrees can be plated/packed differently and/or microwaved) - the end product (in most cases) is less appealing. Imagine having to deliver to 18 rooms, and the crews (as they are likely outbound at the same time) order around the same time. You can't have one server run each order, which is a pull away from the service of the outlet. Moreover, you can't be late - as they have to run and/or they are likely high-ranking guests who can easily (thanks, social media) complain and see your brand suffer. If it ain't instagram ready - they are likely to complain. Those complaints either end up either translating into comped services, or salty clients. The first is always the better option. Which would you prefer - maintiain your 'morals' at a delivery fee, or suffer them not returning in future - and giving someone else your revenue/their repeat business. Delivering breakfast is also notoriously tricky to time due to one factor - people are often getting 'ready' and away from the door. From almost every perspective, having the AI crew actually do the work for you - is beneficial from almost every level. Charging a 'delivery' fee, is in most cases - not a goal of the hotel, but rather a dis-incentive for the guest to adopt that behavior. Why? Because the minute that the product arrives to them, and it is not what they expect - they complain, and the fee is removed. A novice notices the approach. A poor manager does not prepare for it. Flight crews live at hotels, they know all the tricks. Plan for them, and they can be your best guests. Don't, and they won't.

Thus - change the 'policy' regarding this guest. Every other airport hotel, catering to crews - already does. (To hit that point home - how many crew arrive to their hotel at the hotel's check-in time exactly, and depart at precisely check-out?). If the cost, of this specific client - is more food - order more (and, at the next contract negotiations, increase the price - if you have the gall, to be as petty).
Have the staff be more 'hospitable'/present (and have the Walmart Greeter effect happen) and be more active around the area that the food is being served, as is their job anyway. "We don't allow containers, only plates from this restaurant," and voila - 'eat what you can carry'. Better yet, purchase containers that they can use (which will limit their ability to carry massive amounts) and offer to 'pack' it for them. Smile while you do it. Know your clientele - and if you can muster to believe in what you do - then consider that this client does essentially what you are doing - for a living, as well. They get even less courtesy, and in many cases less reward. Benevolence here - bowing on this low-cost, insignificant item - would save your staff the issue of dealing with it, the customer from being shamed, and better cater to the end client (who likely can't eat at that time, for whatever reason). Past that point, the cost of enforcing such a policing action to enforce shame upon a client over low-cost food - is not only petty, it is a ridiculous waste of resources and time.

If they are eating enough to 'eat you out of house and home', they're not the issue. The cost of your food outlet (and/or your inability to price your product properly) is. Considering how competitive the hotel industry is, and how hard managers work to gain, manage and not lose contracts (and essentially how much easier and more profitable that has become compared to lower-yeilding, less frequent traveler) ; an efficient manager would have come up with a much better solution for this issue by now. The publicity of it, is damning - and not only to AI crew, if given the thought. Honestly, if I were in contract negotiations with a decently sized client, and they asked me to trot out the GM, to serve them breakfast - the GM's smile would shine as bright as his shoes the next morning, and every morning as he served fresh jalebi! They often deal with, and do, much worse. So, instead of shaming AI/staff there are a myriad of 'tricks' to employ (and a decent manager is worth their gold in their capacity to 'deal') that would get a happy client, and a happier hotel.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:44 pm

IPFreely wrote:
Some amazing responses in this thread. It is generally understood that all-you-can-eat buffets are for all that you can eat while there. And that you do not bring in boxes and pack food for yourself (or others) to eat later. Many even have signs to this effect. All the discussion about how long is the layover or where it is or what FA's are paid or where they stand in the union is totally irrelevant. Just poor attempts to justify stealing. Kudos to the hotel -- better to keep AI crews in line then force their other customers to pay higher prices to cover stealing by AI employees.


AI crew didn't book cheapest room online as you are trying to explain. it is an all inclusive contract, read up thread. Imagine 50 AI crew ordering room service brake fast per contract in the morning, can room service deliver. Imagine if every other airline crew orders room service, can hotel keep contract obligation.

Crew allowance is irrelevant because they are not paying, it is airline paying for break fast along with other amenities.

New RFP was out in August 2016, may be Renaissance didn't win the new bid and lashing out at crew as current contract comes to an end.

About stealing, Kohinoor diamond issue is still open.
 
BestWestern
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:33 am

There are plenty of local dining options within walking distance of the hotel. Food around the neighbourhood is cheaper than central London.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
BestWestern
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:39 am


About stealing, Kohinoor diamond issue is still open.


Oh what enduring idiocy.


In reality.

The hotel complained. Air India agreed and sent out a crew memo to remind them to act with civility.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:32 am

BestWestern wrote:

About stealing, Kohinoor diamond issue is still open.


Oh what enduring idiocy.


In reality.

The hotel complained. Air India agreed and sent out a crew memo to remind them to act with civility.


No it is called hypocrisy, you didn't have problem members saying AI crew stealing break fast, but have an issue with stealing Kohinoor. Let me explain again

Break fast - Pay - No stealing,
Kohinoor - No pay - Stealing.

This is a service delivery issue, there lack of, somehow got twisted and became etiquette issue, hence the perfect analogy up thread.

AI crew doing a favor going with the easiest option and most profitable option for the Hotel. They all can order room service already paid by the airline. Hence the memo.

When BREXIT happens and all Pols leave Britain, do you think Royals would be able to cook and deliver 50 break fast orders on time.

Should crew wait for room service break fast, reach airport late and delay the flight. That is another story for another day.

For those commenting about breaking Break fast laws, probably never seen or had complementary break fast anywhere.
 
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BaconButty
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:05 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
There is no question of stealing, when contract includes both room service and buffet breakfast. There is no need for crew to be discreet for something AI already paid for it.

Its like asking premium passengers to eat Caviar and drink Dom discretely so economy passengers wouldn't feel bad.


What you gave in reply 14 was not a contract, you said it was an RFP. They're what we linguists call "a bit different".
Down with that sort of thing!
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:30 pm

Since this discussion doesn't really relate to Civil Aviation anymore, I will move the thread to Non Av so the discussion can continue instead of locking the thread.

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BestWestern
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:49 am

No wonder AI is telling their cabin crew to lose weight. Pillaging the Renaissance buffet doesn't help it seems.

http://www.businessinsider.com/air-indi ... ers-2017-1

:-)
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dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:38 am

Group site doesn't list it as a complementary breakfast hotel. Continental breakfast is 12.50GBP. With 700 rooms imagine if they offer complementary breakfast, management will be begging to take packets.

It also has previous century creepy war zone intercontinental hotel vibe. I guess the only modern amenity it offers is a CRT Color TV. I wonder this also has door/window hinges/knobs/handles made up of metals stolen from other countries.
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:37 pm

The renaissance is a really terrible hotel in a sea of mediocre Heathrow hotels. But that doesn't make taking away from the buffet any less egregious.

dtw2hyd wrote:
I wonder this also has door/window hinges/knobs/handles made up of metals stolen from other countries.


Hookers, Diamonds and knobs. Something you have to tell us?
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LAH1
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:05 pm

Interesting. I usually use it for overnight stays for early flights and find the refurbished rooms very decent. mainly because they are parallel with and about half way along the north runway. I've been in very much worse places.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:37 pm

BestWestern wrote:
The renaissance is a really terrible hotel in a sea of mediocre Heathrow hotels. But that doesn't make taking away from the buffet any less egregious.


Based on the reviews and images this breakfast buffet has limited items and quantity and worst in the neighborhood. Any hotel's continental buffet is filled with store bought bulk cereal, bread loafs, bagels, 2-3 bulk juice containers, a waffle iron. Total value of food for 6AM to 9AM wouldn't cost more than $200. Hence most US hotels offer free breakfast.

Is food scarce and expensive now with BREXIT and GBP lower value?

If this was a British crew at an Indian hotel, and hotel staff knew they are in a rush, staff will pack for you what you like from buffet bar.

Of course who else is better qualified to teach buffet etiquette.
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LAH1
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:26 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ4U5tQ6Ke8

Of course this was before Brexit.
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:52 pm

JannEejit wrote:
What typically are layover crews expected to pay for from their allowance ? Meals yes, what else, the hotel room too ? My employer used to pay me a flat daily rate to cover accommodation and meals whilst on layover jobs. I could chose to stay in a cheap B&B or a nice hotel if I wanted to. Likewise it could be fine food or junk food for dinner, pocketing the change if I chose too. Nowadays all accommodation is pre-booked and meals have to be paid by ourselves,and reclaimed via online expenses system on production of VAT receipts.


Same for my company. Actually the per diem system stayed in place, but the Euro amount hasn't risen, so it's not really an option anymore, unless you can sleep with friends or family for free. 82€ for hotel + dinner + breakfast. Possible depending on where you are, but often you will get the crappiest of hotels. On the other hand I can get reimbursed 120€ for the hotel+bk and 25€ on top for the dinner.
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:54 pm

klm617 wrote:
I find this very petty of the hotel. Probably some raciest manger there who saw AI crew taking a bit advantage in their mind and got upset about it. Come on really I bet they throw more food away every day than the AI crews took but I guess that's better.


Oh bulls**t, there is nothing racist about asking anyone not to load up containers in a buffet so they can eat it later.

dtw2hyd wrote:
There is no question of stealing, when contract includes both room service and buffet breakfast. There is no need for crew to be discreet for something AI already paid for it.

Its like asking premium passengers to eat Caviar and drink Dom discretely so economy passengers wouldn't feel bad.



Here is the problem, the hotel felt that the AI crew were not living up to the terms of the contract, an all you can eat buffet is a pretty simple concept, it's all you can eat while you are in that restaurant, not all you can eat and all you can carry. Once you start packing containers with food to eat later a couple of things happen, the biggest of which is the hotels food costs go out of whack, that will only happen for a short time, then 2 things can happen, price goes up, or the offending diners get kicked out. I am guessing that the hotel reached out to AI to give them a choice, get their crews to obey the contract, or pay more, from the memo that was leaked from AI we can see which option they went for.


global1 wrote:
The crew should have a downtown layover. That way a plethora of dining options are available.

A 26hour rest after an 8-9 hour flight (with a crew rest, I assume) is plenty. 16 hours or less is a different story.

If the rooms have a fridge and there is a microwave in the crew room, all the better. You arrive in the morning, have your breakfast, rest, and then heat up something from home you bought in a 'lock n lock'
in the crew room, and then have your breakfast before departure the next morning. Your expense could be nearly $0.

I don't think hotels much care if you take a croissant, apple, and some yogurt for a snack later. But 'boxes'of food?


And there we have it, exactly right, and yes, I do work in the hotel business and yes, each of the hotels I oversee has a buffet and no, if you walk out with a cupcake, half a sandwich, a piece of fruit, we don't care, you start walking out with containers full, there will be an issue.

Rajahdhani wrote:

With all due respect to dissenting opinions - if the food is being served, at an all-you-can-eat buffet - the cost of the food is not high enough to have the gaul to complain about someone's eating habits. To be honest, what is the cost to the hotel? Is the cost of this breakfast, so much so expensive - that it would be worth losing a contract, for rooms nights (in which, the miniscule cost of the food is factored in) from a steady client?


To be clear, again, I run 22 hotels, so yes, I know the business, lets take the first part, as I said above, there is an estimated cost per person who goes into that buffet, there is a built in profit margin for the hotel, start taking out containers full of food and that margin is gone. Trust me on this, airlines are not the easiest customers to deal with (I'm talking about the airline, not the employees), they will try and cut the hotel rates down to the bone and then try and get more free stuff for their crews, I do not blame them for this, they are trying to get the best deal for themselves and for their employees. Forget what you see about rack rates, to give you an example, I sat in on the negotiations with a hotel I used to work at and HP, our ave rate was $120 a night, HP wanted to pay $40, plus we had to throw in breakfast, we offered a good discount on our rates, they wouldn't move, we said thanks, but no thanks.

We had a similar go around with VS, though we were able to reach an agreement with them and their crews stayed with us for over a year, before VS cut a better deal (for them) and they moved to Palace Station.

What i'm trying to say is, it's nice to have the steady income that these contracts provide, but they are in no way, shape or form a massive money maker for the hotel.

Also, one quick thing, while each of the hotels may be in competition with the other hotels in the area, I can 100% guarantee that they are in communication with each other, if there is an issue with a client like AI, every hotel in the area will know about it and when AI comes to negotiate a new contract, they will end up paying more.

Rajahdhani wrote:

Here's where I fault the hotel (for even allowing this to become an issue in the first place). The business of hospitality - is of being hospitable. At the core of it, it is creating a home, away from home. The lack of an intelligent solution to this, the failure of a hospitality manager. If the crew is 'abusing' the system - consider the cost of losing the contract, come to your senses - and develope a new policy to suit this important client. Why? Every client is important, especially so when they are a paying one - and the cost of accommodating them (an increase in the amount they consume on food) is essentially none/low - and only serves the hotel better anyway.



I have to disagree with you to a point, if AI was paying rack rate, hmmm maybe a little, but here is the simple fact, AI and the hotel have a contract, that contract spells out what each party must do to live up to the contract, break the contract and there will be some sort of penalty, up to and including termination of the contract.If the hotel puts 2 towels in a bathroom instead of 3, it will be reported and there is a penalty, if the hotel includes a shuttle that is supposed to leave at 8am and it leaves at 8:05am, it will be reported and there is a penalty, get where I am going with this ???

In the big scheme of things, airlines are NOT big important clients, yes they are a means to a guaranteed revenue stream, but it doesn't take long for most hotel management to figure out that they are a low yielding pain. If you are privy to such things or know someone who works international flights, ask them how often they change crew hotels, the answer will be every 6 months or a year. The fact that AI managed to get it's crew into a hotel right next door to one of the worlds busiest airports is actually amazing to me.


Rajahdhani wrote:

Let's also talk about the time difference. Crews, are an odd - but incredibly rewarding and accommodating type of clientele. A decent manager willingly adopts a new style when dealing with this type - and let's just lightly look at some of the challenges;
1). The crew's time is not the hotel's time. They can check in, past your check-in time. They can come in, before your other guests check out. They can need to leave, at a moment's notice. Often (because of how frequently they travel themselves) they are some of the highest ranking Frequent Flier (and Frequent Stay Guests). In modern Hospitality, brand loyalty is King. It literally becomes your ability to command yield. It becomes so important - that catering to those highest ranking Diamond Members (at Hilton and at Hyatt), or Marriott Gold Status, et al becomes the job. If the business is about making a home away from home, and these are the people that stay (thus, spend) the most - your business is about being the best solution for them, thus catering to them. Moreover - they pay, consistently and well. Even at a discounted rate, the benefit (to the hotel chain as a whole) is one that we bank on. If it were not financially feasible - it would be gone.
2). The traveling crew's stomach and circadian rhythms don't mix. You try sitting down for a dinner than you have been waiting for, for hours - sitting in your stomach like a stone as you sleep and then have to wake up, look 'cute' (and not every one is Bebo/Katrina/Shilpa shape, or a Salman/Salman/Aamir) for a long-haul back home (dehydrated and bloated at at the same time,on board in the best of circumstances) to get back home at some odd hour, as exhausted as your sleep cycle is confused. If the offer is for a free breakfast - great. As a hospitality manager - consider that it might not be their breakfast. Perhaps a muffin and some cereal is not an ideal dinner for an Indian who is as exhausted, and likely wants sleep more than food anyway. Or perhaps, their 'breakfast' has to be on the run.



Crews are an odd bunch for sure, but aren't we all, incredibly rewards, no, as I mention above, the airlines do not pay rack rate, not even close.

1) All of that is stipulated in the contract, they do not in general earn anything in hotel reward programs, yes it is a way to drive yield, but again, the airlines pay nowhere near rack rate, the crew have little to no say in the hotel choice (in union airlines, the union can and will set a standard the airline/hotel need to meet), you will not find a FA that has gotten to the highest level of any hotel chains FF program through staying there thanks to the airline contract.
2) Totally agree and again that will be stipulated in the contract.

Rajahdhani wrote:
Considering how competitive the hotel industry is, and how hard managers work to gain, manage and not lose contracts (and essentially how much easier and more profitable that has become compared to lower-yeilding, less frequent traveler) ; an efficient manager would have come up with a much better solution for this issue by now. The publicity of it, is damning - and not only to AI crew, if given the thought. Honestly, if I were in contract negotiations with a decently sized client, and they asked me to trot out the GM, to serve them breakfast - the GM's smile would shine as bright as his shoes the next morning, and every morning as he served fresh jalebi! They often deal with, and do, much worse. So, instead of shaming AI/staff there are a myriad of 'tricks' to employ (and a decent manager is worth their gold in their capacity to 'deal') that would get a happy client, and a happier hotel.



I think (I stand to be corrected) you are making an error in your thinking, airline crews are not the high income guests you think they are, while I would certainly love to be able to cater to them like they are paying $300 a night for a room, the truth is, they are not, not even close. A good way of putting this is, you think they should be treated like they are flying BA First LH-LAX, but paying NK fares FLL-MCO.

As I pointed out above, if you have access to the information, you will know that the majority of airlines switch hotels every year and they are slowly working their ways out to properties at a greater distance from the airport.

To give you an example, VS crews used to stay in a hotel in Marina Del Ray on the LAX run, over the last 15 years they have slowly made their way out to a hotel 90 minutes from LAX.

BestWestern wrote:

In reality.

The hotel complained. Air India agreed and sent out a crew memo to remind them to act with civility.



Exactly



BTW, I have only ever had 1 issue with an airline crew, it was a VS crew who, as some on here may know, like to let their hair down in Vegas, well one night they decided to go skinny dipping in the pool at 4am, not a big deal. That's it, the vast majority of crews want to get into a shower, climb into some comfortable clothes, get something to eat then sleep, to be ready to do the same thing again in a few hours.
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:05 pm

Jetwet1

Your logic is valid in general but wrong in this context.

One consistent comment by Americans is not to go by Marriot/Ren brand and this is comparable to a cheap US motel.

AI crew need not to pay for anything, its all paid by airline, so saving per deim is irrelevant. These are quasi govt, union employees of a national airline. If AI gives money to crew there will be lot more news.

If they want to pack containers they can order room service and transfer to LD3s.

Most buffet items are inappropriate for Indians. Do you think me taking couple of bagels/bread slices/bowl of cereal/milk carton/yougurt/couple of butter/salt/pepper/creamer or cup of juice/coffee will cost you more than someone eating couple of plates of bacon and sausage. BTW I did take all of those at one hotel or another. If my family holds the table from the time I start eating and my last kid finish, you will be begging to pack food and leave.

It is unclear this is a hotel initated complaint or one of the recent out of order promotee manager showing crew who is the boss.

Crew are asking for an investigation and others are asking AI to cancel the contract.
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:39 pm

DTW2HYD - your fanboy status is upgraded to Platinum for life.

Staff were raiding the buffet
Hotel complained to the airline
Air India agreed with the hotel and sent a memo reminding them of basic etiquette

Yes, the hotel is poor and breakfast is poor. That is built into the rate the airline pay.

Giving examples of others doing the same, stolen knobs, diamonds, wood, etc doesn't make this one right.
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:53 am

BestWestern wrote:
Staff were raiding the buffet
Hotel complained to the airline
Air India agreed with the hotel and sent a memo reminding them of basic etiquette


Agree with (3). That much we know because CEO memo was leaked on twitter and the Indian media. But (2)? Do we know for sure the Hotel lodged a formal complaint with the airline? Can we indepedently verify this?

From what I understand of this story, the complaint was taken up with the CEO by a cabin crew union rep based in Mumbai. There are 2 unions in AI - one former AI another former IC and the 2 are forever at loggerheads. Firing off internal memos aimed at each other while simultaneously leaking it out to their favored media outlets is SOP for these union-wallahs. The last time this happened was when a cabin-crew member accused another of molestation during a layover. Then there was the snafu over over-weight attendants that conveniently happened around the time of SYD/MEL launch.

To add to the melee, AI has been poaching younger crew from other airlines on contract, and these are not unionised. These non-unionised crew are targets for BOTH the unions.

I still dont know the full details of what happened. But its an educated guess, that the Mumbai union chief and not the hotel was the origin of this "complaint". The first media outlet that picked up the story is aunties favorite outlet. That gives a clue!
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dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:29 am

BestWestern wrote:
DTW2HYD - your fanboy status is upgraded to Platinum for life.

Staff were raiding the buffet
Hotel complained to the airline
Air India agreed with the hotel and sent a memo reminding them of basic etiquette

Yes, the hotel is poor and breakfast is poor. That is built into the rate the airline pay.

Giving examples of others doing the same, stolen knobs, diamonds, wood, etc doesn't make this one right.


Oh, I got demoted to a fanboy from apologist.

Air India didn't agree or send memo, memo was sent to crew by a person who is not authorized and leaked. Crews' theory he/she asked Hotel to e-mail so he/she can send a nastygram to juniors to show who is the boss.

Hotel can release video surveillance footage as evidence.

Really, is post brexit Britain having food shortage/cost issues? BA now charging for earlier free Raid the Larder.

Winston Churchill starved 4 Million Bengalis to death by swiping Indian food by rail loads. Add to your list.
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:07 pm

What has not been mentioned in the discussions so far is what effect the sight of crew loading up containers with food at the buffet would have had on other guests at the hotel. If they were in uniform whilst doing this it would not have reflected well on AI. Had that food not been stored correctly after having been taken and any of the crew had suffered from food poisoning, would the hotel have been blamed? In some countries restaurants will allow uneaten portions of meals to be taken away in "doggie bags" but in others, food not consumed on the premises is not allowed to be removed because the restaurant cannot guarantee the quality of the food once it has left the premises.

I have stayed at the Renaissance Hotel at Heathrow on many occasions and as far as I am concerned it does a pretty good job. It is not a resort and neither is it meant to be. It is there as an overnight stop or layover point for travellers in transit.
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dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:22 pm

Assuming crew didn't buy food containers in London, probably they have a 6 inch diameter x 2-3 inch height single tier stainless steel tiffin box, standard for any commuter in India.

Image

but it could be a standard LD3 they trucked from ramp to Ren.
 
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:22 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
To be clear, again, I run 22 hotels, so yes, I know the business.

Congratulations and/or job well done. 22 is no small operation.

jetwet1 wrote:
Lets take the first part, as I said above, there is an estimated cost per person who goes into that buffet, there is a built in profit margin for the hotel, start taking out containers full of food and that margin is gone.

I disagree completely. Unless you are the restaurant manager, or in charge of that operation/outlet - how is that cost so significant that it is worth dedicating resources to police? Moreover, that is so far from the core business (of putting heads in beds) that if it is challenging operations (and mind you, we are referring to a crew of AI - not all of Maharashtra), that the hotel has much more pressing issues to account for. Moreover, I cannot imagine a hotel manager so willing to defend this issue. There are a dizzying amount of ways that this could have been handled much better.

To add context to the post that I made prior - I went to depths, to demonstrate how (almost difficultly so) it would be to have this issue, pass that many hands, at such a capable staff - and not get resolved discretely. This 'memo', in accuracy - did not come from the hotel, and from the wording of said memo - apart from being named as the location of the event (and thus the provider of the buffet), I doubt that they had much else in the form of involvement, officially. The ways in which that information was passed to AI management is as possible as it is perplexing to consider, that said, it would be almost entirely out of place to have a manager of the hotel, complain directly to the client. Well, unless...

jetwet1 wrote:
Also, one quick thing, while each of the hotels may be in competition with the other hotels in the area, I can 100% guarantee that they are in communication with each other, if there is an issue with a client like AI, every hotel in the area will know about it and when AI comes to negotiate a new contract, they will end up paying more.


For the sake of plausible deniability - please refrain from stating where you live, because it would make your admission above, a damning one.

For the sake of argument, in the U.S., here is a legal definition that will provide some more clarity;
https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/price-fixing
Price fixing is an agreement (written, verbal, or inferred from conduct) among competitors that raises, lowers, or stabilizes prices or competitive terms. Generally, the antitrust laws require that each company establish prices and other terms on its own, without agreeing with a competitor. When consumers make choices about what products and services to buy, they expect that the price has been determined freely on the basis of supply and demand, not by an agreement among competitors. When competitors agree to restrict competition, the result is often higher prices. Accordingly, price fixing is a major concern of government antitrust enforcement.


In the U.K. - such an admission would actually come with a dictated/prescribed liability;
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9441838/Travel-firms-accused-of-fixing-hotel-prices.html
The consumer regulator (the Office of Fair Trading) disclosed yesterday that it is poised to punish and take action against a number of online travel companies and major hotel chains for conspiring to fix the cost of rooms. The OFT can fine companies up to ten per cent of annual turnover worldwide if they are found to have breached competition law by fixing prices.


Of note, though - is when names are 'dropped';
The other companies involved in the alleged price-fixing face massive fines, with the OFT currently focusing its investigation on Booking.com, Intercontinental Hotels and other firms.

Almost institutionally, Intercontinental Hotels has a reason to be cautious with this behavior...and especially so when under the jurisdiction of the OFT.

But even past the legality of it - colluding on price is short-sighted and harmful, not only to the consumer (who is the least 'powerful' component part of the equation, yet funds the entire enterprise), but to the market (as this primes a competitor to legally enter the market and take advantage of the vacuum created by the artificial pricing), and to the businesses themselves (who cartel towards services and prices {and foci} that are frankly - ridiculous.) At the end of the day, we operate in a free market, capitalistic society - the consumer is King. I can't afford to forget that - because my business will suffer.

jetwet1 wrote:
Trust me on this, airlines are not the easiest customers to deal with (I'm talking about the airline, not the employees), they will try and cut the hotel rates down to the bone and then try and get more free stuff for their crews, I do not blame them for this, they are trying to get the best deal for themselves and for their employees.

They are a business. I run one too. I give what I can, they accept or deny based on price. Welcome to the free market. Complaining about this, and worse - disparaging a client is, frankly, unprofessional. I get that you 'want to speak to truth' - but if these clients were actually paying you (or that you realize that your job depended on maintaining any contracts) your discretion would be painted by your wages.

jetwet1 wrote:
Forget what you see about rack rates, to give you an example, I sat in on the negotiations with a hotel I used to work at and HP, our ave rate was $120 a night, HP wanted to pay $40, plus we had to throw in breakfast, we offered a good discount on our rates, they wouldn't move, we said thanks, but no thanks.

Fine, for that one specific case, it did not work out. This, though - is a business. In the course of a year, my sales team alone handles more than 6 million in revenue. We don't come by that easily - and we manage it well, and fiercely. Our guests literally support us, and so keeping them is a primary concern. Fortunately we are blessed with a few natural advantages, and we have cultivated those, and some more to become our strengths - the literal command of our yield depends on it. However, we too live in a real, and consumer based market. If that client cannot pay what we think is fair - they can move on, and so can we. In this case, I would have thanked them, offered to willingly work with them in future, and even present other options to them (within our overall brand, speaking with our Honors team, and working with them to find a place, even if it is not with us, here and now). I've cultivated clients to be our best guests and the experiences has been as rewarding for them as it has been for me. I've never forgotten that what I fail to do, a competitor is ready and waiting for that same opportunity. Do we 'chase' clients - no, our ADR, and our location allows us to be, if we wished, very exclusive. That said, we base our activities as close to the real market conditions as possible. That level of reactivity has not only made us profitable, but kept us so - despite, and during - major shifts in the markets, and downturns.

jetwet1 wrote:
We had a similar go around with VS, though we were able to reach an agreement with them and their crews stayed with us for over a year, before VS cut a better deal (for them) and they moved to Palace Station. What i'm trying to say is, it's nice to have the steady income that these contracts provide, but they are in no way, shape or form a massive money maker for the hotel.


Ok, I think that perhaps some external perspective can help us both. Consider this excellent piece, and what Mr. Mourier comes to, rather early on as part of his premise;
http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2501/five-revenue-lessons-hotels-can-learn-from-wall-street
Likewise, the appropriate management of perishable inventory- and the mathematical models and formulas that govern the management, insurance and distribution of that inventory is the same whether the inventory consists of hotel rooms, preferred stock, or pork bellies.


In so much, despite the fact that room rate might not appear that high, the factor of their presence over the course of the contract is considerable. Opportunity costs do not pay the bills, especially when your rooms 'expire' at the end of that business day. If a sophomore were to offer that, the same room could be offered to another consumer (at a higher rate), then the management is to blame - either for the poorly educated employee, or for failing to properly analyze the market and not take on a higher yielding clientele. Moreover - every one of these contracts decreases the threshold of pressure under which the hotel will have to operate. You might not like selling the rooms, at a discounted rate - but it's guaranteed money, while under contract.


jetwet1 wrote:
I have to disagree with you to a point, if AI was paying rack rate, hmmm maybe a little, but here is the simple fact, AI and the hotel have a contract...

Once more, if there is such a significant disparity between the rack rate (which is the publicly available rate, without discounts in most cases), and the contracted rate - hotel management is to blame. Very seldom, if connected to reality when they are pricing their product, and/or engage in negotiations with clients - will these be able to create a significant revenue issue.

jetwet1 wrote:
That contract spells out what each party must do to live up to the contract, break the contract and there will be some sort of penalty, up to and including termination of the contract.If the hotel puts 2 towels in a bathroom instead of 3, it will be reported and there is a penalty, if the hotel includes a shuttle that is supposed to leave at 8am and it leaves at 8:05am, it will be reported and there is a penalty, get where I am going with this ???

Indeed I do. Considering that I am being paid to perform that contract - I always consider - I could lose that client. Believe me, the towels, the shutte, the breakfast - all could be gone, and this discussion ended - if the clients stop coming/staying and supporting my enterprise. Again, if the cost of breakfast (and how far from the core business it really is) is affecting the hotel - and they are willing to lose a client over it - shabat shalom! Said client, though - will then fatten one of my competitors. Everybody sleeps.

jetwet1 wrote:
In the big scheme of things, airlines are NOT big important clients,

At an airport hotel?

jetwet1 wrote:
yes they are a means to a guaranteed revenue stream, but it doesn't take long for most hotel management to figure out that they are a low yielding pain. If you are privy to such things or know someone who works international flights, ask them how often they change crew hotels, the answer will be every 6 months or a year. The fact that AI managed to get it's crew into a hotel right next door to one of the worlds busiest airports is actually amazing to me.

Barring your condescending tone, pardon my adage. In America, we say "You're money is as green as mine, tuts". If AI uses money to pay for that room - why should it surprise you? Where better a place to stay?

jetwet1 wrote:
Crews are an odd bunch for sure, but aren't we all,

There is no better a place to correct that notion for you. Spit, on these forums and any working crew member will easily correct the notion that they operate, in the same 'oddity' that you do. For the sake of parity - would you like to assume that the challenges that you face, in your terrestrial career, with your planned days, set circadian rhythms; are similar to theirs? In many cases, a 'day at work' for you, is a day off, for a crew. What is your required crew rest period like? I always see it as, even in those times - these professionals are at work, far from home, and away from familiarity - for a living. It is as difficult as it is beyond compare. My job is to take care of them - and understanding that they are often too tired, confused, or hangry when they get to me - is expected and human. The inhuman part, is their professionalism - as I have never yet met a crew that disrespected me or my staff - managing their crisis often without us knowing, and often smiling through it. Their experience as travelers, their understanding of the service industry, and their often courtesy to us - makes them easier to handle, to plan for, and to please - if you take the time to get to know them. To be honest, they are some of my favorite guests - as they are often some of the most understanding. I can afford a level of honesty ("stuff happens") with them that I can't with the average guest. I'm pleased to return the favor, when asked - because I can trust, in most cases - they will do the same for me. Get to know some flight crews, and this site is resplendent with decent members.

jetwet1 wrote:
incredibly rewards, no, as I mention above, the airlines do not pay rack rate, not even close.

Paying rack rate, would be indicative of a bad business decision for them. If they can finance aircraft, I am going to err on the side of caution and say that they must be doing something right.

jetwet1 wrote:
1) All of that is stipulated in the contract, they do not in general earn anything in hotel reward programs, yes it is a way to drive yield, but again, the airlines pay nowhere near rack rate, the crew have little to no say in the hotel choice (in union airlines, the union can and will set a standard the airline/hotel need to meet), you will not find a FA that has gotten to the highest level of any hotel chains FF program through staying there thanks to the airline contract.
2) Totally agree and again that will be stipulated in the contract.

I am going to chalk this up to market segments - and perhaps you're not as exposed to this clientele. We've even had to tailor our check-in procedures, in order to accurately verify their reward tie-ins (sometimes they can 'double dip' with an airline membership, or be given the option to double their points). What you seem to be forgetting, is that even if that crew only spend $40/night, they live on the road! Those nights, add up - and often in ways that other members cannot compete. Your chain may prohibit the earning of rewards, we do not. Profitably, we hope to be their choice when they do have that choice (aka when they don't use a group rate/personal use), and more over - I want to keep that contract, and that guest - so keeping them accurately rewarded only furthers their ability to command the respect they need when they travel out of my hotel/area. You'll be surprised, I guess - by the fact that we handle every crew member, as a Diamond member. From past performance, in 90% of the cases - they are. In 100% of those cases, though - they are my guest, and despite what they pay - they deserve respect and recognition of their stay.

jetwet1 wrote:
I think (I stand to be corrected) you are making an error in your thinking, airline crews are not the high income guests you think they are, while I would certainly love to be able to cater to them like they are paying $300 a night for a room, the truth is, they are not, not even close. A good way of putting this is, you think they should be treated like they are flying BA First LH-LAX, but paying NK fares FLL-MCO. As I pointed out above, if you have access to the information, you will know that the majority of airlines switch hotels every year and they are slowly working their ways out to properties at a greater distance from the airport. To give you an example, VS crews used to stay in a hotel in Marina Del Ray on the LAX run, over the last 15 years they have slowly made their way out to a hotel 90 minutes from LAX.


The only reason this would shock anyone - is if they existed in a bubble that is outside of reality. These are businesses, and competitive in that we sell perishable products.This is free-market, capitalistic society. The consumer has the choice to patronize how and where they wish, and they exchange money for the ability to do so. If the clientele that you are dealing with, is lower yielding - they are not the problem, you are. A decent business will learn to adapt, a good manager will adapt; to thrive. So what if airlines switch ever year? The hotel is not guaranteed the money, and the airline benefits from being smartly competitive with their choice. VS does not own stock in Marina Del Ray. In closing, a wise man once explained how he handled a client, and a similar result...

jetwet1 wrote:
Forget what you see about rack rates, to give you an example, I sat in on the negotiations with a hotel I used to work at and HP, our ave rate was $120 a night, HP wanted to pay $40, plus we had to throw in breakfast, we offered a good discount on our rates, they wouldn't move, we said thanks, but no thanks.


So Virgin 'no-thanks'ed their way to a better solution for them (cost wise), and the hotel 'no-thanks'ed their way to either higher paying clientele, or empty rooms - and the world spun on. Free market.
 
VSMUT
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:22 pm

jfidler wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Sorry, but 600-800 USD per month is absolutely nothing by european standards (and really, neither is 2000 USD). In some places (airports, hotels and the areas where crew-hotels are typically located) I would struggle to find just a single meal per day within that allowance. I know for a fact that a lot of European airlines have allowances that are 4-8 times as much. One LCC even has per diems that could potentially run up to 250 USD per day!


I agree London is by no means a cheap place to grab a bite, but would it even out over the course of a month, when the crew is sent to destinations in much cheaper cities? Or are AI crews who work the LHR route only working LHR and never have layovers in cheaper cities?


I must admit that I have absolutely no idea. I do however hope that AI does have a policy that takes this into account, rather than expecting Indian allowances to cover the costs in Europe. My point is, some people in this thread were way too busy blaming the crew without having the full picture.

I work in a company that has a rather extensive network in some of the more expensive countries in Europe. Think Switzerland or Luxembourg. Try eating nutritious and healthy meals in those places with a daily allowance of less than 40 euros. Naturally our allowances reflect those prices. On top of that, due to the nature of our flights, I may even be missing out on the breakfast completely because it is only open between 6 and 10, and with a night-flight we would be straight off for bed at 6. In those cases I absolutely do sneak a plate with me into the room, however not an entire "box", and very discreetly too. The breakfast is anyway paid for, so I really don't see the issue.

:smile:
 
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OA260
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:32 pm

tonystan wrote:
It is a security concern that airline crew hotels be named publicly (I know it's not difficult to find out but still) and incredibly unprofessional.


These days and to be honest I have quite a few friends who are crew/pilots and they are always checking in on FB with their hotel and location. Even have their FB settings not locked down properly. I am afraid with the age of social media and internet this information is not hard to find and easy for anyone to access.

As for the topic in hand I am 50/50 I would need to see the accused in action to decide if it was out of hand. I mean I always see plenty of hotel guests taking things with them in many hotels of all stars over the years all over the world but rarely thought it was excessive. So either it is blown out of proportion or the AI crew were really taking the .....

A few pieces of fruit here and a few pieces of something else would be ok in my book but full size meal boxes and shoveling it in to the brim is certainly bad form and does reflect badly on the airline. They are of course representing their company when on duty whether it is resting at a hotel during layovers or in uniform.
 
PanHAM
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:34 pm

The Rennaisance is not that bad. Best place was the parking lo because it was just about where Concordelifted off. And they had / still have an executive Level with Longe, looking toards the runway.

Anyhow, I haven't read all postings here, especially not the Long contributions. But the main reason why Hotels don't want their guests not to take Food from the buffet outside is product liability. Imagine a crew member did not properly clean the Container and he/she gets sick on the flight home. The investigation will prove that and the Hotel will be liable. Or other guests could become affected because dirty container came into contact with a spoon o fork at the buffet.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
jetwet1
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:30 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Jetwet1

Your logic is valid in general but wrong in this context.

One consistent comment by Americans is not to go by Marriot/Ren brand and this is comparable to a cheap US motel.

AI crew need not to pay for anything, its all paid by airline, so saving per deim is irrelevant. These are quasi govt, union employees of a national airline. If AI gives money to crew there will be lot more news.

If they want to pack containers they can order room service and transfer to LD3s.

Most buffet items are inappropriate for Indians. Do you think me taking couple of bagels/bread slices/bowl of cereal/milk carton/yougurt/couple of butter/salt/pepper/creamer or cup of juice/coffee will cost you more than someone eating couple of plates of bacon and sausage. BTW I did take all of those at one hotel or another. If my family holds the table from the time I start eating and my last kid finish, you will be begging to pack food and leave.

It is unclear this is a hotel initated complaint or one of the recent out of order promotee manager showing crew who is the boss.

Crew are asking for an investigation and others are asking AI to cancel the contract.


Quickly, i'm not American, I am British.....And yes, I have stayed at the Renaissance and no, it's not that great.

With that said, yes I agree, a standard British breakfast buffet is not a good choice or those with strict dietary requirements.

I am sure the hotel would have no issue with someone taking a bowl of cereal or a bagel, however, a crew loading up containers to go, they will have a problem with, and the simple fact is, if they didn't, there would have been no complaint made by the hotel.


Rajahdhani wrote:


I was going to reply to your post, but it slowly dawned on me that you have no clue what you are writing about, so let's just agree to disagree.

But just a heads up..

Rajahdhani wrote:

jetwet1 wrote:
Also, one quick thing, while each of the hotels may be in competition with the other hotels in the area, I can 100% guarantee that they are in communication with each other, if there is an issue with a client like AI, every hotel in the area will know about it and when AI comes to negotiate a new contract, they will end up paying more.


For the sake of plausible deniability - please refrain from stating where you live, because it would make your admission above, a damning one.

For the sake of argument, in the U.S., here is a legal definition that will provide some more clarity;
https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/price-fixing
Price fixing is an agreement (written, verbal, or inferred from conduct) among competitors that raises, lowers, or stabilizes prices or competitive terms. Generally, the antitrust laws require that each company establish prices and other terms on its own, without agreeing with a competitor. When consumers make choices about what products and services to buy, they expect that the price has been determined freely on the basis of supply and demand, not by an agreement among competitors. When competitors agree to restrict competition, the result is often higher prices. Accordingly, price fixing is a major concern of government antitrust enforcement.


In the U.K. - such an admission would actually come with a dictated/prescribed liability;
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9441838/Travel-firms-accused-of-fixing-hotel-prices.html
The consumer regulator (the Office of Fair Trading) disclosed yesterday that it is poised to punish and take action against a number of online travel companies and major hotel chains for conspiring to fix the cost of rooms. The OFT can fine companies up to ten per cent of annual turnover worldwide if they are found to have breached competition law by fixing prices.


Price Fixing definition :

the maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers.

Please point to where I said that ?

But to clarify for you, as competitors in a market place, we do not agree on set rates, each company has it's own revenue model and revenue management software, what you will find however is a group of people, who came up through the ranks at each company, who often worked with their counterparts at other hotels who very frequently get together to discuss the daily happenings at their hotels and trust me, part of the conversation always ends up with "you will never guess what this person did", in that topic there will also be a "yep, we had this group in, they trashed the rooms, tried to skip on a bar bill", the list goes on, but again, at no point to a call my friend at the Venetian and tell him what rate to set his rooms, why...Because he would laugh his ass off at me for doing it.



Tell you what, if you are in the hotel industry, open up your room inventory to airlines, have at it, have fun, you obviously know more about this than I do.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: 'A buffet is not a takeaway': London hotel shames Air India's crew

Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:17 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
however, a crew loading up containers to go, they will have a problem with, and the simple fact is, if they didn't, there would have been no complaint made by the hotel.


How much a guest (let alone vegetarian) can load up in a 6" dia x 2.5" steel container (or) 9"x9"x2" single/three compartment To-go container. How does it compare to the quantity consumed by an average sit-in?

Some US hotels offer cereal boxes and milk cartons. AFAIK European hotels have only bulk cereal and milk in carafes. How are they stealing milk in carafe?

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