AA Raises The Bar on In-Flight Meals

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Captain Oveur, Oct 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Personally, I don't care for most in-flight meals and laugh at the lengths some people go to make their point(s) about in-flight meals.

    In this case, it's more about the effort that's being put forward from American rather than the benefit itself.
    Reserve Your Entree Before You Fly
     
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  2. General_Flyer
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    Humm...

    One way of making sure passengers gets what they want, but also limiting the amount & selections of food they usually carry on board? Sounds like cost cutting measure to me..
     
  3. DestinationDavid
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    Maybe if this was for BOB offerings, but since it's F, don't think I agree.
     
  4. Captain Oveur
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    Passengers getting what they want and AA reducing costs by limiting the amount of unused food. What's wrong with that?
     
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  5. General_Flyer
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    A cleverly crafted cost cutting. Unlike BTC where pax can choose, but have other selections also available onboard.

    Nothing wrong with that of course. Just referring to my point where in F/C pax pay extra for extra services, such as in SQ they can BTC. Overall a service enhancement, because they can choose available selections outside of the inflight menu, but they can also choose from the standard menu onboard.

    If AA adds the BTC concept, yes it raises the value to their customers. But if customers only gets to choose from the set menu selected from that particular day of flying, then it adds not much more value than before. Therefore AA is not really "raising the bar" so to speak, even though they might be raising it a tad higher than before.
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    First, comparing any American-flagged carrier to international F/C service to Singapore or other high-profile carriers is not apples-to-apples.

    Even if AA only gives the same standard choices online versus in-person, it's still raising the bar.
     
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  7. General_Flyer
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    With that regards, you are certainly true. Especially when comparing partly government owned company to a fully independent corporation, and related to the services as you described above.

    Did you mean, by cannot be compared apples-to-apples with regards to the way AA works in terms of labor, regulations, unions & contracts here in the US?
     
  8. DestinationDavid
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    Not all passengers will pre-booked, so AA will still load a variety onto the planes. I'm sure if one decides they do not want the pre-booked meal there may be other options available.

    It's not like AA loaded tons of extra meals on each flight to begin with. This is hardly a "cleverly crafted cost cutting". Passengers have been asking for the ability to pre-book meals for years.
     
  9. General_Flyer
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    Hmm.. Maybe my perspective is diluted in this respect. What you said is right. I've so used to flying internationally with airlines having almost everything in their galley for each pax, that I didn't think about the scale for this particular service.

    I think one oversight on my part is that (with regards to this domestic transcon service) AA only carries certain amounts of food, like what you said above. Therefore given the option, if I'm understanding this correctly, as Captain Oveur said, by giving them a wider variety of selection of what entree they want (not limited to the ones usually carried on-board), it adds extra customer value.
     
  10. DCtrAAveler
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    Had an interesting experience with pre-order on my Christmas holiday flights. Flew IAD-DFW-AUS on 24 Dec. Received upgrade notice about the 100-hr mark, and went to my reservations to do some seat shifting and to check out whether the pre-order option was available, which it was. I was traveling with my partner, so I ordered one of each entree so we could try/share - one chicken, one beef. Because of the pre-order option, I thought it would be relatively safe to ignore FEBO, and put us at the bulkhead on the outbound flights (odd #) since we were on the S80, and I like those E/F bulkhead seats. When it came time for lunch, #1 FA did the normal FEBO routine, got to us in 3 E/F, and had absolutely no idea what we were talking about when we told him we'd pre-selected our entrees.

    Of course, he hadn't looked at the manifest at all, which did indeed show our pre-selected entree choice, as he discovered when we suggested he take a look to see if that might be where it was printed. Fortunately, there were still choices available, and we got what we wanted, but he told us catering had loaded 8 of each, so we could easily have been out of luck. Note to self (and others) - even with pre-select, still pay attention to FEBO, just in case.

    The incident (no big deal to us, but the FA made a point of telling his colleagues what happened) did result in us having conversations with all three FAs working the flight, which was rather fun.
     
  11. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    It did happen to me last month too on AA 252 LAX - MIA! I noticed the FEBO routine, but didn't care since I was sure that the FA wouldn't even ask me, and then when he got to me and ask, I just told him that is the same what I did choose online and he told me there was no such thing! So I chose again, and send a complaint to AA, which was not answered yet!
     
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  12. DCtrAAveler
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    Yes, there do appear to be some internal comunication issues surrouding the rollout of this feature. The customers are being told they have the option, but FAs either aren't being told about it, or they're overlooking/ignoring the communications they are recieving. All of the FAs on my flight were at least aware of it as part of what they'd be trained on before receiving the new tablets that are being rolled out, but they seemed to have no idea that the info would also be included on the printed manifests. Now, had the FA bothered to look at the manifest to begin with (not a requirement, I guess?), and had seen the notation, perhaps things would have been different.
     
  13. anabolism
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    AA stopped over-catering some time back, and as I understand it, at least for domestic, usually has exactly enough meals as there are seats, with some pre-determined ratio of the choices. It seems to me that some choices (e.g., pasta) likely cost AA less than other choices (e.g., beef). So, I'd expect AA to weight the ratio to lower cost rather than to improve the odds of passengers getting their first choice (e.g., more pasta than beef, even if beef is more popular). A further hint along these lines came about six months back when a FA mentioned to me that there always seemed to be more of the less-popular dishes catered, and she'd reported the situation repeatedly but nothing came of it. So, by offering passengers their choice, AA seems likely to increase their costs because people are more likely to choose more expensive options.

    What's BTC? I assume that's something like what CX, BA, and QF (at least) do in international F where they load a lot of food, and passengers can choose "one of each" if they like? (Also to be noted is that many of those carriers also offer passengers their choice of food whenever they like, no need to pay attention to normal meal service times, kind of like AA's Dine-on-Demand taken to the extreme.)

    If AA is offering people their choice, even if it's just of the meal options scheduled for that flight, that's a significant improvement over the situation now, when people with various dietary requirements or just preferences have very little option.

    I expect this to be extremely useful advice until FAs (and who knows who else) get used to the new system. I have no idea how long this may take.
     
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  14. DestinationDavid
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    BTC = SQ's Book the Cook feature LINK
     
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  15. anabolism
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    Ok, that's raising the bar, especially since it's business class.
     

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