New First Class meal service

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Apr 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    I realize this has been touched upon in the thread on the First Class snack basket changes, but I just had my first experience with this a few minutes ago and thought it was worth it's own thread. So, here goes:

    In short, thought the new service was fantastic. I'm sitting on US 1499 from CLT-LAX and just finished up dinner, and have been highly impressed with everything so far. Random observations include:

    --The glassware is a nice improvement. There are ceramic mugs for those who order tea or coffee; glasses for beer, soda, water, juice, etc; and separate glasses for wine. Not sure about the mugs, but my wine glass (and I think the other glasses) have the US flag logo on them...it looks good. Speaking of the US logo, it was also on all of the silverware, which I don't think was the case before...a nice touch.

    --The food was great. My meal was as follows: Main course was Teryaki beef steak with rice and green beans, side of mashed potatos with chicken, a caeser salad, and a dinner roll. The beef was cooked perfectly...medium rare, tender, and juicy. Dessert was a piece of cheesecake with caramel syrup drizzled on the side...excellent! They brought a bread basket around multiple times and served the rolls from there. The meal was well paced, presented nicely, and overall very enjoyable. (The other choice was jumbo cheese ravioli with mushrooms, which also looked fantastic...large portion and smelled great...not sure what the side was with that).

    --The drink service was excellent as well. I asked for red wine, and was told there was a choice of a merlot or cabernet sauvignon; the FA then went and got both bottles, brought them back to me to show me my choices, and asked if they were acceptable. Also, after dinner with the cheesecake, she suggested coffee with Bailey's for everyone...I declined, but appreciated the offer!

    --The overall service from the FA was fantastic. Actually, for the entire dinner service, we had two FA's servicing the first class cabin. Our main FA interacted with the cabin, while the second FA helped her up front preparing food, drinks, etc., so that was great. She has been incredibly friendly--addressing each passenger by name, asking everyone "Will you be dining with us this evening?" before the meal service, introducing herself by name to all of us individually at the beginning of the flight...just some very nice touches.

    Overall, the service has been great, from the food to the staff...my only disappointment is that my project in LA is almost over, so I'll only have a couple more transcons in the near future to enjoy the service before I start traveling closer to home!
     
  2. RedM3Pilot
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    RedM3Pilot Gold Member

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    Thanks for the report.

    Were there PDBs?
     
  3. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Yes, PDB's and snack service before dinner service as well.
     
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  4. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Also, forgot to mention in the original post that the other thing I noticed was that the FA served the meal in "non sequential" order, so to speak...by that I mean she did not go row 1, A/C, D/F, row 2, etc. when asking for meal preferences or later when serving the meal. She started with the guy in 4D, then went to 2 A/C, then over to me in 3D, then up to 1...and she was going by a list because she was looking and addressing everyone by name as she did this, so can I assume she was actually going based on some sort of "priority" list? Like maybe Paid F first, then CP, PP, GP, so on and so forth? I can't think of anything else...anyway, thought it was interesting, but done discretely without really drawing attention to it, so I thought it was fine.
     
  5. MikeLaw
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    MikeLaw Silver Member

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    She was probably taking orders by status. You see that now and again. It would be nice if they did that as a standard practice.
     
  6. Art234
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    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    Nice to hear such a positive report. They apparently are beginning to understand the importance of premium product on domestic flights. Let's hope it continues.
     
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  7. dcpatti
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    dcpatti Silver Member

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    It's really nice to have such an organized, well-implemented approach to improving service. I've noticed a gradual, slow set of changes over the last 18 months or so, starting with the planes being a lot cleaner. I haven't seen pen marks all over the seat back in a long time (to be fair, I haven't been in Y in a long time either so who knows if that's just an F thing, or all around the plane) and the lavs smell like cleaning products a lot more often than they smell like stinky old used lav. Baggage service has been faster, and the Priority tags have been working far more often than not; phone service and ground support (ticket agents, gate agents) have shown a consistently better attitude, too. So the improved F service is the icing on the cake. I really hope the trend continues; after having slowly been inching up for so long, I can't imagine it all backsliding at once.
     
  8. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the report. It sounds like Hector Adler is introducing his standards for transcon F service. It's too bad that the snack basket for short hauls had to be sacrificed, but if he could not get the budget to do what he really wanted to do, then I think that he made the right choice.
     
  9. 1529 CLT-DEN on 4/5 @ 6:00 PM

    I was sitting in 3C. No PDB, but boarding was late due to a wheel chair basketball team being onboard (ranked #7 in the country). As boarding was finishing up I observed the first officer open a cabinet door revealing two fully stocked snack baskets. He helped himself to some snacks and retreated to the cockpit. Despite the baskets being loaded, the FA only passed out the new snack mix, which was tasty and only 150 cals and very low in saturated fat.

    I did not mind only receiving the snack mix because the meal provided plenty of food. The FA did not follow the FEBO standard, starting instead with 1A and working back. Choices were teriyaki beef or cheese & mushroom ravioli in tomato sauce. I gave first choice to my charming 72-year old female seatmate, and she chose the last teriyaki. I was very happy with my meal. The appetizer included grilled chicken on top of some time of small spheres of grain or pasta. The kicker was a vegetable jam that was very flavorful. The salad was fresh and the croutons crisp. The ravioli was great and very filling. I washed it down with a bottle of red from a glass that was constantly refilled. Dessert was a caramel cheesecake with coffee in a mug. The FA asked how I wanted my coffee and brought it to me pre-mixed. Her excellent service earned her a A&B.

    The pass in 3D could not eat cheese or wheat, so the crew prepared some type of gluton and cheese-free enchilada. From the sound of the conversation, it did not appear the meal was pre-ordered. I was impressed with how the FA was able to accommodate her on the fly.

    I'll get to try out the new breakfast on the return flight this Saturday.
     
  10. rookieflyer

    rookieflyer Active Member

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    Just a quick check to make sure I have it right. Going SEA-PHX on the 820 on Friday. There will be no glassware, and a snack basket correct? Flight is like 2h48m or soemthing along those lines.
     
  11. kellio
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    kellio Gold Member

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    Right. No meal service = no glassware and the snack basket.

    I had the breakfast service yesterday morning. The breakfast quesidilla was pretty good, with potatoes and fresh fruit. Mmmm....the biscuit though, light, fluffy and soft. I could have a few of those!
     
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  12. rookieflyer

    rookieflyer Active Member

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    Bummer here I was thinking a couple of cocktails would taste much better in glass than plastic. Oh well:eek:
     
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  13. SS255
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    If you have enough of them, you won't notice the difference. :D
     
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  14. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Flew First on US1290 DFW-PHL yesterday. Blocked at 3:18 minutes, about 2:30 actual flying time. We received a meal, but there was only one option...I'm assuming because there's no oven on the E190, they just had a cold choice. It was a salad topped with "hummus chicken" (basically strips of chicken lightly coated in hummus), a side plate with pineapple and a couple whole shrimp, a roll, and cheesecake for dessert.

    I wasn't sure I'd even get a meal since the flight was blocked under 3.5 hours, so that was a nice surprise that I did. The hummus chicken was actually quite good...and the pineapple was excellent. There was definitely something else on it that enhanced it more than just regular pineapple. The roll was a bit dry, but the cheesecake was fantastic as well. I can't remember exactly what kindof cheesecake it was, but it had an Oreo crust and was great!

    The whole meal came out on one tray (as opposed to bread basket and dessert coming afterwards like I've experienced on transcons since they updated First meal service), so maybe they have meals like this on certain routes that are close to the 3.5 hour mark but aren't super long?

    Also, even though there was a meal, glassware was not used on the flight. It seemed like this was a "hybrid" type of meal service given the plane type and length of flight.
     
  15. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    Great reports! I suspect DFW-PHL has meal service for competitive reasons with AA.

    To the OP - i love it when I have a great FA. I always try to travel with A&Bs (above and beyond certs) to thank them.
     
  16. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I switched most of my flying from US to AA after trying AA's domestic F once and now I might have to reconsider given all these recent US changes going on. Looks like they figured out what to do with all that buy miles promo money they've been raking in.
     
  17. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say the new US service is better than AA's...it's certainly more competitive, but from everything I hear, AA's domestic F is still the best that's out there.
     
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