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Old Dec 17, 11, 8:16 am   #1
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Lack of alcohol service on UAX

4 fairly recent legs on UAX flights with no alcohol avaialable.

1st instance was a CRJ-7 in First Class. FA, who was really good, said catering did not load any alcohol. She gave me a skykit for it.

Next two instances were on Emb145s and I was trying to use 1k drink chits. FAs advised catering did not load any alcohol. I didn't complain about these.

Last instance was again Emb145 using a drink chit. FA, while doing a normal, cart in the aisle drink service, said they are not serving alcohol on this flight. ???

I don't complain easily, but what is the value of 1k drink chits if you can never use them? An email to 1kvoice resulted in the response:

There was continuous light, occasional intermediate turbulence at the higher altitudes on November xx, 2011, which is why the flight crew chose to reduce the beverage service and not include alcoholic beverages... I don't recall any turbulence on the flight, and it certainly wasn't mentioned by FA or flight deck.

Putting aside my thought that if it is safe enough to wheel a cart down the aisle, it is safe enough to get me a beer, has anyone else noticed issues in getting a drink on drink on UAX flight? Curious to see if I am just having bad luck or there is a trend happening.

I really try to avoid them if possible, but getting harder and harder to find all mainline itineraries...even with a fairly flexible schedule. Taking away the alcohol just rubs salt on the RJ-caused wound.
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Old Dec 17, 11, 8:57 am   #2
  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
There was continuous light, occasional intermediate turbulence at the higher altitudes on November xx, 2011, which is why the flight crew chose to reduce the beverage service and not include alcoholic beverages... I don't recall any turbulence on the flight, and it certainly wasn't mentioned by FA or flight deck.
This sounds like B.S. to me. How is Customer Service going to know something like that?

What were the routes/carrier? The only time I don't get beverage service is on very short flights, like SBA-LAX. When beverages are served, it always includes alcohol.
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Old Dec 17, 11, 5:52 pm   #3
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Original response to my email was to let me know they were researching with the operating carrier (Express Jet) and would get back with me.

About a week later was the explanation that beverage service was altered due to the "turbulence".

I am sure CS was just parroting what they were told by ExpressJet, so I don't really have a beef with them. I think the turbulence story was a CYA by ExpressJet for not serving alcohol on the flight.

The FA was not impressive in any way, and my gut feeling was she didn't want to take the time or mess with paperwork / inventory / something.

Good question for anyone in the know....does an alcohol sale on a UAX flight cause additional work for the crew? I am sure the money has to be accounted for, etc.

This is by no means a huge deal. It was a personal flight for a well deserved vacation so a drink would have been nice.

I was mainly curious to see if anyone else had experienced anything similar since I had 4 occurrences in such a short time.

Last edited by goodeats21; Dec 17, 11 at 5:53 pm Reason: punctuation
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Old Dec 17, 11, 7:18 pm   #4
  
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I had a recent UX flight JAX-IAD; was told no booze had been boarded since ORD... nada to drink!
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Old Dec 17, 11, 7:54 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by mauiUAflyer View Post
I had a recent UX flight JAX-IAD; was told no booze had been boarded since ORD... nada to drink!
I'd ask for and take the skykit in lieu of booze on that flight.

Now, if they left out the booze on a 1500+ mile CRJ flight...
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Old Mar 29, 12, 10:19 am   #6
  
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Thumbs up

FWIW, on 27-March I had a frosty-cold Heineken on a UAEX CLE-STL flight.

Paid for it with a legacy CO drink coupon.
No problem whatsoever.

YMMV
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Old Mar 29, 12, 12:47 pm   #7
  
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FWIW, on 27-March I had a frosty-cold Heineken on a UAEX CLE-STL flight.

Paid for it with a legacy CO drink coupon.
No problem whatsoever.

YMMV
it was actually frosty and cold? if so I am impressed

what was the UAX carrier, and the equipment?
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Old Mar 29, 12, 1:29 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by TWAB747nomore View Post
it was actually frosty and cold? if so I am impressed

what was the UAX carrier, and the equipment?
Defintely cold, not actually frosty.

Trans States ERJ-145
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Old Mar 29, 12, 9:08 pm   #9
  
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had 4 frosty ones from IAH today on my way back home to COS....f/a said i screwed my fellow freq flyers on the return to houston as there is no catering in COS......after spending the last 3 months in kabul i didnt care what she said
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Old Mar 31, 12, 12:08 pm   #10
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
I'd ask for and take the skykit in lieu of booze on that flight.

Now, if they left out the booze on a 1500+ mile CRJ flight...
I had that flight in December with no booze (thanks, JAX catering!), and also no skykits according to the FA. Well, it was only an hour and a half...
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Old Mar 31, 12, 1:01 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
I had that flight in December with no booze (thanks, JAX catering!), and also no skykits according to the FA. Well, it was only an hour and a half...
There is no outstation catering for UAX equipment. All catering is handled in ORD/DEN/IAD/SFO/LAX/EWR/CLE/IAH.

UAX flights operating legacy United flights are not even professionally catered. Each plane has a pad of order forms and the FAs are responsible for taking inventory and ordering the appropriate amount of supplies. Catering is ordered by the FA leaving the plane, not the FA taking the plane out. Problems arise when:
-the commissary agent disregards what you order, and give you whatever they feel like (usually results in shortages)
-the FA leaving the plane either didn't order the correct amount, or didn't order anything at all
-catering is damaged upon arrival. What we order is placed into garbage bags and left in the galley for us to put away. I can't tell you how often I throw out busted/exploded cans, ruined packs of napkins from said cans, dirty bags of ice, etc

Liquor is an entirely different battle. Kits are stocked and sealed up by commissary agents, and made available to us for order. The amount of liquor in the kits rarely matches the paperwork (this is a particular problem in Chicago). Also, ExpressJet (and maybe others, I'm not sure) cannot receive new kits in IAD, which tends to cause slim pickin's when a plane hasn't been through ORD or DEN within the past two days). Last month I ordered and received a new kit in Chicago -- upon opening I found: 4 minis of dewars, 3 miller lites, and 2 sprite zeros (... on that one). Many of the hubs seem unable to keep up with "demand" because requesting a new kit also tends to result in a "i don't have one, I'll go try to find one" from the commo agent. I've also had them pick up a kit that I was attempting to return because it only had 10 beers (nothing else), and the commo agent said "this is too heavy to be empty" and then he placed it back in my galley and did not bring me a new one. So between all of that, plus us having absolutely nowhere to dump the water leftover from icing down the beer/white wine (they say not to dump it on the ramp, so that leaves us trying to bag up what was formerly 5-8 lbs of ice into several trash bags -- reason number 1 why you often see water sloshing about in the e145 galley), a lot of flight attendants choose not to deal with it.

The catering procedures for legacy UAX flights are atrocious, and we try to do the best with what we have. Liquor is always available on my flights, but I know thats not the case with a lot of FAs that are already too tired of cleaning and organizing the galley (did I mention they don't pull carts and bins off to clean them, like, ever?) that liquor is just something they dont want to deal with.
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Old Mar 31, 12, 7:46 pm   #12
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It wouldnt surprise me if they knew how many passengers on board had chits or would be getting free drinks.
It reminds me of a hotel in the BVI, where I could easily get beer and burgers at the pool bar, while others were complaining about slow service--It turns out that they were on an all-inclusive rate and I wasnt, so I had to pay

I tried trading a highly prized and coverted 09CHFS discount coupon for a beer, and the FA said, we use those coupons as a profit center as most people cant figure it out

Last edited by iluv2fly; Apr 2, 12 at 9:25 pm Reason: merge
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Old Apr 1, 12, 10:58 am   #13
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Hachiko
Thanks for the very informative post. I have heard before that UAX catering was "a mess" and this just confirms it.

I had also heard that CO Express did a better job with this, so maybe there is hope for the future? Maybe we might even see "real" catering that doesn't involve the FA managing it....and dare we dream of real food on EXPlus instead of the snack boxes? If UAX is going to have First Class on 3+ hour flights, it should have more than a snack box.

Thanks again, and hope things get better for ya.
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Old Apr 1, 12, 8:07 pm   #14
  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Hachiko
Thanks for the very informative post. I have heard before that UAX catering was "a mess" and this just confirms it.

I had also heard that CO Express did a better job with this, so maybe there is hope for the future? Maybe we might even see "real" catering that doesn't involve the FA managing it....and dare we dream of real food on EXPlus instead of the snack boxes? If UAX is going to have First Class on 3+ hour flights, it should have more than a snack box.

Thanks again, and hope things get better for ya.
Believe me, we are all hoping they choose to expand the way of things on the legacy-CO side of things. It's such a breath of fresh air to land in IAH/EWR/CLE operating a legacy-CAL flight. I step off the aircraft and a team of cleaners come on to clean (doesn't happen with UAX), and the Chelsea truck pulls up and caters the airplane (brand new carts, bins, etc). Not to mention slightly fresher orange juice, real milk for coffee, lemons and limes.. what a world of difference. If there is one thing CAL was exceptional at, it was offering the CoEx product as something identical to a mainline flight.

I think the new United needs to take a hard look at its Express product, and step it up. DalConn flights offer meals in first on many routes, and now they are working on onboard wifi on the CRJs. If I were a regular flyer looking to spend my money on a quality product, well, I can tell you where I wouldn't go.
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Old Apr 1, 12, 9:19 pm   #15
  
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lots of booze last time I flew

lots of booze last time I flew

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE02L...1&feature=plcp
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