AC is doing phone surveys

Old Mar 2, 01, 7:06 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott LTP/PE
Posts: 292
AC is doing phone surveys

I received a call last night from The Reid Group (old Angus Reid polling?) with a survey aboout AC's service between YYZ and LHR. If you get a call, WARNING! - it takes almost 30 minutes. Do you think AC is just a little concerned about the arrival of Virgin on that route? Also, make sure you let the caller know about those lousy J seat with the bar across the footrest, and tell them to serve something other than that rich clotted cream and scones concoction before arriving at YYZ - enough sugar and fat in that to put you into cardiac arrest [sic].
buddman is offline  
Old Mar 2, 01, 9:23 am
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,452
LOL - Actually I sorta like that about the tea service - it's sorta quaint! Sometimes it seems only airlines still serve clotted cream and scones for tea!
Fly Boy is offline  
Old Mar 2, 01, 8:16 pm
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Kitchener
Posts: 141
F.Y.I. - unless your planning on flying J/C, Virgin has a 31 inch pitch in Y class. AC has 32 to 34.
purser @AC is offline  
Old Mar 4, 01, 12:56 am
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Guelph, ON. Canada AC Elite, Latin Pass, BA,
Posts: 431
It's not often I come to AC's defence but I must say that in comparison to Virgin the J class is better.

OK you don't get a massage on AC but no one realizes that only 60-65% of the Pax's on Virgin J do and it's only a 5 min. massage.

As for comfort AC's J is roomier, and with better seats.

I flew Virgin once LHR-JNB, and flew BA back to LHR!
Canadian is offline  
Old Mar 5, 01, 6:21 pm
Company Representative - Air Canada
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Canada
Posts: 24,215
Just got a similar phone call asking me to do a survey for them. The guy said it takes 20 mins but since buddman said it takes 30 mins, I kindly ask them to call me back at another time. It'll probably be about my HKG trip last week.
Andrew Yiu is offline  
Old Mar 5, 01, 7:21 pm
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Did you fly back from JNB on BA because your Virgin experience was not that good? And how did BA compare? As for massages, one can get a 15-minute one in the Moulton Brown room in BA's T4 Arrivals Lounge, which is very relaxing before heading into the city for the day, or hopping onto another 8-hour flight. But I must admit, the Virgin massage I got at their Toronto press conference was a very good way to get ready for the Richard Branson experience.

But I think the real issue comes down to the fact that AC is losing a sense of distinct character and identity. It has very little sizzle in either of its two products: front cabin or rear. The carrier used to be known for its cool corporate image, and stolid performance. Today, I think one of the things Milton and his wunderkinds need to do is establish a solid brand character. Otherwise, it becomes stodgy, reliable service, but that's about all. And I know the whole point of the exercise is to get you from point A to point B, safely and efficiently. But...

BA's show last week really sold its new sizzle. They were intent on demonstrating how BA is redefining the flying experience, creating a new and distinctive range of products for all segments of the market. Adding value for the dollar, or pound, spent. Virgin has its own hip image which it may or may not live up to, and which may or may not appeal to certain people. RootsAir is very much hoping to create a similar sizzle about its product and interpretation of the flying experience.

While many may say this has little to do with attracting customers, it does have a lot to do with distinguishing products in a field that most people don't see as offering much difference. BA assumes if it is to get a higher fare from its customers, it must justify this by creating a slightly better experience for them while they are encapsulated in the aircraft.

Quite honestly, I find AC's products very bland and boring. The service might be very good, the food okay, and seats variable depending upon the aircraft you're flying. But the experience itself is quite non-existent.

Particularly in the back cabin, now having experienced two intercontinental trips in a month. Food trays are an embarrassment and show no character or design consideration. They are corporate cafeteria/hospital/nursing home bland. And the clear plastic boxes for either breakfast or midday snacks, are downright institutional too. At least on my CP flight back from LHR, we got our snack in a small basket which projected some sense of character and style. Out of MUC, we were given the usual bag of pretzels with the first round of drinks. An hour earlier, I had one of those legendary giant Munich pretzels in the Senator Lounge, and fortunately had packed away the uneaten half for the flight so could enjoy it with my scotch. But why could AC not have boarded these locals pretzels and some small packs of German mustard to add some pizzaz? Similarly, the beer on board is always the same standard Blue, Export or Kokannee. Why not some good micros as AS and NW do, even in economy? AC's catering service is just too institutional cafeteria, and thus lacks any sense of real character other than that.

AC can rest on its laurels, but I hope this survey leads to a recognition that Milton and company must return to the days when AC actually had an image and character that could stand with the best in the airline business. This is increasingly critical because we will within weeks see the end of Canadian's identity, and the sooner we see evidence of a single cabin standard and design, the better.

[This message has been edited by Shareholder (edited 03-05-2001).]
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