Comparing AC to other airlines

Old May 13, 02, 4:06 am
  #1  
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Comparing AC to other airlines

For the past three months I have been flying carriers that I either rarely flew with or never at all. I just wanted to share with you my comparison of these carriers to AC.

Since mid-February, I basically stopped flying AC. When AP revisited the benefits to SE and Es I had already had tickets for travel to mid-February. I was hoping for some rollbacks to some of the benefits that both SE and Es had been receiving as it was going to determine how much more business I was going to direct to AC. The unannounced changes to AP coupled with what I have described before in December made me think, at least for the short-term, to fly carriers other than AC.

Since mid-February I've flown with LH, UA, NW, CO, KL, TG, MH (Malaysian), SQ and 3 AC flights.

Overall my experience has been 'okay' to very good on the other carriers except for very unprofessional CO gate agent in IAH for a flight to MIA.

On some of these flights I have paid to fly in J/F and on others I was given a comp upgrade because of my FF status with KLM and NW. In addition, my flights are now being credited to primarily 3 FF programs.

After comparing these carriers, I would have to say, for most of these flights -- not all of them, that the inflight service was equal to, or better, than the pre-CP days of AC. (i.e. before the merger concerns crept into front-line service. To compare the previous 18 months would be unfair since service quality had dropped - and evidence of this is AC has gone from best in the world to 10th in the world).

Service in MH J was amazing. Y in SQ was excellent especially to my flight from SIN to HKG. Service in J with KL was about the same as AC but in all fairness I slept for over 6 hours on the flight. Service on NW Y was 'okay' on the international flight. NW F (north America) is better than AC J class. And J on TG....service was equal to that of AC. Y in KL I would say was equal to or worse than AC. (Note: I'm comparing the service I recieved on AC flights where the FA did not know me. If they knew me, the service was excellent).

But one thing I have to give credit to AC is the J configuration. 2 x 2 x 2 config is great.

I find the the US carrier config for international J class at 2x3x2 (and LH 747 service) to be a big turn off and to me puts them below AC. Mind you, LH from IAD is a A340 service, 2x2x2 in J.

I have now flown 3 flights as revenue on AC since mid-February. Two were RJ service from YYZ to IAD to catch, in one case, UA's Y+ 777 to Europe, and LH's A340 service to FRA. The third was moving my UA Y+ flight at 15h44 from ORD to YYZ to AC's flight at 15h45 once I knew I was able to use my SE upgrade. (I was unsucessful using my SE upgrade from HKG to YVR so I flew in UA's Y+ from HKG to ORD).

As I had mentioned in an post back in Feb, that I would use my non-rev AC flights to determine how much travel I would do on AC. Basically seeing if service quality had improved.

Directly related to the excellent check-in I received from the J class agents in YYZ, transborder, I now no longer forbid my employees to fly AC, although we now look at minimum connection times and fares as the determining factor to what airline we book.

The ironic thing in all this, before the change to AP(which for me was the last straw to a long 18 months), I would have just directed that AC be used. I would say, AC is probably been used about 30% of the time instead of the 100% last year since I've indicated that AC is permissable. Again, minimum connection time and fare is the guideline that I have introduced and my employees are looking at comfort. This is why many of them have been asking for UA's Y+.

As far as for me, I'm flying back to Canada late this week and then fly out western Canada for the Cdn long wkend and business next week. I'm flying on AP to see how the service has improved.

If any indication of my two IAD flights and my ORD flight, I suspect that it won't be too long before AC will be one of my preferred carriers again, HOWEVER, subject to connection times, fares and comfort.

As far as FF programs. I'll hit SE and 1K for sure this year if my travel patterns continue for the remaining part of the year.

In closing, in some ways, I should thank AC as their actions in January with AP gave me the emotional break I needed, after flying exclusively with AC for 16 years. I'm finding that, in some -- not all cases, that things are equal to, or better than AC. But in the meantime, I have been saving $$$, enjoying my flights, and seeing how other airlines run their business -- not to mention going through airports I've never gone through before.

But in not flying AC...there is a sadness of not flying with family. I do miss some people....Secret Agent et al in MIA (now flying AA or NW/AA to fly back home, and soon it seems it will be US), concierge (who I can never say enough good things about) and the staff at the SE desk...there is less reason to call but when I do, they are as helpful as always.

Happy travels everyone.
Cheers

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Old May 13, 02, 6:37 am
  #2  
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Thanks for those insights sing-along. I can relate as I have been in a similar situation although I haven't flown on as many other carriers as you.

I do feel that twinge of sadness (separation anxiety?) after being a loyal top tier customer for at least the last 8 years.

I keep hoping for some additional signs of progress and restoration of trust. At least the service levels are recovering and SE benefits are largely intact. But what guarantees do we have for next year?

Hope that our FT members that are at the shareholders' meeting get a chance to let AC board members know that some of this experimentation has had a very negative effect.
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Old May 13, 02, 10:40 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by BlondeBomber:



Hope that our FT members that are at the shareholders' meeting get a chance to let AC board members know that some of this experimentation has had a very negative effect.
</font>
I keep hoping that AC now has data on developing trends in respect to top tier members leaving and giving their business to other carriers. Are we making a dent in the bottom line? If so, when is AC going to react to these defections? It takes about $10 to attract a customer and it only takes $1 to maintain that same customer.


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Old May 13, 02, 12:38 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2002
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sing-along,

thanx for the kind words about employees, we will keep trying our best to win our loyal customers back. we don't always have the wright tools but we have to improvise and bend over backwards sometimes. If you pass through YYZ next week send me an email and i'll see if I can do "something" for you.

thanx again
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Old May 13, 02, 3:06 pm
  #5  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by sing-along:

But in not flying AC...there is a sadness of not flying with family. I do miss some people....Secret Agent et al in MIA (now flying AA or NW/AA to fly back home, and soon it seems it will be US), concierge (who I can never say enough good things about) and the staff at the SE desk...there is less reason to call but when I do, they are as helpful as always.

Happy travels everyone.
Cheers

</font>
We miss you too.

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Old May 14, 02, 4:18 am
  #6  
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ACDUDE,

Thank you, however, I'm going to respectfully decline your offer. It's really not necessary. Part of the reason is I want to judge to see how much things have improved at check-in and inflight. I have three segments on this trip to Western Canada so I'll be able to judge short-haul and long-haul.

The other reason is I really don't like bothering people -- I know that you offered -- however I don't really want to take you away from your other duties.

Besides, once on board, I'll probably just sit back read a newspaper, I'm behind in reading a couple of journals, I'll pick up the latest copy of Frank Magazine (my authoritative news source ), try to enjoy the meal , and just watch to see how the flight progresses.

Next week I fly back to YYZ after my mtg after the long wkend, and then in the latter part of the week I'm heading off to YOW and YUL before making my way back to Europe/Asia/US/Canada.

But how'z this: **If** time permits, I'll flip you an e-mail after I get back into YYZ next week but before I leave for YOW so there is no possibility of you making any special arrangements/messages on my long haul flights.

Thanks again...your gesture is very much appreciated.

Cheers

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Old May 24, 02, 2:37 am
  #7  
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I arrived on Wed night back here into YYZ from YEG/YVR this past wkend. YEG for pleasure and YVR for business.

Just wanted to post an interesting comment that was made to me.

I was checking in YYZ on Friday and I was in the SE line. There were 3 agents working there. One of them, I remember distinctly. Her vileness and distain towards me was quickly hidden when concierge came to my side (read rescue) in mid December.

As luck had it, she was free and she motioned my wife and I to approach. She was more friendly this time. Asked where we were going. I then asked that the bag be checked in under my name (for insurance purposes not to mention AC has always bent over backwards for me when it has come to baggage problems and purchases I have had to made relating to delayed bags). She looks at me and shakes her head, pauses and then says yes. The headshake reminded me of the things she said and did in mid-December, although I was just waiting for the rolled eyes to be directed my way like in December after making a request.

I then thanked her and then said "Thank you, I do appreciate that XXXX". She was stunned. Asked me how I knew her name. I did not reply to that question but the said to her here are our ids.

This is the interesting comment she made to us. She then asked did I know her name because "I (Check-in agent) was not nice to you or that I did something wrong".

We both thought it was interesting that the only reason she thought that I would know her name was because she was rude to me or did something wrong -- although she was right on both accounts.

My response to her question was "Is the flight on time this evening?". She then commented that I did not answer her question.

I was pleasant throughout the check-in as was she after I called her by her first name although I did not say anything more than what I have typed above except for at the end I said two words -- "Thank you" and then left.

But overall...the flight to YEG was very good (although I slept all the way there) but my wife said they were great and everytime came by tried their best (and succeeded) in not waking me up at all.

From YEG to YVR the flight was okay as was AC142 to YYZ. Nothing exciting about inflight. Mine FA was good.

As far as check-in, the agent in YYZ became pleasant, but in YEG...check-in was **excellent**. In YVR things were great as well. Concierge met me on the outbound flights from YEG and YVR (outbound), although I did not request to meet them.

Glad to see that some things have improved. I'm off to YUL in the morning...this time revenue, so let's see what happens!

Gotta go...up for 21 hours and need to post one more thread....

Cheers

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