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FAQ: Air Canada New meal offerings for International Business Class Customers

FAQ: Air Canada New meal offerings for International Business Class Customers

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Old Dec 18, 18, 8:36 am
  #2371  
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
Finally, an awesome dessert worthy of the Air Canada: Cake…..on a Plane thread

And for some unknown reason, 24left forgot to take a photo...
That just tells me it was a VERY delicious looking cake, such that you couldn't possibly pause for a photo before trying it.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 7:59 am
  #2372  
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Pre-Order Meals....Asking Again

I would start a separate thread just for this question, but since it has been asked here a number of times......

Many of us think AC has made some great improvements in recent years in the Business Class cabin and service. The Signature Service internationally and on selected transcon wide body routes is definitely nice, but it is not consistent on a number of levels.

For the purpose of this thread, I will once again ask the question

Why can't Air Canada offer pre-order of meals?

Like many here, I've been able to pre-order on BR for the past number of years. I really like that they offer a list of items available to order in advance, plus a section with the onboard menu for your flight. Many of us have been happy participants in the SQ Book the Cook menu (of which ex-SIN has so many choices it is really hard to choose).

When I fly CX, the meal order in Manage Bookings offers the ability to order by sector. Once I select my meal for the first flight, there is a prompt asking if I would like the same meal for the entire itinerary.

I am also impressed how the ISMs on BR and CX and SQ - with their iPads in hand - approach all of us who have pre-ordered any type of meal, and are pleased to tell us that our meals are onboard. In some cases, they say that if we don't like the meal, to let them know and there may be other options available.

And to be clear, it doesn't matter if there are those who may not know in advance what they want, or may change their mind, or may change their flight. Just as SQ and BR do, AC can offer the option to select from the onboard menu once you are onboard.


Air Canada does not offer pre-order. We've been told they tested it. My sense is either the test failed because IT or logistics between AC and their catering company didn't work, or because it might cost a few coins and no one thought the cost was worth it.

In addition, whereas AC only offers pre-order of SPMLs, I do not want that meal for all sectors on my routes as the quality of the SPMLs is NOT consistent at some stations and with some of the catering suppliers AC uses. I have to explain to some res agents that I may only want a SPML for one sector and despite promises that it will be for just that sector, I've ended up with that SPML for all 4 and it wasn't edible, thus money wasted and no meal.

I've also been asked by some AC employees why AC doesn't have pre-order as it would then guarantee all those in Business Class their first choice and not tell someone that 'we've run out of beef, chicken, fish...."


I bring this up again because today.......

SIA World's First Airline With Network-Wide Meal Pre-Ordering For Premium Class Customers

Note the parts about Business Class and Premium Economy and in the press release, you'll see that it "complements the existing Book the Cook programme"

QUOTE:

"20 December 2018 - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched a new service enabling customers travelling in Suites, First Class and Business Class from anywhere in the Airline’s global network to pre-order main courses from their flight’s menus. SIA is the world’s first airline to roll out this bespoke service on all flights across its network. There are also plans to extend it to Premium Economy Class in the near future.

Following a well-received soft launch in August 2018 for flights to and from North Asia, customers travelling in Suites, First Class and Business Class on any SIA flight may now view the in-flight menu for their flight on the Airline’s website, singaporeair.com, and pre-order their main courses, ensuring their choice of meal.

Customers may pre-select their meal choices anytime from three weeks before travel up to 24 hours before flight departure."


https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/u.../ne4318-181220
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Old Dec 20, 18, 8:41 am
  #2373  
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post

Why can't Air Canada offer pre-order of meals?
And the answer is, because the cabin crew s already so stretched out that it would be unreasonable to expect them to deal with it.So, ultimately, cost. Just like, I can't expect my steak still to be reasonably rare, or my fish to end up way overdone.In this instance, a non insignificant cost, because it's labor.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 8:44 am
  #2374  
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What about the other NA airlines?
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Old Dec 20, 18, 8:47 am
  #2375  
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
What about the other NA airlines?
I put this in the International Meals' thread because the comparison is to other airlines which AC may aspire to be like
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Old Dec 20, 18, 9:04 am
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I can start a very long thread about this topic, but in short, I think the answer is that AC does not have to compete with carriers like SQ, BR, CX, QR, EK, QF, etc. If AC operates in SE Asia or ME, and AC provides its current level of service, good luck.

But to put things in perspective, the carriers I mentioned above rarely offer sub $3000 CAD J fares for long haul flights.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 9:12 am
  #2377  
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Originally Posted by songsc View Post


But to put things in perspective, the carriers I mentioned above rarely offer sub $3000 CAD J fares for long haul flights.
I actively for for these kinds of fares on AC. However I have not seen many lately.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 9:14 am
  #2378  
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
What about the other NA airlines?
Just like AC, they live in an environment where labor costs are much higher than in regions of the world where slave labor is still available. (OK, admittedly in the US it still is. But not for airlines, which cannot afford illegal labor.)
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Old Dec 20, 18, 9:31 am
  #2379  
 
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RE: Pre-Order Meals....Asking Again
I would enjoy having this too.

A simple program to start would be okay by me - be able to pre-select and confirm your meal choice.

I don't need a custom cooked meal... though it would be nice.

As a SE, getting my meal choice is not hard. That said, it doesn't always work out that way. Also, when I travel with family they sometimes don't get their first choice. If people that are already booked into J can prebook their #1 meal choice, then that would help with overall pax satisfaction. I've seen a lot of pax get upset about not being able to get their #1 meal choice.

When we flew from Hawaii this year, the couple in front of my daughter and I were annoyed that they didn't get their #1 meal choice (AC Rouge J...). And complained loudly that they were "full fare business class" and also asked why they didn't get asked before the people behind them (My daughter and I got asked for meal choices first out of the cabin).

Another time flying to HKG, one middle aged man got very confrontational with the SD because the *beef* option was no longer available. Full out temper tantrum. The pax beside him gave up his beef selection to appease the cry baby. (all that over an overcooked puck of beef).

If pax could prebook their meal selection, then it would avoid situations like the above 2.
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Last edited by Diabeetus; Dec 20, 18 at 9:33 am Reason: grammar
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Old Dec 20, 18, 7:12 pm
  #2380  
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What do BR, CX, and SQ all have in common?

They have one hub.

I've mentioned this before, but the wonderfulness of SQ's ordering quickly goes away when you're going to SIN, and not from SIN. I had to select 3 meals from 8 choices for LAX-NRT-SIN. The menu presented on board had the same 8 choices.

So at best, it guaranteed I got what I thought I'd want two weeks in advance. At worst, it caused them to cater less of the other options, so if I changed my mind, I'd be stuck with the pre-order.

Out of SIN, they have something like 70 options to choose from, and that gets a lot more interesting, as they don't cater them all on board.

However, AC does allow pre-ordering meals, through SPMLs. And look how that turns out.

So to answer your question "Why can't Air Canada offer pre-order of meals?"

1. They already offer it
2. They suck at it

If we slightly rephrase the question to "Why can't Air Canada offer pre-ordering off the standard menu?", then it's still because they suck at it. They could offer it, but they'd fail to deliver 25% of the time. When you don't pre-order, you have fewer expectations.

One time when I flew BR, they lost my second meal order. They said I'd only pre-ordered for the first meal. I'm fully willing to admit it's possible I clicked something wrong. But my intention was to pre-order both, and I was under every impression I had. Every bite I took of that second meal, I thought to myself, "if they hadn't lost my order, I'd be eating better food". So even if it was 100% my fault, I'm left with a (literally) sour taste in my mouth from the experience.

And that's an airline that generally does a great job at giving you what you order.

I actually think there's something to be said for realizing your limitations and not trying to deliver more than you can handle.

If AA can do it, it's clearly not too hindered by the difference in geography between the US and Singapore, though I'd never expect the selection of a one-hub airline to be available on something like AA or AC. But in things AC knows they need to improve, this is something that matters to such a small percentage of people that I don't see it being prioritized.

1. Get better with SPMLs
2. Fully switch everything to 1A
3. Launch Altitude 2.0
4. Allow seat selection on all bookings through the main MMB page

I could go on, but there's a whole list of things that would be worked on by the same people as meal pre-ordering, so unless you can pick one fo the above to deprioritize, that's the other reason.
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Old Dec 20, 18, 7:45 pm
  #2381  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
What do BR, CX, and SQ all have in common?

They have one hub.

I've mentioned this before, but the wonderfulness of SQ's ordering quickly goes away when you're going to SIN, and not from SIN. I had to select 3 meals from 8 choices for LAX-NRT-SIN. The menu presented on board had the same 8 choices.
Just looked at a SQ booking I have out of Perth Australia to Singapore....13 choices I can choose from months in advance and that's for a 1am departure and that does not include the fact you can order Special Dietary meals as well. How many meal choices does AC give at the best of times, never mind a late night departure?

And yes, the flights out of SIN have many more choices.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 10:38 am
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While I may or may not agree with the rest of the list of priorities mentioned by The Cow later in his response, this pretty much nails it:

Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
So to answer your question "Why can't Air Canada offer pre-order of meals?"

1. They already offer it
2. They suck at it
Just like the garlic bread that didn't get loaded on my Monday flight from YVR-ICN, AC could (and does) offer a variety of services that they apparently have no ability to deliver consistently.

The list is long. But just as clearly, they seem to have no willingness to invest the critical amounts of time or effort it takes to get consistent.

So with that in mind I agree that offering yet another service choice will simply fail due to inconsistent execution.

Maybe it's the culture, maybe it's a management issue, but I don't realistically see much hope for anything other than incremental improvements in things that benefit the company first, and the passenger maybe.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 12:41 pm
  #2383  
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
Maybe it's the culture, maybe it's a management issue, but I don't realistically see much hope for anything other than incremental improvements in things that benefit the company first, and the passenger maybe.
And they just lost the person who was really trying to fix the culture
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Old Dec 21, 18, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
Why can't Air Canada offer pre-order of meals?

...
Even if AC is to offer this (which they probably won't), it won't be until well after they have migrated to Amadeus in 2019. There is currently on incentive to patch their current reservation system with new features.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by daniellam View Post
Even if AC is to offer this (which they probably won't), it won't be until well after they have migrated to Amadeus in 2019. There is currently on incentive to patch their current reservation system with new features.
Yes, so I've been told. My post was also future hinting/suggesting.
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