Stingy drinks service

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Old May 9, 17, 10:54 am
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Stingy drinks service

Recently flew economy YYZ-LHR (AC 868) with Air Canada. First issue I had was the onboard entertainment system wasn't working for half the plane so they did a few reboots, phoned Toronto and eventually rebooted the entire plane's entertainment system to get it working. This took 1 hour 30 mins so I was a bit bored. The drinks service began around 1hr 15 mins in so I ordered a beer, then the food service and then 1 more drinks service after the trays were cleared and I had a gin and tonic then. About 3 hours into the flight the lights had been dimmed and most people were settling down to sleep so I called down to the galley to ask for another 2 beers for myself and my girlfriend and the crew member refused me and said I had only gotten my gin and tonic 30 mins ago. Her words "we can't let you get drunk in case you get turned away by customs at Heathrow". I told her that was extremely unlikely as I'd only had 2 drinks to which she replied I could get another drink in an hours time. I wouldn't mind, but I ordered a glass of water with every drink as well so I was definitely nowhere near drunk. I made her get me a beer for my girlfriend anyway as she hadn't gotten one earlier and the look on her face was pure stone. Another passenger down by the galley had heard the interaction and asked me as I was in the aisle what her problem was. He was as in as much disbelief as me. I was totally embarrassed as there were several other passengers milling around, waiting for the toilet and getting drinks there as well.

Needless to say I didn't bother going back up after my allotted hour to beg her for another measly 330ml can of beer.

Is this normal? Anyone experienced this sort of behaviour before? I flew Lufthansa on the way over and they couldn't give out more drink if they tried. Don't know whether a complaint will be worth my time either.
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Old May 9, 17, 11:08 am
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Some FA's are just plain lazy. Write in and complain about the horrible service.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...relations.html
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Old May 9, 17, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by CanRulez View Post
Some FA's are just plain lazy. Write in and complain about the horrible service.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...relations.html
Absolutely correct. Not only was she lazy, she was lying to you. Heathrow immigration doesn't turn you away if you are drunk. If you are absolutely legless and staggering the police would put you in protective custody until you are fit to be processed. They do not just point you back in the direction of the airline and say fly home.

Then to top it off, (as I read your post) she has this condescending attitude that eludes to the fact that you are drinking too much. This holier-than-thou garbage is low even by their standards of dramatic incompetence.

Write and complain.
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Old May 9, 17, 11:39 am
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This is an interesting one. From my own 2 cents, I believe the normal/permitted reason to deny someone alcohol is if they appear to be drunk; to stop them getting worse. And you had ~4 hours left to sober up. I'm assuming you weren't slurring your words - I know a few people who'd be pretty much passed out on two drinks. Neither drinks much, both are short/slim.

I don't know for sure if you can make it through customs drunk - the level of drunkenness would have an impact I'm sure. I would love to have seen the FA's reaction if she'd told me that on either leg though given as my current status legally guarantes me entry into both the UK and Canada. They might throw me in jail if I can't stand up - but they can't deny me entry.

I believe customs might be allowed to temporarily refuse you entry and place you in protective custody until sober... as to if they then let you in or deport you (at AC's expense) I'll bow to the better judgement of others.

Or at least, what passes for free legal advice here on FT

And now, popcorn time.
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Old May 9, 17, 12:09 pm
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From what I know, it's entirely at the FA's discretion to cut you off. There is no rule like "only one per hour" (which is clear if you've ever ordered a double).

So you're going to write in, they're going to talk to the FA, the FA is going to say you appeared drunk, and nothing will come of this.

If there is one thing I don't even bother complaining about, it's this, because you'll never win.

I even had a Jazz FA once say "You can only have 3 on this flight. If you don't like it, write in about me." This was on IAH-YYZ, in J.

And then they wonder why I prefer to frontload in the lounge
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Old May 9, 17, 12:25 pm
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I gotta agree with the Cow on this one. It has happened to me a couple of times. I was told on a flight I could only have two cuz it was one hour but you can't complain, you will never win. As an experienced and very talented drinker I've been able to have five or six on a yyz-lga flight but have also been told I can't get more in some cases.
next time always have a few little bottles from hotels in case of this.

Stay thirsty my friends
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Old May 9, 17, 12:27 pm
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Generally speaking, I think it's a good idea that FAs are supposed to monitor and limit passengers' consumption of alcohol.

It also makes good sense from a PR perspective not to have any delays/flights/diversions caused by drunk pax (not to mention the cost).

But unfortunately you get the odd FA who is rather lazy / obnoxious and makes up their own rules.

I can't see how a regular pax would show any signs of intoxication after one beer and one G&T.
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Old May 9, 17, 12:46 pm
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Luckily I've never encountered this, in fact I've had the opposite where my G&Ts get stronger with each pour.
My last flight in Y, (Yvr-Yyz) I had the FAs search the plane looking for enough glenlivet so I could have multiple doubles.

Only time I've ever had a problem was with WS when the FA told me it was a Transport Canada rule that they weren't allowed to serve doubles.
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Old May 9, 17, 12:47 pm
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First time I ever flew to Canada was on Air Transat in "Club", and at the end of the flight and to this day I think it was their mission to make me drunk. I was too polite and just took everything they offered... it's a wonder the agent gave me my study permit!

Best service I've ever received on a plane
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Old May 9, 17, 12:56 pm
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related but not the same....flying FLL-YYZ last week up front.....seat belt sign goes off after 10 mins and curtains up front close for the scheduled secret meetings and laughing they do in there.....almost ONE HOUR later the drinks started...seriously?.....
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Old May 9, 17, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
But unfortunately you get the odd FA who is rather lazy / obnoxious and makes up their own rules.
You get the "odd FA" around the industry. I will submit that AC has a much higher preponderance of lazy FA's and rude FA's. Not all. I have met some fantastic FA's on AC. I once sent an email praising a YVR based FA named Bethany who really went above and beyond for another passenger who was being (frankly) unreasonable. But for every Bethany, there is her lazy colleague and her rude colleague.
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Old May 9, 17, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by iMedic View Post
Luckily I've never encountered this, in fact I've had the opposite where my G&Ts get stronger with each pour.
My longer trips in J seem to usually turn into wine tasting sessions offered by the FA.

One time the YVR-based FA was even accredited as a sommelier and I spent both legs of my YVR-EWR return sampling and discussing wine with her. A lot of sampling in fact. And I admit I was very happy that I didn't have to drive when I arrived.
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Old May 9, 17, 1:13 pm
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I guess I've been pretty lucky.

I had a flight, YHZ-YUL-EWR. Same metal, same crew, actually waited in the border line with the IC who well could be Anderson Coopers brother. I got a J opup on the first segment, back in stowage to Newark.. Anderson kept bringing me glasses of wine from behind the curtain.

Last edited by RangerNS; May 9, 17 at 1:54 pm
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Old May 9, 17, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
.. the IC who well could be Anderson Coopers brother.
I have flown with that IC as well, but I thought he looked more like the dude from Mad Men. I resisted the urge to tell him that just in case he cut me off.
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Old May 9, 17, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
I have flown with that IC as well, but I thought he looked more like the dude from Mad Men. I resisted the urge to tell him that just in case he cut me off.
I don't know if Jon Hamm swings that way, but if he and Anderson ever hooked up, yeah. a Jazz IC silver fox would be the result.
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