Enhanced TCON Service Trial

Old Nov 22, 17, 11:06 pm
  #1  
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Enhanced TCON Service Trial

I was on AC182 today from YVR to YYZ and interestingly enough it was a trial flight for what AC would like to roll out for service enhancements in J.

I got onboard and noticed a 2MM member sitting in front of me. There was an onboard service manager who was taking notes and she was quite keen to chat with all the elites (which I am not but that's a discussion for another time) explaining the trial and everything. Of course, as a non-elite, non-AP passenger I was given no explanation of what was going on until I asked. I was told that this was a trial with new features including individually plated mains that came after the appetizer.

All the seats had this card in front of them.

https://imgur.com/a/523hr

I noticed that the card mentioned there was an extra red on the menu so I took a picture of that

https://imgur.com/a/8oJ96

The flight started with a pre-departure beverage, either OJ, sparkling water, or Prosecco which the SE behind me mentioned that this was a "nice surprise." I fly TPAC on CX a fair bit so this seemed to be standard fare, I assume that normal TCON doesn't have a PDB or that it doesn't come in glassware on AC.

https://imgur.com/a/nATyE

One of the FAs walks around taking meal orders before take off as well... from ONLY the elites. I saw the 2MM in front but the lady behind was an SE and a few other SEs behind that. What an awkward moment for everyone else. Not sure why AC doesn't do the entire cabin at that time, all other airlines I've been on do the J cabin all at once instead of select people.

The amenity kits were handed out about 10 minutes after take-off. They're the standard PY kits which IMO you may as well not give them to me. My last TCON was JFK-YVR on CX and got the standard amenity kit vs a paired down TCON version. Either give me everything or don't bother. It cheapened the J experience with their crappy kits.

https://imgur.com/a/ECFx1

Drink service started about 45 minutes after take off along with nuts service

https://imgur.com/a/4RLKc

Then the table cloths came out about 20 minutes after that. The first part of the meal was the appetizer, salad, and bread. At least the bread was warm. The size of the tray meant you really didn't have a whole lot of real estate to spread out your cutlery which made the experience a bit awkward. More thought needs to be put into how to really not leave the passenger feeling cramped.

https://imgur.com/a/klWKd

The mains came out one by one after the appetizer. Keep in mind, I sat with an empty plate for 30 minutes at this point. The service was noticeably slow. My plates were cleared with the exception of the bread plate and for some reason my salad dressing bottle. The main itself was incredibly disappointing. The lamb was dry, the vegetables soggy. But alas, this is a catering issue, not a service issue.

https://imgur.com/a/EElH3

Another 30-45 minutes pass and finally service items are collected. We sit around waiting awkwardly as ONLY elites got cheese plates. Not sure why AC made the decision to do this. This really cheapened the experience. There was a final ice cream and fruit plate option at the very end but I was too busy giving my feedback to the onboard service manager.

Bonus: scored a Kitkat in honour of our resident chocolate connoisseur. There were only 3 in the basket as they went down the aisle.

https://imgur.com/a/ChkoA

My thoughts on this is that AC is trying but having had the forbidden fruit of Asian carriers, it seems like AC is just catching up. There's no warmth to the service and while the crew worked very hard the 2.5 hour service was just too much for a flight that's almost 4 hours. I had a full plated service on an hour flight from TPE-HKG with no issues.

The decision to give elites special service items was awkward at best. One of the FAs overheard me asking if the cheese plate was only for elites and subsequently offered me one but I declined was I was just curious if this actually was the case.

Finally, the silly amenity kit that I didn't even open. It seemed almost like AC was too cheap to give away their regular J kits.
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Last edited by LoveHateRelationship; Nov 22, 17 at 11:28 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Nov 22, 17, 11:30 pm
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If all seats had the card and all cards are the same then the cheese plates are not just for elites, no? perhaps shortage or something. just seems like they’re bringing intl J service to premium TCon, which is nice.

any comparison to an Asian carrier is moot. Apples and Oranges. AC will never be even half of CX.
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Old Nov 22, 17, 11:46 pm
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https://imgur.com/a/EElH3 @canadiancow
LOOK AT THE SALT AND PEPPER thing, I was right all along!!!
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Old Nov 23, 17, 12:26 am
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Not very enticing benefit.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 1:31 am
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Thanks for the "trip report"
appreciate the effort and pictures.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 2:26 am
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"Menu by Design"?
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Old Nov 23, 17, 2:34 am
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Originally Posted by Jumper Jack View Post
https://imgur.com/a/EElH3 @canadiancow
LOOK AT THE SALT AND PEPPER thing, I was right all along!!!
Huh?
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Old Nov 23, 17, 2:37 am
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Huh?
Remember how confused I was on YYZ SFO when the salt patch came in those paper ones as opposed to small containers like the one in his pic, and you were like bruh that never happens on TCON flights
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Old Nov 23, 17, 3:00 am
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Originally Posted by Jumper Jack View Post
Remember how confused I was on YYZ SFO when the salt patch came in those paper ones as opposed to small containers like the one in his pic, and you were like bruh that never happens on TCON flights
And prior to this trial, I stand by that

I had them today on YVR-NRT, but not Sunday on YYZ-SFO.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 5:19 am
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Nice report. Thanks for taking the time.

IMHO, serving elites and disregarding other paid J passengers is a huge "faux pas". It only happened once to me, but it's REALLY weird. Everyone around you gets meal and beverage requests, and you are just there looking at the ceiling. It really makes you wonder what you paid for.

But it's nice to see a J like experience on TCONs. I wouldn't read into the service times too much though. With an OSM and new procedures, it's bound to go slow/weird.

As for comparing with Asian carriers, AC just may have a fighting chance on that front. Airlines like NH do not provide this kind of service on their domestic routes. The personnel is better, but everything is inferior (including the lounges), and NH is a 5* Skytrax rated airline. (Before I get flammed, no, AC still cannot compete on international service.)

​​​​​​
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Old Nov 23, 17, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by Jumper Jack View Post
Remember how confused I was on YYZ SFO when the salt patch came in those paper ones as opposed to small containers like the one in his pic, and you were like bruh that never happens on TCON flights
Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shakers are only provided currently on International 1st meal services. For the purpose of the TCON type-trial, they've been enhanced. In any event, glad to see that the product is being upgraded.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 6:43 am
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I give kudos to AC if they are trying to bring TPAC-style service to their premium TCON cabin. I welcome it!

Thanks for the detailed review!
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Old Nov 23, 17, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by Plumber View Post
I give kudos to AC if they are trying to bring TPAC-style service to their premium TCON cabin. I welcome it!

Thanks for the detailed review!
It appears that they are going for something in between the current Premium Transcon Service and the Europe Service.
^
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Old Nov 23, 17, 7:18 am
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As part of this trial, will they revise the breakfast service? Or is this enhancement only for lunch/dinner flights?

It'd be nice if they can change up that omelette and pancake offering, and maybe add in the ice cream and cookie service.
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Old Nov 23, 17, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by Jebby_ca View Post
As part of this trial, will they revise the breakfast service? Or is this enhancement only for lunch/dinner flights?

It'd be nice if they can change up that omelette and pancake offering, and maybe add in the ice cream and cookie service.
NNNooooo! Please dont change the omelette!!! LOL
Before there were many Asia flights direct from YYZ, most of them departed ex YVR... And they used to serve the omelette on YOW-YYZ flight.... i would always get an omelette on that flight , then get another one on the YYZ-YVR flight as well. Yum!!
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