Meal priority during shortages

Old Aug 2, 19, 4:46 pm
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Meal priority during shortages

Earlier I posted in https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31371315-post491.html about the updates I was provided by the concierge during IRROPS.

Basically, I was supposed to fly AC 738 SFO-YYZ (77W) at 1210, but instead was rebooked onto AC 756 (320) scheduled at 1330, pushed at 1420, then was about an hour before airborne.

None of that bothers me. Delays happen, and it's not the end of the world. Instead of working more on the plane, I worked more in the airport.

Right before the door closed on 756, a GA mentioned "1D 1F 2A 2C" (I'm 1D). She stumbled a bit, but seemed fairly certain. Then I heard something about meal vouchers (as an aside, I was given $30 USD in meal vouchers just prior to boarding).

After the door closed, an FA approached us, and seemed very apologetic, mentioned our high statuses (1F is SE MM on an upgraded Latitude fare), and said they were short 4 meals, and offered anything we wanted from Y.

I asked why we were chosen, and what the PIL said. He had no idea other than what the GA said. He suggested it might have been due to using upgrades (this isn't an upgrade for me), but the only thing on the PIL was my status.

When a bunch of us were moved from 738 to 756, it filled up that cabin. So I understand why there's a shortage. But what's the priority here?

There were no ML* codes in the cabin. There were 4 upgrades (well in advance), and 3 of them were denied a meal. I "suspect" the GA misspoke and meant to give a different seat number, but I have no way to confirm.

The FA, when taking our Bistro orders, said he was trying to get them to have a concierge meet the flight. I'm not sure what good that will do, but we'll see. I just want the white form.

I wasn't even upset about the IRROPS until this happened.

So what should have happened here?
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Old Aug 2, 19, 5:33 pm
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If you and others were added shortly before scheduled push time, one theory is that the gate was working off a "before" and "after manifest".

Not sure that ignoring status is right here. Clearly, the right thing would be to cater to 100% of J seats in case of irops. Heck, Air Canada often has a way to sell the extra meals to Y passengers.

I wonder what would have happened if you offloaded yourself due to the service failure....

$30 vouchers are way too easy for them to print and send you on your way. Maybe you could ask for a signature service meal brought from catering and served to you in the MLL.
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Last edited by expert7700; Aug 2, 19 at 5:39 pm
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Old Aug 2, 19, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
If you and others were added shortly before scheduled push time, one theory is that the gate was working off a "before" and "after manifest".
I was put on the flight around 5am and we pushed back after 2pm. Too late for the double-catered inbound, but certainly not close to departure.

Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
Not sure that ignoring status is right here. Clearly, the right thing would be to cater to 100% of J seats in case of irops. Heck, Air Canada often has a way to sell the extra meals to Y passengers.
On this route, they cater 120% of expected load.

Amusingly, when the FA handed us the menu, he said he had everything except some salad. I should have asked for the hot meal

Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
I wonder what would have happened if you offloaded yourself due to the service failure....
Given that 738 is now showing a 5:20 delay, I'd have a very unpleasant night.

Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
$30 vouchers are way too easy for them to print and send you on your way. Maybe you could ask for a signature service meal brought from catering and served to you in the MLL.
Or just escort me to the SS, right?

On another matter, EF shows this note on AC 756: FURTHER DLYD DUE CATERING ISSUE

Last edited by canadiancow; Aug 2, 19 at 5:43 pm Reason: Quoted post was heavily edited
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Old Aug 2, 19, 6:06 pm
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And to think I was originally getting Signature Service.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:23 pm
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My takeaway: Signature food option on domestic TCon is valued at $30 in airport food coupons. Taking into account the 40% markup at the airport, a signature meal is considered to have a value of $18. Nice.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
My takeaway: Signature food option on domestic TCon is valued at $30 in airport food coupons. Taking into account the 40% markup at the airport, a signature meal is considered to have a value of $18. Nice.
No one take a 40% mark up on food costs.. Try Dble keystone, plus.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 8:27 pm
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I think the 40% markup is from street pricing.
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Old Aug 2, 19, 9:47 pm
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So we get to YYZ. Door opens. SD chats with GA, asks about whether there's a concierge to meet the passengers who were missing a meal. GA says there are two.

SD then tells me explicitly that there's a concierge waiting for me.

I walk up, see one concierge with a vest, holding a sign with two names. I know what that's for, so I pass it. Then I get to the bottom of the escalators, and there's no concierge. I see some agents near the top, so I go up.

Turns out none of them were concierges.

I called the concierge line, explained the situation (namely that I was told by the SD/GA combo that there was a concierge waiting for us), was told they were completely unaware, and I ended up in the concierge office (I had time to kill while waiting for a ride). They want me to write in to the concierge email to explain all this, because on top of the fact that they don't think the SEs should have been denied a meal, they think there was a massive communication failure. I agree, but they're focusing more on me being told someone would be waiting. I think the communication failure was not telling anyone at check-in that there wouldn't be a meal, giving them enough time to find one. They also gave me a $20 CAD meal voucher.

I'll probably do that during my flight tomorrow. I hope I get a meal (or at least a snack) on it.

But I still have no idea what the official policy is when this situation occurs.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
So we get to YYZ. Door opens. SD chats with GA, asks about whether there's a concierge to meet the passengers who were missing a meal. GA says there are two.

SD then tells me explicitly that there's a concierge waiting for me.

I walk up, see one concierge with a vest, holding a sign with two names. I know what that's for, so I pass it. Then I get to the bottom of the escalators, and there's no concierge. I see some agents near the top, so I go up.

Turns out none of them were concierges.

I called the concierge line, explained the situation (namely that I was told by the SD/GA combo that there was a concierge waiting for us), was told they were completely unaware, and I ended up in the concierge office (I had time to kill while waiting for a ride). They want me to write in to the concierge email to explain all this, because on top of the fact that they don't think the SEs should have been denied a meal, they think there was a massive communication failure. I agree, but they're focusing more on me being told someone would be waiting. I think the communication failure was not telling anyone at check-in that there wouldn't be a meal, giving them enough time to find one. They also gave me a $20 CAD meal voucher.

I'll probably do that during my flight tomorrow. I hope I get a meal (or at least a snack) on it.

But I still have no idea what the official policy is when this situation occurs.
sorry to say, but the policy is what ever the airlines decides it wants it to be..
just on a side note, I have never relied on being feed on an airline to satisfy my hunger.. best to board a plane , tummy full and happy
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Old Aug 3, 19, 6:23 am
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I always thought it was those with ML*1 on their boarding pass who lose out.

Mid you, as an SE I have almost always received a meal even with the ML*1 notification.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
I always thought it was those with ML*1 on their boarding pass who lose out.

Mid you, as an SE I have almost always received a meal even with the ML*1 notification.
As I said, there were no ML* codes. Everyone was confirmed in the flight before the gate.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post


And to think I was originally getting Signature Service.
Arguably better 🤣
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Old Aug 3, 19, 1:53 pm
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If they have enough time to put gas in the plane they have enough time to load enough meals.

And they should simply always load enough meals for the number of seats. The effort to save a couple of bucks can't be worth it.

Eups, opups, and standby, it's rare the cabin isn't full.

And schmucks like me would buy the leftovers if they reliably had them for the back.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 2:56 pm
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My experience in the UK was that they always had a small top up van on site and ready. If there is more catering than the original book load the top Up van does it. This is not Air Canada of course but a British Airline in those days. I know that the major middle east airlines also try to do that. Cater extra, especially in business class when they think it may get full. Business class no matter if it is an upgrade or not should not be short of catering.
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Old Aug 7, 19, 12:31 pm
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Dear Mr. Kennedy,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to our Concierge team regarding your recent travel experience out of San Francisco. I am sorry to hear your original flight was delayed and this impacted your travel plans. The Concierge moved you to an alternate flight, and on this flight, it was not catered full, so a Business Class meal was not available.

When passengers are moved to an alternate flight, and we do not have 24 hours to increase the catering, regardless of status, the passengers who hold confirmed tickets on the flight will be granted a meal before passengers who have been moved to that flight for operational purposes. This is why you were not on the priority list to receive a meal in accordance with your Altitude status. I apologize this information was not provided to you prior to boarding your flight. I appreciate how frustrating that is when you are expecting a meal.

As a gesture of goodwill, I have issued you an Air Canada eCoupon for $50 CAD. The details will follow the signature line of this email.

Please let me know if you need anything further, I am happy to assist.

Sincerely,
*****
Executive Centre
Customer Relations

Air Canada
They ignored my second question entirely, which I believe is the more important one:

Why could this not have been communicated to us before boarding? With the ~1 hour delay there was PLENTY of time to find a good meal in SFO. Iíve been told before at check-in that no meal would be available for me if I was upgraded, and that gave me enough notice to handle the situation.
A $50 voucher is fine (am I winning for "lowest value eCoupon received"?), but it would have cost them less to buy me a better meal in SFO. They knew what they catered at 5am when they rebooked me (since it was apparently locked in then), and it was booked 14/14 at 8am. So it's just completely inexcusable that I was not told:

1. In one of the emails from the SFO concierge that I received, unsolicited, informing me of things
2. By the concierge on the phone who told me I'd already been rebooked
3. By the check-in agent
4. By the concierge or a GA at the gate

Communication. Communication. Communication.

As for the policy, I don't really like the answer, nor do I agree with it, but now I have something in writing. Though it only worked because a GA told them. If they hadn't discovered it until after pushback, I'm pretty confident I would have had a meal. Which leads me to think it's not really a policy, or there'd be an ML*0 for last minute confirmed-J "bookings".

Additionally, they were catered 10/14. If we are to believe the "PLH is catered 120%" rule, then it was booked 8-9 when it was catered. Which means 5-6 people were added after the fact. So the 4 they chose still don't make sense to me, even after hearing their explanation.
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