On Board Service Changes - Corona

Old Apr 6, 20, 12:43 pm
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On Board Service Changes - Corona

I am wondering about service changes (lounge, food, alcohol). I think it deserves it own thread. I read that KLM, Delta, BA and others are all cutting down to prison food in all classes and no alcohol. Anne Rigail, the Air France CEO, sent an e-mail this morning saying that lounges are closed and that they have to simplify service.

I do not blame them, although (side rant) it is time to give me clarity on my refunds or vouchers, nothing has been done so far.

But has anyone experienced the new service on the ground and onboard? I only travel for leisure so I need to understand what I will pay for in the coming months, if I even bother traveling. Thanks all!
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Old Apr 6, 20, 1:06 pm
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I travelled two weeks ago from Sao to CDG and the service in J was more or less as normally... except for all pax and crew wearing face masks. The lounge in the 2F terminal was still open but the buffet area was taped off and a masked staff member would serve the food. Service levels have obviously declined a lot since then.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 3:00 pm
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There was supposed to be a reduced lounge offering in CDG. Now all of a sudden all lounges are closed and there is of course no replacement.

I only found out about this after already arriving at airport for my LAX-CDG flight. The lounges at LAX are also all shut and there is no alternative (all restaurants closed).

Was offered an upgrade to La Premiere for $2800 or 180.000 FB miles. This seems to be the standard rate and when I remarked that there was no lounge in LAX, no lounge in CDG, the check in agent added that it would also be Business class catering in P since there was a catering screwup. SAD!

Do you think that AF will offer some sort of compensation for the complete lack of service? No lounges and reduced onboard service + no other dining options at airport = I am starving and have to pay $$ / €€ for a bottle of water and some snacks in the airport.

I know the situation is tough and AF is struggling but I paid a lot of money for my Business class ticket and find this unacceptable.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 4:13 am
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Some more details on the service onboard today’s LAX-CDG flight:

- No coat hanging
- No PDB (not even water or coke as “that is stored with the alcohol and we cannot open it in America”)
- No magazines and menus; instead they read the choices to every passenger
- Meal served as a single tray with starter, salad, dessert and cheese. Hot main course then arrives, replacing the starter.
- I was offered a beverage 2x on the whole 10hr flight: once with the meal tray and then a refill with the main course. Have to go to the galley for anything else.
- No second meal before landing (which is problematic if you have a layover and connection as everything at CDG is closed)
- Business class toilets not stocked with anything except toilet paper (a luxury in today’s world), soap and paper towels
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Old Apr 7, 20, 6:54 am
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This sounds like a series of reasonable accommodations to the situation. A better practice would be that all food is served fully wrapped and the passenger is left to open it. There should be no refill issues. Those ought to all be sealed and simply handed to the passenger in sealed cans or bottles as the case may be.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 7:14 am
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It looks good to me, there is still a some amount of catering, which is better than other airlines. And booze is there, and that would make me happy. Thanks! Let's see how it evolves. Closing all lounges is a pity but I get it.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 7:18 am
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Service on the shorthaul today has got to be most hilarious:

Business class FA “There will be no lunch and no beverage service”

The FAs then sit down in empty rows in Business class and each eat a hot Business class meal. So catering is obviously still provided, it’s just not served to passengers. It’s good that the food isn’t wasted but I think it’s absurd for the FAs to eat it right in front of the passengers.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by David7 View Post
Some more details on the service onboard today’s LAX-CDG flight:

- No coat hanging
- No PDB (not even water or coke as “that is stored with the alcohol and we cannot open it in America”)
- No magazines and menus; instead they read the choices to every passenger
- Meal served as a single tray with starter, salad, dessert and cheese. Hot main course then arrives, replacing the starter.
- I was offered a beverage 2x on the whole 10hr flight: once with the meal tray and then a refill with the main course. Have to go to the galley for anything else.
- No second meal before landing (which is problematic if you have a layover and connection as everything at CDG is closed)
- Business class toilets not stocked with anything except toilet paper (a luxury in today’s world), soap and paper towels
Just thinking. if a lot of airlines, might adopt this service.. even after this virus stuff has calmed down.... they can always just continue to lower service and blame it on the virus for a long time
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Old Apr 7, 20, 8:41 am
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Of course, I can imagine many airlines will keep the lounges closed and keep service standards low. It saves a lot of money and makes cabin crew very happy (as they don’t have to do anything for most of the flight). Maybe once a vaccine is available and travel rebounds the first lounges open up with a reduced offering (e.g. no alcohol). The blame will continue to be on the virus and the economic impact it has had.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by David7 View Post
Service on the shorthaul today has got to be most hilarious:

Business class FA “There will be no lunch and no beverage service”

The FAs then sit down in empty rows in Business class and each eat a hot Business class meal. So catering is obviously still provided, it’s just not served to passengers. It’s good that the food isn’t wasted but I think it’s absurd for the FAs to eat it right in front of the passengers.
While it is poor form for the FA's to eat in front of passengers, the fact is that for short-haul flying, the crews do not get to eat if they do not eat enroute. Thus, catering them is essential. Of course catering is available, it has been for decades! The question is whether it can safely be provided to passengers in the current context and the answer is that it cannot within the parameters of short-haul flying.

There is a vast difference between an individual serving themselves and serving someone else.

In due course, if this all lasts, it would be good to move to a simple cold meal prepared in a sterile kitchen which is then properly wrapped and handed unopened to the passenger along with similarly packaged disposable "cutlery" with drinks served from closed bottles & cans into sealed plastic cups. Ice remains a significant threat.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by David7 View Post
Some more details on the service onboard today’s LAX-CDG flight:

- No coat hanging
- No PDB (not even water or coke as “that is stored with the alcohol and we cannot open it in America”)
- No magazines and menus; instead they read the choices to every passenger
- Meal served as a single tray with starter, salad, dessert and cheese. Hot main course then arrives, replacing the starter.
- I was offered a beverage 2x on the whole 10hr flight: once with the meal tray and then a refill with the main course. Have to go to the galley for anything else.
- No second meal before landing (which is problematic if you have a layover and connection as everything at CDG is closed)
- Business class toilets not stocked with anything except toilet paper (a luxury in today’s world), soap and paper towels
You were in business class? If so, I guess there isn't a reason to fly in biz. I'm thinking of taking JFK-CDG so I guess I would not care so much about the meal. And I think the lounge is open at JFK still, right?
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Old Apr 7, 20, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
You were in business class? If so, I guess there isn't a reason to fly in biz. I'm thinking of taking JFK-CDG so I guess I would not care so much about the meal. And I think the lounge is open at JFK still, right?
Yeah I was in Business and it was nice to be able to sleep on the long flight LAX-CDG. But basically right now the only major thing differentiating Business from Economy is the seat...

Lounge at JFK is apparently open (expect limited service) but that can change quickly. If it’s just the one JFK-CDG flight I would fly Economy and get in a good meal and a few drinks beforehand.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 11:36 am
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Flew LAX to AMS on KLM last night... Same service as described above... Very little contact, very few drinks available, and a clear plastic bag of random snacks (orange, muffins, cracker, cheese, kit-kat, diet coke and three small waters) was waiting in my Business seat. One decent-ish past meal was served 2 hours in, with brownie and some unknown dutch salad side thing... All of that was okay, and understandable....

However being handed a face mask while boarding and being told I MUST wear it except while eating on a 10.5 hour flight was not expected, and wasn't great. I get it... but I didn't like it.

Also was moved out of row 6 (777-300) up to Row 4. One FA told me it would "be more quiet up there". I asked not to move, as I had wanted an isle seat so nobody would be climbing over me (2-2-2 layout). The second FA came back and told me I "had to move" to give the "crew some room to relax". Uh.... okay. When I used the bathroom later, I did indeed see the crew stretched out across row 6 behind the galley. Didn't like that either.

Strange, unfortunate times.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Reno1979 View Post
Flew LAX to AMS on KLM last night... Same service as described above... Very little contact, very few drinks available, and a clear plastic bag of random snacks (orange, muffins, cracker, cheese, kit-kat, diet coke and three small waters) was waiting in my Business seat. One decent-ish past meal was served 2 hours in, with brownie and some unknown dutch salad side thing... All of that was okay, and understandable....

However being handed a face mask while boarding and being told I MUST wear it except while eating on a 10.5 hour flight was not expected, and wasn't great. I get it... but I didn't like it.

Also was moved out of row 6 (777-300) up to Row 4. One FA told me it would "be more quiet up there". I asked not to move, as I had wanted an isle seat so nobody would be climbing over me (2-2-2 layout). The second FA came back and told me I "had to move" to give the "crew some room to relax". Uh.... okay. When I used the bathroom later, I did indeed see the crew stretched out across row 6 behind the galley. Didn't like that either.

Strange, unfortunate times.

Being forced to wear a mask seems very awkward. Although I can understand since I witnessed some people coughing without a mask on and without covering their mouth...

I think many crews have a mentality right now along the lines of “We are putting ourselves at risk bringing everyone home so we deserve to be treated like heroes”.. This really shines through when it comes to their service and relaxing in business class. Funnily enough it was mentioned in an OMAAT blog post a few months back that Saudia FAs were sitting down in business class to eat, talk and relax. Now this sort of stuff seems to be normal....
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Old Apr 7, 20, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by David7 View Post
“We are putting ourselves at risk bringing everyone home so we deserve to be treated like heroes”.
Then they may want to consider nursing as a profession. Or volunteering to assist nursing home staff, now that they are mostly sitting around at home instead of flying.

Johan
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