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Offers of a Pre-Departure Beverage (PDB) [2019 and Earlier]

Offers of a Pre-Departure Beverage (PDB) [2019 and Earlier]

Old Apr 25, 19, 9:14 pm
  #376  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,086
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Well, not that other airline. Don't fly spirit or frontier either. But now we are getting past 5 words.

How about...

"Fly DL, UA, or JetBlue"
There’s a thread n the United forum about lack of PDB too.

So, fly DL of Mint if a PDB is a distinguishing factor in evaluating F.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 9:23 pm
  #377  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
There’s a thread n the United forum about lack of PDB too.
From that thread today: "On United Express now. Flight is on time. FA has been picking nose and then licking his fingers (!!!) for the past 15 minutes while playing with an iPad. I’m glad he has no intention to offer PDB. I have no intention to get anything from him inflight either. The other FA yawned while making safety announcement."

I guess it could be worse for us...
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Old Apr 25, 19, 9:40 pm
  #378  
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Back home in the REAL Washington (SEA); still teleworking with the other Washington (DCA area)
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massive :td: to AS corporate-babble

Originally Posted by lonelygod View Post
... we should be offering coffee and orange juice and on most flights after 10am we should be offering orange juice and sparkling wine. There are operational issues and space limitations onboard that can sometimes interrupt or otherwise limit this service, however, so unfortunately there will sometimes be flights that a pre-departure drink is not offered. ...
PLEASE stop making excuses; PLEASE start implementing and enforcing a realistic PDB policy that balances the **real** FA work environment with **reasonable** FC customer expectations

imo the corporate-speak is alarmingly transparent:
(1) “operational issues” = FAs who really, I mean REALLY, don’t want to provide F pax even a semi-F experience
(2) “space limitations” = too many Y pax in the aisle, which means the two FAs by the flight deck door and the galley will be reluctant to ask any of them to wait 15-30 seconds to let the crowd thin out enough to where they can get to the already-seated F pax to offer PDBs
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Old Apr 25, 19, 10:34 pm
  #379  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,553
Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
There’s a thread n the United forum about lack of PDB too.
Except that reports of it are few and far between. Someone reported 50+ consecutive flights with a pdb. It's not about whether there are occasional service failures -- that happens everywhere. Service failures are the norm on AS, and that's a problem.

Personally I'm 5/5 on UA, plus refills, with a full bar. Good luck getting that on AS. If you get one every 2 flights you are doing well, and you are getting what they want to give you, not what you want to drink. All to save a few dollars.. it's completely ridiculous.

And, yes, the PDB is an important part of the first class experience. The whole experience is important.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 10:40 pm
  #380  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AS MVPG, DL GM, New Sagaya
Posts: 818
Not quite on point to this thread, but I'd rather have my PDB in the lounge and then have some one let me know its time to board at say, 15 minutes from actual departure. Have a drink in real glass, not have everyone shuffle past me, and slide onto the plane at the last minute.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 10:47 pm
  #381  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 391
Originally Posted by lonelygod View Post
was on SFO-PHL redeye, nothing but the water. So I wrote, and they replied:

Our primary pre-departure beverage is bottled water. Additionally, on most morning flights we should be offering coffee and orange juice and on most flights after 10am we should be offering orange juice and sparkling wine. There are operational issues and space limitations onboard that can sometimes interrupt or otherwise limit this service, however, so unfortunately there will sometimes be flights that a pre-departure drink is not offered. We certainly apologize for any inconvenience and/or disappointment this has caused and I would like to assure you that your concerns will be shared with our Food and Beverage Manager for additional review.
Could be stated:
"First class where you should be offered something but sometimes (a lot of times) not. I am sorry but don't you worry your little head because you are assured I'll tell that mean Food and Beverage Manager your concerns"

The poor Food and Beverage manager, appears to have a performance objective to reduce actual cost and quantity of food and beverages served AND doesn't directly manage the Flight Attendants when Customer Care sends him your complaint.
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Old Apr 25, 19, 11:00 pm
  #382  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SEA
Programs: AS G75K, DL PM, IHG Gold, HHonors Diamond
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
There’s a thread n the United forum about lack of PDB too.

So, fly DL of Mint if a PDB is a distinguishing factor in evaluating F.
This statement just shows how sub-par AS's F services have become when compared to DL and B6, (and even compared to UA based on what other flyer talkers reported in this thread)

Last edited by BW Flyer; Apr 25, 19 at 11:12 pm Reason: Clarified a statment
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Old Apr 25, 19, 11:30 pm
  #383  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
The poor Food and Beverage manager, appears to have a performance objective to reduce actual cost and quantity of food and beverages served AND doesn't directly manage the Flight Attendants when Customer Care sends him your complaint.
I noticed that too. It's almost as if their using automation to respond to those emails. 'Something about drinks, insert reply about being sent to F&B for follow up.'

All in all, how AS is handling this is one their weaknesses. Slow to acknowledge there's a problem and slower to fix it: GAs selling F upgrades ahead of elites, seat map reshuffles, pilot staffing, just to name a few, fall into that. Consistency of product is another.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:09 am
  #384  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Seattle
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 1,636
Interesting DP.
Sent AS Customer Care input regarding lack of PDB on our last two flights. We traveled on separate PNR's on those flights in paid F. Used format suggested up thread and submitted one for each passenger, with identical wording.
One response was the cookie cutter response, "sorry, will pass on information to Food and Beverage Manager etc". This was for wife PNR's.
Next response was very personal. Starting with " thank you for being MVP , we value your loyalty. Included is a $50 discount code and our apologies".
This was for husband.
Now, this has happened many times before.
Once, accepted Discount Code offered by GA to each of us .
Emails received from AS and...
Husband received the promised $125 and wife received $50. (Called AS MVP line and they quickly corrected wife account as they were able to see GA message)

Usually, One of us gets basic, "too bad, so sad ". The other gets all kinds of "we are so sorry, please use this discount to give us another chance ".
Not sure it is sexist but, husband always gets response indicating their interest in maintaining his loyalty. Wife, not really.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:29 am
  #385  
formerly ASTechGuy
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Milton, WA USA
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SEA-SLC offered this morning.

Friendly, proactive FA offering any pre departure beverage I wanted, above and beyond the little bottle of water at my seat. Nice change of pace!
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:35 pm
  #386  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by BW Flyer View Post


This statement just shows how sub-par AS's F services have become when compared to DL and B6, (and even compared to UA based on what other flyer talkers reported in this thread)
Perhaps expectations need to be level-set.

AS is not trying to be a premium airline and does not position itself that way. They intentionally make F more accessible, both through upgrades and lower pricing. In general, AS states it is trying to provide more value to all passengers, rather than giving a better premium experience at the expense of Y.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 3:10 pm
  #387  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post

Perhaps expectations need to be level-set.

AS is not trying to be a premium airline and does not position itself that way. They intentionally make F more accessible, both through upgrades and lower pricing. In general, AS states it is trying to provide more value to all passengers, rather than giving a better premium experience at the expense of Y.
I see, although Alaska Airlines call it First Class and sells it as First Class, in reality it is "AS First" and the public has to figure out what they are really buying.

Today, only water as usual.

Alaska: Where our version of First Class is like our statehood, Second to last.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 3:39 pm
  #388  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SEA
Programs: AS G75K, DL PM, IHG Gold, HHonors Diamond
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
Perhaps expectations need to be level-set.

AS is not trying to be a premium airline and does not position itself that way. They intentionally make F more accessible, both through upgrades and lower pricing. In general, AS states it is trying to provide more value to all passengers, rather than giving a better premium experience at the expense of Y.
OK these are good points and I agree with you.. The issue then becomes: if they are not selling a premium product, their F fare should reflect that. But what I have been seeing is their advance purchase F ticket prices are on par or in many instances more expensive than the legacy carriers like DL and AA. That also reflected on award ticket prices. For example, I was looking at reward ticket prices the other day between ORD and SEA in late August, the AS flights all asked for 60K one way for a F seat except the very early morning flight, whilst AA and DL had F available non stop between 25K and 28K for flights throughout the day.

This is just one example. I am sure other Flyertalk members can cite other examples.

Don't take me wrong, I am perfectly happy with my AS upgraded F seats, and I am grateful with AS' generous upgrade policy. But who is going to buy their F product with F prices? OK full disclosure--I did buy three F seats from AS last year, but they were west coast flights. I would never spend $600-$900 to buy an AS one way transcon seats if I have alternative airlines. The value just isn't there.

They shouldn't advertise their F product with industry-level pricing when their product is not at that level. This is borderline deceptive advertising, The market will eventually recognize that. May be that's why their 1Q 2019 earning call indicated their weakness in the premium markets on their CA transcon market.

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Old Apr 26, 19, 5:35 pm
  #389  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: ANC
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 239
Addt'l Strategy - Positive Reinforcement?

Originally Posted by PacNWFlyer View Post
Friendly, proactive FA offering any pre departure beverage I wanted, above and beyond the little bottle of water at my seat. Nice change of pace!
I agree 100% that folks need to be sending in complaints when PDB "policy" is not followed and FAs have plenty of time to get a PDB out. Perhaps an additional strategy of taking the time to praise excellent service such as noted by PacNW above and indicate that the PDB really improves the First Class experience could be beneficial. Noting FAs who are doing a great job is just as important as identifying those who are just doing the bare minimum. I think the key is to make it known that the level of service (and PDB) is an important part of First Class.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 5:52 pm
  #390  
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Originally Posted by meej View Post
... Noting FAs who are doing a great job is just as important as identifying those who are just doing the bare minimum. I think the key is to make it known that the level of service (and PDB) is an important part of First Class.
+1000

negative feedback simply generates more standardized responses, which in turn generate more negative feedback about the lack of responsiveness
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