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Yet Another Thread on Coach Pax Using the F Lav

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Old May 21, 04, 1:50 am
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Yet Another Thread on Coach Pax Using the F Lav

It seems like forever since I've seen what used to be a weekly topic. However, on tonight's flight 385, the FA announced that it's a "new Alaska policy" that the forward lav is reserved only for rows 1-3. Not sure if it's really a new company policy or just that FA's policy but I thought I'd pass it along.

Of course, the only reason I really noticed was because I was in coach for the first time in over two years (at least on this airline). Sure made me miss the old upgrade system.
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Old May 21, 04, 10:22 am
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Company policy now states that customers must use the lavatory within their cabin. On flights to/from international cities there is no leniency allowed as it is a TSA regulation.
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Old May 21, 04, 8:47 pm
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They announced this last week on both my YVR-LAS and LAS-YVR flights. There was a steady stream of PAX from coach using the FC lav still though. Even had a few people standing around the cockpit but the FA did make them go back to their seats after a while.
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Old May 21, 04, 11:06 pm
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I've flown 4 segments this week and all had the "new policy" annoucement. AS must have filed some paper work with the FAA to implement this change. This is how it should have been long ago.

The other new change I have noticed is a small ice cream snack cup in coach. (My streak of 100% upgrades as an MVP came to a crashing end this week.)
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Old May 22, 04, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by Jeeves
I've flown 4 segments this week and all had the "new policy" annoucement. AS must have filed some paper work with the FAA to implement this change. This is how it should have been long ago.

The other new change I have noticed is a small ice cream snack cup in coach. (My streak of 100% upgrades as an MVP came to a crashing end this week.)
What route(s) were you flying?
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Old May 22, 04, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by EIPremier
What route(s) were you flying?
I was flying SEA-SMF and SEA-ONT. I couldn't upgrade the outbound or return of the ONT flights.
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Old May 22, 04, 3:55 pm
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This pretty much seals the deal of ending my purchase of future transcon tickets on AS, without a mid-cabin lav for Y, it is just not acceptable. by the time they come through with the E-dig's, bev's and then meal carts, it is going to take FOREVER to get any service with all the moving of the cart out of the way. 737's are simply incompatible with this policy.
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Old May 24, 04, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by Jeeves
I've flown 4 segments this week and all had the "new policy" annoucement. AS must have filed some paper work with the FAA to implement this change. This is how it should have been long ago.

The other new change I have noticed is a small ice cream snack cup in coach. (My streak of 100% upgrades as an MVP came to a crashing end this week.)

I'd say 100% upgrade as an MVP is pretty good. I'm MVP Gold and I've had 4 segments this year that I haven't been upgraded on out of 26 segments.

The FA's have been announcing the restriction on the FC lav for a couple weeks. Most flights I've been on the FA's have been very strict and turning coach pax away. On the occassion where a coach pax slipt through the cracks the FA came on the PA and reminded everyone that FC lav only for FC pax.
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Old May 24, 04, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by AS Flyer
Company policy now states that customers must use the lavatory within their cabin.
Funny - Ann Ardizzone has been telling us for the past two years (via MVP Gold luncheons personally attended and/or reports I've read of them) that so far as she knew this has been the policy all during that time.

Hah! What does she know!?
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Old May 24, 04, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by zurbec
This pretty much seals the deal of ending my purchase of future transcon tickets on AS, without a mid-cabin lav for Y, it is just not acceptable. by the time they come through with the E-dig's, bev's and then meal carts, it is going to take FOREVER to get any service with all the moving of the cart out of the way. 737's are simply incompatible with this policy.
Having just returned from Newark on Alaska 7 this past weekend, i noticed that the FAs were very aware of the inconvenience this can cause and they made every effort to allow people to pass the carts during the in flight service, they even backed up to the rear to wait so people could pass. Wen they went to try and clear the dinner trays, there was a steady stream of people heading towards the aft lavs and they came on the p.a. and asked everyone to give them five minutes to clear the trays before going to the lav (I've seen this done before on the old United SEA-JFK flight, which also only had aft lavs).

On a side note, from what I recall EWR-SEA used to have a pre-landing bev service. Whene did they get rid of this? All that was offered on my flights was water and cofee about an hour from SEA, and I assume they weren't just trying to keep the aisles clear so people could go to the restroom.
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Old May 24, 04, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by gba
they even backed up to the rear to wait so people could pass.
Exactly my point, by the time they back up the cart when doing the video players, and then during the the pre-meal beverage, and then again finally while delivering the meals it will take FOREVER to get breakfast. without the rule, it still took 2 hours, so if you wanted to watch a movie after your meal, there is often not enough time by the time they pick everything up in between backing up the cart.

Add to this the chronic disruptive announcements about the rule, and it makes for a long and hungry 5 hours. And I find cabin announcements in general to be in poor taste and inconsiderate to people trying to sleep or concentrate. If you are going to offer premium fares and promote your self as a top rate airline better than all your competitors (Skyhigh ads), you have to offer premium service, this includes being timely and graceful, both of which AS lacks. It is less than premium to run a 4-5 hour flight on a 737 that lacks a mid-cabin lav and a first only forward lav policy.

oh, and backing up the cart is not a nicety, denying passengers access to a lav is a legally risky thing to do.
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Old May 24, 04, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by zurbec
Exactly my point, by the time they back up the cart when doing the video players, and then during the the pre-meal beverage, and then again finally while delivering the meals it will take FOREVER to get breakfast. without the rule, it still took 2 hours, so if you wanted to watch a movie after your meal, there is often not enough time by the time they pick everything up in between backing up the cart.

Add to this the chronic disruptive announcements about the rule, and it makes for a long and hungry 5 hours. And I find cabin announcements in general to be in poor taste and inconsiderate to people trying to sleep or concentrate. If you are going to offer premium fares and promote your self as a top rate airline better than all your competitors (Skyhigh ads), you have to offer premium service, this includes being timely and graceful, both of which AS lacks. It is less than premium to run a 4-5 hour flight on a 737 that lacks a mid-cabin lav and a first only forward lav policy.

oh, and backing up the cart is not a nicety, denying passengers access to a lav is a legally risky thing to do.
How is any of this different than the service you receive on the AA 738's and UA320's plying these routes?
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Old May 25, 04, 12:40 am
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Originally Posted by rjque
How is any of this different than the service you receive on the AA 738's and UA320's plying these routes?
it is exceedingly rare that AA and UA are priced higher than AS on these routes, AS sells itself as a higher quality service which they must either deliver or drop the pretence. can't have it both ways. also, AA/UA offer free IFE and don't spend the first 30-45 minutes selling IFE in the aisles one player at a time.
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Old May 25, 04, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by zurbec
it is exceedingly rare that AA and UA are priced higher than AS on these routes, AS sells itself as a higher quality service which they must either deliver or drop the pretence. can't have it both ways. also, AA/UA offer free IFE and don't spend the first 30-45 minutes selling IFE in the aisles one player at a time.
While I agree that UA/AA beat AS in quality on some levels (F seats, occasional widebody planes, MRTC on selected planes, etc.), I think there is plenty to support AS' claim of better quality. This is pretty subjective but I would venture to say that most people would regard the availability of the DigEPlayer with multiple entertainment options to be far superior to a single B-run movie and an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. I think it's a great example of how this airline attempts to give customers exactly what they want in a creative way that doesn't create a significant expense.

Moreover, I'll take an AS flight crew over an AA flight crew any day. Well over half of my AA flights have left me feeling like non-status coach pax are an inconvenience to the airline. Same with NW. UA crews are sometimes great, but nowhere near the consistency of AS.
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Old May 25, 04, 5:18 am
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We have pretty much dropped AS after many years of enjoying our AS MVP Gold status and truly loving the program. The new program just doesn't work for us. We have tried on at least seven different occasions to purchase upgradeable AS tickets, even willing and happy to pay higher fares, only to find that, even at the higher upgradeable fare, there were no first class seats available. Upon further checking, in all instances, we were able to buy a UA seat (often for less than half) and be upgraded instantly.

IMHO, first on AS has absolutely nothing to offer over first on UA.

Here is the really scary thing-------we are actually flying to ANC on UA next month--we just couldn't find an upgradeable AS flight. One of our primary reasons for wanting to maintain our AS MVP Gold Status was that we sometimes need to fly to ANC and we couldn't, heretofore, imagine flying SEA/ANC on anybody but AS. Now the only incentives to even shoot for AS status are to get upgraded on a direct SEA/LAS--we still have an upgrade pending on a high priced ticket, and getting upgraded on that flight will probably be our make it or break it flight with AS--and SEA/SAN.

It is hard for me to believe that I am walking away from AS. I was always one of their biggest fans.

Last edited by Punki; May 25, 04 at 5:21 am
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