1hr 27m For First Drink--A Record?

Old Nov 14, 2023, 12:37 pm
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1hr 27m For First Drink--A Record?

two outstandingly poor experiences in transcon flagship first over this last week but it was a bizarre mix.

on the outbound the FA performed the service as quickly as possible then returned to the curained galley space where i could see a ipad he would watch. service was very good, and while annoying he never would come through to check or ask if anyone needed anything, he always answered the bell and was incredibly friendly.

on the return, again an exceedingly friendly FA who was slower than molasses. they started taking drink orders on the ground but would disappear for many minutes at a time before appearing with the one drink. i was just happy they did a round on the ground, even if the guy behind me had minutes to drink his. once in the air however...i noted the very first drink and nuts/olives were brought around at the 1:30 mark (or 1:27 more precisely). then the rest of the meal service--wow. by the time i finishe my entree we were just approaching Chicago from California! again, very friendly, execution and delivery of the actual service was impeccable but the time. and when i asked for a top up she in all serious looked at me to say "it will be a moment, i need to get someone from back to get your drink" sorry, its just opening and pouring from a wine bottle. and for once i was thinking why wouldnt you want to get service done asap so you can gossip instead of dragging it out over 4-5hrs for ten people??

and the plane was as hot as the sun on the outbound but more "hot summer day" on the return which is a minor win.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by VSLover
two outstandingly poor experiences in transcon flagship first over this last week but it was a bizarre mix.

on the outbound the FA performed the service as quickly as possible then returned to the curained galley space where i could see a ipad he would watch. service was very good, and while annoying he never would come through to check or ask if anyone needed anything, he always answered the bell and was incredibly friendly.

on the return, again an exceedingly friendly FA who was slower than molasses. they started taking drink orders on the ground but would disappear for many minutes at a time before appearing with the one drink. i was just happy they did a round on the ground, even if the guy behind me had minutes to drink his. once in the air however...i noted the very first drink and nuts/olives were brought around at the 1:30 mark (or 1:27 more precisely). then the rest of the meal service--wow. by the time i finishe my entree we were just approaching Chicago from California! again, very friendly, execution and delivery of the actual service was impeccable but the time. and when i asked for a top up she in all serious looked at me to say "it will be a moment, i need to get someone from back to get your drink" sorry, its just opening and pouring from a wine bottle. and for once i was thinking why wouldnt you want to get service done asap so you can gossip instead of dragging it out over 4-5hrs for ten people??

and the plane was as hot as the sun on the outbound but more "hot summer day" on the return which is a minor win.
Please understand that socializing and phone playing in the galley comes first. We apologize for our inconvenience.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 1:19 pm
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That is ridiculous, after 45 mins I probably would've gone to the galley and asked if I could just make it myself.

Please send a complaint to AA.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
That is ridiculous, after 45 mins I probably would've gone to the galley and asked if I could just make it myself.

Please send a complaint to AA.
thats what was so weird though--the FA was actively doing...something! they were actively doing things in the galley. it was just baffling to see though bc i could only see a bit from my seat, but they were not just lounging or watching their device. it was baffling.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by VSLover
thats what was so weird though--the FA was actively doing...something! they were actively doing things in the galley. it was just baffling to see though bc i could only see a bit from my seat, but they were not just lounging or watching their device. it was baffling.
That's called shuffling the chairs on the Titanic. A close friend of mine who is a senior AA FA (and a good one at that) says there is going to be a massive internal review of these types of FAs by the end of the year. Do make sure to give feedback. Flight number, seat number, cabin class, name of (or description of) FA and your experience. Be sure to tell them of your elite status, if any, and any desire to change airlines. It's being taken very seriously at AA. This isn't COVID anymore, and this behavior is inexcusable unless the four-striper up front is scared of "turbulence."
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by VSLover
thats what was so weird though--the FA was actively doing...something! they were actively doing things in the galley. it was just baffling to see though bc i could only see a bit from my seat, but they were not just lounging or watching their device. it was baffling.
It's possible that something was broken/went wrong and needed to be resolved. I've been on a flight where the coffee maker started leaking and couldn't be stopped. It took multiple FAs to pull the unit and plug it.

Given they were proactive and otherwise seemingly interested in doing a good job, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt in this case. The one who vanishes, not so much.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 3:18 pm
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I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. On the JFK-LAX redeye I was in paid J, but op-upped to F. We did get PDB but meal service was excruciatingly slow. I informed the FA I did not want dinner, just the cheese plate and a glass of wine so I could have a quick snack and get some sleep. I thought the cheese plate would come out before all the hot meals, but was presumptive that would be the case. We did at least get PDB, but then nuts and wine were served nearly an hour after departure, followed about 45 minutes later with the cheese plate. We were nearly over Nebraska by the time I actually got some rest (after assembling my own mattress pad and bedding as the FAs were nowhere to be seen).

A day later I was in paid F JFK-SFO and things were much, much worse. Not a word from the FA upon boarding, no introduction before pushback, and no PDB. There was endless fidgeting in the galley, but the FAs were clearly avoiding the F cabin. Dinner orders were taken while taxiing. We did not see a FA again until we climbed through 30,000 ft. and the seatbelt sign went off, despite silky smooth and clear flying conditions. Meal service was agonizingly slow, and we did not finish dinner service until (again) midway through the flight. I took a peek into the J cabin out of curiosity, and their service was probably nearly an hour faster than ours in F. There was not a single proactive trip through the cabin to refill beverages, no offers to make up beds, etc.

I've always had really good experiences in Transcon F and J, even during the height of the pandemic. Although the FAs were somewhere between cordial to modestly friendly, there's clearly no pride in delivering acceptable service right now in AA's premium cabins. I don't mind when I'm in the pointy end on a free upgrade, but it does sting when you've laid out $1,500 cash in each direction and get service that is on par with your average budget carrier.

It stands in stark contrast to AS, where even as an AA elite, I'm greeted by name and personally thanked for my loyalty 100% of the time. While I appreciate that AA offers an exceptional ground experience, especially departing from JFK, I've noticed things going downhill badly once you're in the hands of the cabin crew.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
That is ridiculous, after 45 mins I probably would've gone to the galley and asked if I could just make it myself.

Please send a complaint to AA.
Or press the call button, it is what it is there for !
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by gophish11
I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. On the JFK-LAX redeye I was in paid J, but op-upped to F. We did get PDB but meal service was excruciatingly slow. I informed the FA I did not want dinner, just the cheese plate and a glass of wine so I could have a quick snack and get some sleep. I thought the cheese plate would come out before all the hot meals, but was presumptive that would be the case. We did at least get PDB, but then nuts and wine were served nearly an hour after departure, followed about 45 minutes later with the cheese plate. We were nearly over Nebraska by the time I actually got some rest (after assembling my own mattress pad and bedding as the FAs were nowhere to be seen).

A day later I was in paid F JFK-SFO and things were much, much worse. Not a word from the FA upon boarding, no introduction before pushback, and no PDB. There was endless fidgeting in the galley, but the FAs were clearly avoiding the F cabin. Dinner orders were taken while taxiing. We did not see a FA again until we climbed through 30,000 ft. and the seatbelt sign went off, despite silky smooth and clear flying conditions. Meal service was agonizingly slow, and we did not finish dinner service until (again) midway through the flight. I took a peek into the J cabin out of curiosity, and their service was probably nearly an hour faster than ours in F. There was not a single proactive trip through the cabin to refill beverages, no offers to make up beds, etc.

I've always had really good experiences in Transcon F and J, even during the height of the pandemic. Although the FAs were somewhere between cordial to modestly friendly, there's clearly no pride in delivering acceptable service right now in AA's premium cabins. I don't mind when I'm in the pointy end on a free upgrade, but it does sting when you've laid out $1,500 cash in each direction and get service that is on par with your average budget carrier.

It stands in stark contrast to AS, where even as an AA elite, I'm greeted by name and personally thanked for my loyalty 100% of the time. While I appreciate that AA offers an exceptional ground experience, especially departing from JFK, I've noticed things going downhill badly once you're in the hands of the cabin crew.
I think you have valid points! I would complain for the sake of getting some miles. Given it is a dying service, I wouldn't expect a complaint to improve anything, It is sad to let a once, dare I say great, service go out with a whimper instead of bang!

Oh well, best to adapt and move on, lest we get trapped in memories!
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4
Or press the call button, it is what it is there for !
I flew two segments yesterday, AA496 GUA-DFW and AA537 DFW-PHX and had simply outstanding service in J on both segments. The FA, Sam, on the DFW-PHX segment actually announced this shortly after takeout... if you need something, please feel free to ring your call button if I'm not around. I'm one of those that's always shy to do that, but she made it feel like it was just fine to do so. Interestingly enough, nobody had to do this as she was passing through the cabin through most of the flight checking on flyers.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 6:52 pm
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On premium transcon (EWR/JFK-LAX/SFO), it is not unusual to be served 2 hours or more after flight departure, somewhere over Chicagoland, on UA. On a recent flight, FA started arrival inflight service not long after main inflight service.
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Old Nov 14, 2023, 6:59 pm
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AA transcon J is far more consistent than F IMO.

I am not trying to peddle conspiracy theories but it does feel like there's a group of FAs that have sandbagged AA F ever since mgmt removed a FA position on the 321Ts during covid and never replaced it when normal service resumed.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 7:28 am
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its always seems a mixed bag with the FA;s.. on my international flights.. in J.. service has been great for the drinks and nuts..
then they have all but disappeared.. (late night light flights mostly)..
but since I rather go to sleep then eat anything AA has to offer.. its all good
now on domestic flights.. I would say the FA;s are 9.10.. very pro active.. drinks and mostly snack tray coming out frequently

I wonder if the FA's are really their because they enjoy their work.. or simply there to collect a paycheck
either way I am not passing judgment.. just my observation
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by GlobalMatt
That's called shuffling the chairs on the Titanic. A close friend of mine who is a senior AA FA (and a good one at that) says there is going to be a massive internal review of these types of FAs by the end of the year. Do make sure to give feedback. Flight number, seat number, cabin class, name of (or description of) FA and your experience. Be sure to tell them of your elite status, if any, and any desire to change airlines. It's being taken very seriously at AA. This isn't COVID anymore, and this behavior is inexcusable unless the four-striper up front is scared of "turbulence."
We aren't scared of "turbulence," but the airline is scared of lawsuits, and further, our job is to safely operate the flight we are assigned to. If we have a forecast of turbulence, or other aircraft are reporting turbulence on our route of flight, the seatbelt sign comes on. It's that simple. There is no grand conspiracy between the pilots and the cabin crew to keep the seatbelt sign on so the FA's can sit in the galley and goof off. Yes, we may turn the sign on, and then the ride is smooth, but it's on because other traffic is reporting turbulence, or it's been forecasted for our route of flight.
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Old Nov 15, 2023, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
AA transcon J is far more consistent than F IMO.

I am not trying to peddle conspiracy theories but it does feel like there's a group of FAs that have sandbagged AA F ever since mgmt removed a FA position on the 321Ts during covid and never replaced it when normal service resumed.
Same with intl J vs F. F alternates between been excellent service and having FAs that treat you like enemy combatants.

It's no surprise that F is getting whacked.
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